The New PS Plus vs. Game Pass, and What We Had To Do

The New PS Plus vs. Game Pass, and What We Had To Do ...

Sony revamped PS Plus, its long-standing PlayStation membership program. Both packages allow for access to a Netflix-style game library for about the same amount of money.

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Price

Game Pass is available as a console, PC, or both. The two separated levels cost $10 a month. Xbox Live Ultimate, which joins the two and provides access to the EA Play Library (a similar games-on-demand service) and Xbox Live Gold, costs $15 a month. There is no way to pay for multiple months or a year upfront at a tiered markdown (at least officially).

PS Plus is also available as a subscription, but it becomes quite complex very quickly. There are two new tiers: The Extra is $15 a month, or $100 for the year, and offers free monthly games, online play, and a catalog of on-demand games, which includes some of Ubisofts library. Premium is $18 a month, or $120 a year, and adds access to classic games, game trials, and cloud streaming for most of the games in the library.

PS Plus is the winner.

Streaming

According to Kotakus testing, Game Pass supports cloud streaming, but it's still in development. Internet speeds should be at least 10mbps for mobile devices and 20mbps for consoles and PCs. The latency, however small, is negligible.

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Microsoft claims that more than 100 games are currently streamable through Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming, although additional games are added every few weeks. Right now, the Game Pass library lists 381 games as capable of streaming.

The price of admission to PS Plus is $18 a month. Even then, the streaming quality isn't what you'd expect from Xbox Cloud Gaming. Sometimes, it's worse. Almost 320 games from the Premium library can be streamed on console or PC, but the majority of them are PS3 titles and classics rather than the entire PlayStation 4 library.

The majority of PS Plus games cannot be streamed to your phone. For the time being, the service relies on Remote Play, meaning you'll need a console to play on your phone and you'll need to be connected to the same WiFi network.

Game Pass: The Winner

Game Library

Of course, a games-on-demand service is only as good as the one thing it is supposed to provide, and that is games.

The Xbox Game Pass library currently has about 475 games, but that total includes games from both the first and the second levels, including titles from the likes of Rockstars' open-world Hold Em simulator Red Dead Redemption 2. It's unpredictable.

The library also regularly cycles in third-party games, and often serves as a launch pad for indie gems. Tunic, the snowboarding game Shredders, and the loot river, among others, all launched on Game Pass this year. (Here's a list of the best under-the-radar games currently available.)

PS Plus Extra currently includes around 430 PS4 and PS5 games, while Premium adds another 395 from PS1, PS2, and PS3 (streaming only) to the PlayStation service, which include titles like Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Bloodborne. Unlike Microsoft, Sony has pledged not to post its latest releases day-and-date, and if Returnal is any indication, players will have to wait at least a year to 18 months before newer stuff arrives

Although there are plenty of strong third-party contenders, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Prey, Control, Doom, and Virginia are all there, as well as indies like Celeste, Outer Wilds, Dead Cells, and Virginia. The library's overall appeal is strong, and Sony hasnt yet demonstrated that it is, or will be, as aggressive as Microsoft in attracting new users.

PS Plus is the winner.

Ari: I expected Game Pass to be a clear winner, but these two services are fundamentally identical to medown to the UI, with Sony's new PS Plus marginally superior in the few areas that matter. In that regard, Game Pass is the main draw, but Microsoft has barely released any first-party games this year.

Ethan: I always thought Game Pass would be the clear winner in this game, but now I'm concerned. Not everyone can afford to pay for a year upfront, but it really changes the equation in this matchup. There are other key differences as well, and while I don't think they make one a clear winner, I do think it makes it much simpler to pick which you want to pay for. Want to keep up with some of the greatest new games every month and play them at any time on your phone?