The PlayStation Store applies “PS Plus Exclusive” label to select games but it’s unclear what that actually means. Fan theories about the nomenclature vary greatly.
What is a PS Plus Exclusive?
As pointed out by Reddit user HelpfulApple22, who appears to be a PS Plus Extra subscriber, Outer Wilds is one of the games that’s listed as a PS Plus Exclusive but it’s certainly not one.
Typically, games that are included in PS Plus Extra and Premium catalogs will carry a message along the lines of “Included with the Game Catalog in your PlayStation Plus subscription” for members. The Reddit user pointed out that other games in their Extra catalog don’t carry the “exclusive” label (Outer Wilds is currently part of Extra and Premium catalogs).
So, what does “exclusive” mean in this context? Some users say it probably means that a certain game isn’t available on Xbox Game Pass or any other subscription service. Others say it probably means that a specific version of a game is exclusive to members.
The latter makes sense considering it’s not unusual for PS Plus to get special versions of games. However, why standard editions of some games appear as exclusives for subscribers is anybody’s guess.