This morning, Sony finally revealed On-demand gaming service at Blog post With more asterisks than your first apartment lease.. It’s a PS Plus renewal called… [drum roll] wait for it… [another drum roll] PS Plus.
In line with the details mentioned for the first time before BloombergPS Plus 2.0 — yes, that’s what I’ll call it — essentially combines Sony’s two subscription services, PS Plus and PS Now, into one easy-to-digest package. On the face of it, the new and improved service seems like an obvious answer to game arcadeMicrosoft’s on-demand gaming service currently has more than 25 million subscribers. Both give access to hundreds of games. Both are available as a monthly membership. Both have options that allow you to stream games.
But the two veer enough in the details that it’s not a one-on-one comparison. If Game Pass is “Netflix for gaming,” as people often like to say, then Sony’s offering is like, say, “Hulu for gaming.” Let’s break it down.
How much does PS Plus cost for Game Pass?
PS Plus is available in four tiers. There’s PS Plus Essential, essentially unchanged from the current service, for $10 a month or $60 a year. PS Plus Extra costs $15 per month or $100 per year, and adds a library of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games. PS Plus Premium goes for $18 per month or $120 per year and adds games from previous PlayStation generations, as well as gaming offerings. Finally, geographies that do not allow game streaming can subscribe to PS Plus Deluxe, which Sony says It will cost “lower price” than Premium and exclude PS3 games. (The exact price is up in the air. Sony did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.)
Game Pass, meanwhile, Available in two levels. The basic level, available on Xbox or PC, is $10 and gives access to a library of Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC games. The top tier, Game Pass Ultimate, costs $15 per month and pairs together as well as a number of other perks. There is currently no (official) option to purchase an annual membership in advance for a low price, although you can sometimes find a three-month pass Via external retailers. But Microsoft, seemingly confident about Game Pass’s retention rate, only charges $1 for the first month.
It’s easy, then, to look at these prices and immediately dismiss Sony’s top tiers. Yes, $18 is more than the $15 price tag for Game Pass Ultimate. But by the same metric, the annual cost of PS Plus Premium ($120) is much less expensive than that of Ultimate ($180). If you know you’re planning to subscribe for the long-term, Sony’s service already looks a lot more attractive.
What games do you get on PS Plus for Game Pass?
Of course, any on-demand gaming service can succeed thanks to the power of its library. Game Pass, in its latest update, features around 450 games, about 350 of which are playable on PC. You can download any game from the library to your Xbox or PC, and stream nearly 100 games to compatible devices, including phones.
By comparison, the PS Plus library is a little more confusing. At launch, PS Plus Extra 400 will include PS4 and PS5 games, installed by marquees like death strandAnd the God of WarAnd the Spider-Man from MarvelAnd the Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesAnd the Mortal Kombat 11And the back. By the way, PS5 owners will notice how some of these games overlap with the offerings available through PS Plus Collection, making 20 of the best-selling PS4 games available to PS5-owning PS Plus subscribers at no additional cost. It’s unclear whether or not the rollout of PS Plus 2.0 will have any impact on this particular feature. Sony did not respond to a request for comment.
A PS Plus Premium subscription adds 340 more games from the PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, PSP, and PlayStation 3 libraries. You can download and stream PS1, PS2, PS4, PS5, and PSP games as well, but you can’t download PS3 games. You can just stream those. on the principle, It’s PS now.
There is also a noticeable gap in how each service handles its own exclusive games. Xbox puts first party games — everything from hits like infinite aura And the Forza Horizon 5 To the upcoming blockbuster movies starfield And the Redvale—In Game Pass at launch. For PS Plus, though, Sony won’t embrace that strategy, at least not in the short term. PlayStation President, Jim Ryan said, In a recent interviewThere is no fundamental reason for this, since doing so could degrade the prestige of games produced by the company’s in-house studios. Sony’s first party games like Forbidden horizon west And the God of War Already tearing up the charts and impressing fans and critics; They don’t need more attention than a subscription service. In other words, don’t expect to see God of War Ragnarok Available on PS Plus anytime soon.
There’s a lot of justification for how PS Plus 2.0 stands against Game Pass, and while such comparisons are fair, I’m not entirely convinced that they capture the full picture. Yes, both services do essentially the same thing (offering a bunch of easy-to-access games for a monthly membership). They’re similar enough that they’re worth checking out for their broader strokes (Sony’s may be cheaper annually, but it lacks Game Pass’s best feature: first-day exclusivity). It’s also fun to play ‘pros and cons’.
But such mental exercises conveniently ignore the fact that Sony does not need to compete directly with Game Pass. First party games work well. And it also has legs: Horizon Zero Dawnwhich came to PC three years after its PS4 exclusive, has sold more than 20 million copies, thanks in large part to the PC port.
For me, the big takeaway of the day has nothing to do with the companies of the competing giants. Instead, the age of subscription services — which has turned the movie, music, and television industry upside down — is officially here for gaming now, too. And that won’t happen anytime soon.
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