Sony announced new versions of its PlayStation Plus subscriptions yesterday. This is, apparently, a response to the Xbox Game Pass, and I would suppose many other subscription services for games out there. The PlayStation Plus sub plan is a combination of Sony's two current subscription services, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now. Two new options will now include access to multiplayer gaming alongside a catalog of select PlayStation games to install or stream.
Now, first and foremost, I don't like it when game systems charge me for the ability to play online. While I play on a lot of consoles, I am mostly a PC Gamer and, outside of the MMO that I play, I don't pay an extra fee outside of my Internet bill in order to play things like Overwatch or Phasmophobia online with my friends. The only console service that I pay for is Nintendo's; I used to pay for PlayStation, but I barely used it, and I don't even own an Xbox.
“The new Extra and Premium tiers represent a major evolution for PlayStation Plus,” says PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan. “With these tiers, our key focus is to ensure that the hundreds of games we offer will include the best quality content that sets us apart.”
When the new service launches, Sony plans to include games like God of War, Spider-Man, Mortal Kombat 11, and several others. It's not intending to make its exclusive PlayStation games available on launch day through this subscription service, though, so it seems like it's not going to be competing with Game Pass on that level.
While PlayStation's CEO seems to think that making those games available on day one would be problematic for their business model, Xbox has done the opposite. Microsoft committed to Xbox Game Studios launching their games on day one onto the service, which makes Game Pass an attractive option for Xbox gamers. Their back catalog is also impressive.
It seems like we may see escalating competition from the two services. While we can hope this might mean benefits for the consumers as they try and find the best way to entice us onto their platforms, I think that all too often we're left to suffer while we pick between the lesser of two heaches.
What are your thoughts on these kinds of services?