Sony recently launched a new subscription plan with the hopes to compete against Xbox’s amazing Game Pass. For a while, Sony fell behind Microsoft when you compared their subscription services. Microsoft had Game Pass which was the superior service as it offered more value for money. PS Plus, on the other hand, has been the same for years, offering the same benefits without game streaming. However, this is about to change as Sony is trying to make the right moves. It’s about time Sony took the initiative to beef up PS Plus, by combining better features such as; online streaming (Playstation Now, which was a separate service), cloud storage, discounts, multiplayer and legacy games. So, how does this new service stack up against Xbox Game Pass?
What is Sony offering?
The new PS Plus will be available in 3 tiers; PS Plus essential, extra and premium. Though It would have been cool if Sony followed the trophy naming scheme such as silver, gold and platinum.
- PlayStation Plus Essential. This plan costs $9.99 monthly and is the most affordable of the three. The plan offers the same benefits as the old PS Plus, and there will be no changes to existing PlayStation Plus members in this tier. Features in this plan include; Two monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage for saved games and online multiplayer access.
- PlayStation Plus Extra. Costs $14.99 per month and includes all the features of the essential plan, and adds a catalogue of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games. Games offered also include PS exclusives such as God of War and Spiderman Miles Morales.
- PlayStation Plus Premium. For $17.99, this plan provides all the benefits of Essential and Extra tiers, and adds up to 340 additional games including; PS2, PS3, and PS4 games. (Note: PS3 games will only be available via cloud streaming.) Streaming can also be done on PC.
- Playstation Plus Deluxe. This plan will be offered in select markets with no cloud streaming. The Deluxe plan will include all features of Extra and the Essential plans, but at a cheaper price than the Premium plan.
For the most part, this is a welcomed change. If Sony didn’t make this move, more and more people would have recognized the value of Game Pass and eventually switched consoles. (Yes, Sony has the best exclusives, but what happens when you’re done playing them?) Overall, Playstation owners will now enjoy more games and features, with the flexibility of having three plans for this subscription service.
Sony will also not offer first-party exclusives on launch date, similar to how Microsoft does when they have a first-party title like Halo on Game Pass. This is a bummer but is expected from Sony.
What will happen to PS Now members?
PS Now members will automatically be upgraded to PS Plus Premium at no additional cost. The upgrade will last the duration of any existing PS Now subscription.
PS Plus VS Microsoft Game Pass
Below is visual comparison between the two services. All prices are in USD.
For the cheapest subscriptions, PS Plus Essential and Game Pass offer two separate services. PS Plus essential offers multiplayer and game pass offers over 100 games that can be played. To give perspective, Playstation Plus Essential, is the equivalent of X-Box Live Gold that deals with multiplayer and offers similar services for the same price of $9.99.
At this price range, PS Plus Extra offers a catalog of up to 400 games which is more expensive than the PC or Console subscriptions of the Game Pass. That extra price carries more games and multiplayer access which is freely available on the PC Game Pass, but not available on the console, unless you purchase X-Box Gold separately.
With a price tag of $17.99, Sony is betting on nostalgia to justify the price. This tier offers PSP, PS2, PS3, PS4 and PS5 games and all the benefits and features of the PS Plus Essential and PS Plus Extra plans. In comparison, the most expensive plan on the Game pass is the Ultimate for $14.99, which offers multiplayer access (X-Box Gold), EA Play and all benefits of the cheaper plans.
Which is the better service?
Both services offer great deals when it comes to games, but it’s worth mentioning how cool it is for Microsoft to offer Xbox Game Studios titles on the same day as their release. Also, Game Pass’ most expensive plan is also cheaper and extends to PC and mobile devices (xCloud) making it the more versatile of the two. In addition, Sony has taken the right steps to level the playing field, with better features and streaming options. However, it would have been nice to see a more aggressive pricing structure for PS plus, but the service will likely evolve in the near future.
Moreover, all plans of PS Plus include multiplayer gaming, which is equivalent to X-Box Gold, that is only available on the highest tier, Game Pass Ultimate. If you strictly need multiplayer, the PS plus subscriptions might be a better deal as all three tiers offer this option. Furthermore, to have access to X-Box Gold, you would need to either subscribe for the Gold subscription which costs $9.99 (which is another service by itself) or pay for Ultimate plan for $14.99. At the end, it all depends on what you want and what device you own. But the question still remains, who will win this battle? Only time will tell.
Struggling to get a PS5 or XBOX series X?
It’s been 2 years since the PS5 and the X-Box Series X were released, and it’s still hard to buy one. Due to chip shortages, the pandemic and scalpers, people have been buying the PS4 and the Series S instead. Sony has also confirmed that PS4 production will continue and upcoming titles will be available.
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