Game Pass Vs. New PS Plus, the comparison we have to make

Aloy and Master Chief stand side by side.

Picture: Sony / Microsoft / Kotaku

Two months ago, Sony reimagined PS Plus, its longtime membership program for PlayStation owners. Now, it looks a lot like Microsoft’s Game Pass: For roughly the same amount, both offer access to a Netflix-style library of on-demand games. Obviously, we have to stack the two services on top of each other.


Game Pass is available as a subscription to console, PC, or both. Two separate floors cost $10 a month. Xbox Live Ultimate, which joins both and offers access to the EA Play Library (a similar on-demand game service) and Xbox Live Gold, costs $15 a month. There is no way to pay months or a year in advance with a gradual (at least officially) reduction.

PS Plus is also available for subscription, but it gets complicated very quickly. There are two new levels. The add-on is $15 a month, or $100 for an entire year, and offers free monthly games, online play, and a catalog of on-demand games that include several Ubisoft libraries. The premium is $18 a month or $120 a year and adds access to classic games, game trials, and cloud streaming for most games in the library. That’s a huge price difference, and while PS Plus Premium is more expensive on a monthly basis, it’s actually almost 50% cheaper if you commit to a full year.

Winner: PS Plus

Streaming online

Game Pass allows for cloud streaming, as long as you pay for the more expensive Ultimate tier. Technically, the streaming functionality is still “in beta,” but it’s for all intents and purposes up and running. Microsoft suggestions internet speed of at least 10mbps for mobile and 20mbps for console and PC. Based Kotakuchecking, it’s… all right? Despite the great advancements of cloud gaming lately, streaming still can’t compete with downloaded games. The delay, however small, is unpredictable. Therefore, cloud games are best used for puzzlers, relaxing RPGs, light puzzle games and other games that do not require reflexes in a snap.

Microsoft says “over 100” games are currently streamable via cloud gaming on Xbox Game Pass, but more games are added every few weeks. Right now, the Game Pass library currently lists 381 games that are streamable.

A cat hits a puddle in Stray.

Screenshots: Annapurna / Kotaku

To unlock streaming on PS Plus, you need to buy it for $18 a month. And even then, the streaming quality isn’t anything to complain about. At best, it’s as good as Xbox Cloud Gaming. Sometimes it’s even worse. Around 320 games from the Premium library can be streamed on consoles or PCs, and a good portion of those are PS3 games and classics rather than the full PlayStation 4 library. For example, Marvel’s Avengers and Lost available on consoles but not in the streaming library.

Most notably, you can’t stream PS Plus games to your phone. Currently, the service is based on Remote Play, which means you need a console to play on mobile and you have to use the same WiFi network.

Winner: Game Pass

Game Library

Of course, an on-demand game service is only as good as the one thing it has to offer: games.

Immediately, Xbox Game Pass library there are about 475 games, but that number includes the library on both tiers, including the 92 games that are now part of EA Play. The main draw, of course, is that Microsoft puts its entire first-party portfolio on the platform. That also includes the main tent poles — like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5along with upcoming blockbusters like Starfield and Redfall—Which is available on the day they launch. Third-party games tend to last a year at most, although some, such as Rockstar’s open-world Hold ‘Em simulator Red Dead Redemption 2, becomes unavailable after several months. Unpredictable.

Two banshees fly through the air in Halo Infinite.

Halo Infinite.
Screenshots: 343 Industries

The library also rotates frequently in third-party games, and often serves as a launchpad for indie gems. This year alone, twee Zelda-alike Ao Daiski sim Shredderand puzzle crawler cum dungeon Loot . River all launched on Game Pass. (This is Kotakulist of best under-the-radar games now available.) Developers acknowledged Kotaku that launching on Game Pass reduced initial sales but was ultimately worth the publicity trade-off.

PS Plus Extra currently includes around 430 PS4 and PS5 games, while Premium adds another 395 games from PS1, PS2, PS3 (streaming only) and PSP. While the classics are a nice bonus, the biggest draw by far are PlayStation exclusives like Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Spider-Man: Miles Moralesand Bloodborne. Unlike Microsoft, Sony has committed to not putting its latest releases on day-and-day service, and if Returnal arriving a year after release is any indication, it seems like a gamble. good that players will have to wait at least a year to 18 months before newer stuff comes out.

Even so, there are many strong competitors in the third-party department. Games like Final Fantasy VII Remake, Prey, Control, Deathand Tetris effect are all present, as are indies like Celeste, Wild outside, Dead cellsand Virginia. Libraries have a lot of variety and most recently reinforced from the same day addition Losthas been a candidate for GOTY 2022. Ubisoft composition, do Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is also a strong compliment. At the same time, Sony has yet to prove that it is or will be as active as Microsoft in attracting a steady stream of third-party additions on a daily basis. There is also no PC-specific section of the library.

Winner: PS Plus

Ari: Going into this exercise, I fully imagined it would paint a clear picture of the superiority of Game Pass, but the two services are essentially identical to me — right in terms of the user interface — with Sony’s new version of PS Plus is slightly better in some respects. Prices are mostly the same, but the option to pay for a year of PS Plus with a “discount” outperforms Game Pass in that regard. Sure, the big draw of Game Pass is that it brings Microsoft’s first-party games to the service at launch, but… Microsoft barely has any first-party games coming out this year! Right now, that privilege seems to be more than just a line of marketing.

Ethan: I also thought Game Pass would be the clear winner from this, but now I also see a contradiction. Not everyone can afford a full year upfront, but it really changes the math in this game. There are also some other key differences, and while I don’t think they make one a clear winner over another, I think that makes it easier for you to decide if you want to pay. money for what. Want instant access to the full catalog of some of the biggest and best games from the last generation? PS Plus wins. Want to keep up with some of the best new games coming out every month and play them anytime on your phone? Then it’s Game Pass all the way.

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