You won't have to wait long to earn bonuses for playing and buying PlayStation games. Sony now says its PlayStation Stars loyalty program debuts in the Americas on October 5th, while Australians and Europeans will have access October 13th. Stars is already active in Asia, including Japan. The program is free, although you will receive some benefits if you're a PlayStation Plus member.
You currently have to access Stars through the PlayStation App on mobile devices if you want the "full" experience. You can sign up on the web, however, and Sony expects to reach PlayStation consoles in the future.
As previously explained, you earn rewards in PlayStation Stars by completing activities and campaigns ranging from the very basic (playing any game once a month) to the challenging (being one of the first to score a game's platinum trophy in your region). You'll earn loyalty points you can put toward your PlayStation Network wallet, digital collectibles (no, not NFTs) and certain products. You can also receive collectibles directly.
You can improve the number of rewards you get by advancing through trophy- and purchase-based status levels. However, you'll have to top that up 13 months after the end of the calendar year when you reached them. If you reach level 2 this October, you'll have until January 31st, 2024 to do something extending that status.
The strategy and its motivations aren't new. As with Microsoft Points and Nintendo Gold Points, this gives you an incentive to keep coming back to your console — and spending money. Given that it's free, though, it might be worth a try even if you only occasionally fire up your PS5.