The age-old battle of the giants, Sony versus Microsoft, has risen once again. The latest announcement from Xbox that EA Play will be joining the Xbox Game Pass has reignited this battle, this time over who is running the better subscription service for their games.
On the face, both appear to offer value for money. Although Sony had to slash its prices in response to Microsoft, now both operate similar pricing strategies, though Xbox Game Pass Ultimate comes out the most expensive at £10.99/month.
Each titan tackles streaming differently: PS Now allows users with a stable-enough internet connection to stream games onto their consoles/PCs and play a number of games without the need for hard-drive space. There is no similar console/PC streaming for Microsoft’s service; however, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate allows players to stream their favourite games onto their Android mobile devices and pick up where they left off on their consoles, including their console exclusive titles such as Gears 5.
The titles available on Xbox’s Game pass can vary month to month and appear to have a higher turnover than PS Now, giving PS Now a slightly larger library at times and a safer bet for those wanting to keep hold of their favourite titles from the services. However, now that EA Play is available for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate it’s likely this will appeal to those seeking to access some of the largest AAA games on the market.
Seeing as both services are available to PC gamers there will be some competition between the two. If I had to choose though, I would likely choose the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, as it appears to offer the best value in terms of access to additional services, the ability to play on the go through their Project xCloud service, and Microsoft’s partnership with EA Play which is due to launch on the 10th of November 2020.
Of course, the bulk of subscribers for each of these services are likely to come from loyal console gamers who chose their favourite brand long ago. However, with the release of the next-gen consoles imminent, these may well be factors to consider when deciding which console to purchase. It is evident, as with most entertainment industries now, that subscription services will play a key part in the future of gaming but only time will tell how Sony and Microsoft develop their respective services to capitalise on this.