When Xbox Game Pass Launched in 2017, it was revolutionary for the gaming industry. Trying to replicate Netflix’s success, Xbox Game Pass offered subscribers the chance to play hundreds of games – many of which they would never play otherwise – for one low monthly price. Since its inception, competitors have popped up everywhere to try and grab a piece of the pie, but none had the suite of options and reputation that Microsoft offers.
Earlier this year, Microsoft’s biggest competitor, Sony, retooled its PlayStation Plus service to portray it as a competitor for Game Pass, but unfortunately that was relatively unsuccessful. While PS Plus Premium has some advantages over Game Pass, Sony faces an uphill battle due to its below-par game offering and loyalty to the original brand.
Day-One releases and more on Game Pass
Game Pass was experimental when it first launched. Microsoft treated the service similarly to the current version of PS Plus Premium, offering quantity over quality. However, with Xbox Game Pass shifting to a new market, PlayStation Plus remains in the past. Older, nostalgic games are a welcome sight, but pale in comparison to Microsoft’s offerings. Over time, Game Pass has adjusted and offered premium games and content without increasing prices, which Sony will have to do sooner rather than later.
The biggest benefit of Game Pass is the day-one releases. Microsoft is committed to making as many games as possible instantly available on Game Pass, from smaller indie games to massive AAA franchises. As Game Pass has grown, game studios have recognized the benefits of an integrated audience. Thanks in large part to its inclusion in Game Pass, ForzaHorizon 5 had the biggest release in Xbox history at the time.
Even Sony’s MLB The Show 22 was released on Game Pass at launch. If Sony is giving away one of its most popular in-house titles, PS Plus doesn’t come close to the Xbox Game Pass product. Rather than keep hopes up for a change, Sony announced that PS Plus will not feature any day-one releases and has no immediate plans to switch.
Looking at the raw numbers, one thing that could affect Sony is each company’s net worth. With all of Microsoft’s product offerings inside and outside of games, according to Yahoo! as of this writing, is worth $2.11 trillion in finances compared to Sony’s relatively small $108.94 billion. Sony could easily afford to immediately release premium games on PS Plus, but it could be harder to get full endorsement from executives. It’s easier for Microsoft to eat up the upfront cost of these hot games to turn into long-term revenue from subscription fees. Money talks in the gaming industry, and Microsoft has more wealth than anyone else.
To its credit, Microsoft has earned the benefit of the doubt with Game Pass, repeatedly bringing the best titles to its service and likely hurting console sales. There are amazing benefits for both Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5, but there is a growing group of fans who have switched to Xbox because their favorite games may be on Game Pass. When consoles were first released, it was easy to see why some preferred Xbox when PlayStation didn’t already have an elite subscription service.
Sony was too slow in creating a true Game Pass competitor and lost out in building a loyal subscriber base. If Sony wants to catch up with Microsoft, it needs to start delivering real value by completely changing its publishing strategy and making its best games available to fans. Time will tell whether the conversion from PS Plus will succeed.
Xbox Game Pass is now available for PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
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https://gamerant.com/ps-plus-xbox-game-pass-competition-success-strategies-playerbase/ Why it will be years before PS Plus catches up with Xbox Game Pass