Sony released its improved Playstation plus subscription service on Monday, which will compete indirectly with Microsoft’s game pass. I continued to register the plus on the premium tier to see how they stack up. This is an interesting demonstration of the priorities of the two companies in this generation of console hardware.
Both game pass and Playstation plus provide a well planned video game library that can be downloaded to your console and / or streamed through the cloud. Therefore, both of these games are very useful. Just like Microsoft used to call “discovery engine”, you can explore a large number of games on each system at a low initial cost.
The biggest difference between the two is how important they are to the overall strategy of each company.
For Microsoft, game passes are all its current transactions to some extent; At the large-scale game exhibition last weekend, almost every new game was announced to either enter the game level at the time of release or add the content of a new season to the existing games.
Generally speaking, Microsoft’s efforts in the subscription field are all about access. To a large extent, game pass subscription provides you with a virtual Xbox, which can be deployed from smart TV to almost anywhere through smart phone, tablet, PC, console or in the near future. As polygon’s oliwelsh said, you can make a strong argument that if Microsoft uses this strategy to compete with anyone, it is not another video game company; It is a general content provider, such as Netflix and apple.
In contrast, Sony made it clear that it did not intend to make any major changes to its sales model. According to jimryan, CEO, PlayStation plus will not become the launch platform for the new first-party Sony games like Microsoft’s game pass, and there is no report that it has no plan to provide plus on any platform other than Playstation’s own hardware. The new add-on features are designed to add value, but will not affect the overall sales model.
If you are considering one or both services, you need to know the following:
Game passes provide new games for Xbox game studios, as well as more carefully planned third-party games.
Under the new system, the Playstation plus “library is almost twice the size of the game pass”, but there is no new version. Its choice ranges from historical classics to absolute garbage.
You don’t need a physical Xbox to get the value of game pass subscription, while the new plus is strictly targeted at Playstation users.
The huge size of the Playstation plus library may be its biggest advantage. At the time of release, the top layer of Playstation plus provides you with access to more than 700 games, while currently only 459 games are available for final subscription.
Including 378 games in Playstation 4 and 5 libraries; There are 306 Playstation 3 games in total, which can be strictly obtained through cloud streaming media (as we all know, PS3 hardware is difficult to simulate); 38 models in the “classic” series, including the original Playstation, PlayStation 2 and Sony’s first handheld computer Playstation portable; There are also 12 trial versions that allow you to play the full version of various large-scale games in a limited time, such as horizon: forbidden area in the West.
To be fair, these figures are somewhat misleading. Some games on plus have been listed twice, such as death stranded and evil genius 2, because their PS4 and ps5 versions are provided separately. For the same reason, some games on the ultimate layer of the game pass, such as the dead space trilogy, exist because they have reached a binding agreement with the EA play subscription service of Electronic Arts.
However, there is an important curatorial issue. Sony has made many strange choices for the plus, most notably in the Playstation 3 library. Some of the biggest or most memorable titles in the system, such as “killer zone 2” and “sword of heaven”, have been deleted from the old PS now roster, while the lowest historical records such as “thief fighter” and “forever Duke nuclear weapons” are still there. It was a victory for game historians, but few others.
On the other hand, Xbox game passes don’t have much padding. Of course, there will be some strange, random or unsuitable games in any month, but there is usually no feeling that the service will reach any number.
Sony is here to pursue the original quantity rather than quality control, but it still has a lot to do. For each B-level and C-level game on the Playstation plus list, it also includes first-party popular games, such as return, resogun, and two recent open world spider man games. Sony has made many games internally, many of which are quite good. If plus has a goal, it is to easily access most of the contents of Sony’s background directory.
The cheapest plus version is the essential tier of US $9.99/month, which provides three free games and a small downloadable definition PS4 click library every month, including “lost days”; Siya atlas superhero game infamous: second son; Till dawn; Unknown four: the fate of thieves; And a remake of our last. Any one of them is worth $9.99 alone.
Essential also provides Playstation users with online multiplayer games, cloud storage of storage and data, and exclusive discounts. This is roughly the same benefit that the service has provided since its first launch in 2010.
The price of the additional layer of plus is $14.99/month. PS4 and ps5 game libraries are added, which can be downloaded to the hard disk, while the premium layer provides users with PS3 games and earlier versions of the “classic directory”.
Xbox game pass has a separate console and PC version, both of which are $9.99/month, and Xbox first-party games are usually guaranteed to appear on game pass on the same day of retail release.
For $14.99 a month, you can upgrade to the final version of game pass, which can run on both PC and console, and enjoy the benefits of a separate Xbox LIVE gold subscription. Ultimate also offers Xbox cloud games for compatible games and devices.
The two services cooperated well with each other in the face-to-face confrontation. Plus provides a larger and wider library, which is full of real classics (and historical fires); The game pass library is smaller, but better managed, and provides access to first-party Xbox games on the first day. Both of these services provide you with games worth more than one month, and you only need to pay a reasonable subscription fee.
The natural question to ask here is usually the question of added value. If you want to decide which of these two game consoles to buy, you will naturally consider the comparative advantages of plus and pass.
The trick is that game passes are increasingly Xbox. The hardware of physical Xbox series X | is a flexible and user-friendly game console, but the longer we enter the current generation, the more it seems to meet the requirements of Microsoft.
This should not be regarded as Microsoft’s prediction that it will stop producing physical Xbox – in the first quarter of 2022, the sales of both versions of the X series actually exceeded that of the Playstation 5, mainly due to the continuous supply chain problems – but it shows the importance of game passes to Microsoft’s current strategy. You can now play many games on your Xbox without having to own it.
The new Playstation plus has more games, including some real classic games, and implies that there will be more games. What it doesn’t have is Microsoft’s first day release. Once Sony’s release schedule begins to heat up, this will become a more obvious problem for the service. However, in terms of maximizing the value of your entertainment expenses, PlayStation plus and game pass are the most cost-effective deals in the history of the game console market.