PlayStation Now vs Xbox Game Pass: How Sony Can Compete

Xbox Game Pass is an incredible value for money, but Sony has a competing subscription service to challenge; it's called PlayStation Now. Microsoft is clearly the winner in the PlayStation Now vs Xbox Game Pass debate, but there are ways in which Sony can improve its subscription service to go toe-to-toe with Game Pass.

PlayStation Now vs Xbox Game Pass: How Sony Can Improve

The debate over PlayStation Now vs Xbox Game Pass has been raging ever since Microsoft announced Game Pass in 2017. Those arguing on behalf of PlayStation Now have a much harder job than those on Team Xbox. Being a massive PlayStation fan, even I have to begrudgingly accept that Microsoft has Sony beat in the subscription service war. The value for money in Xbox Game Pass is ludicrous, and the recent Bethesda acquisition and EA deal have made an appealing service even more.

Compared to Xbox Game Pass, Sony has loads of work ahead to make PlayStation Now an equally brilliant service. Whilst it’s still great, it doesn’t hold a candle to Game Pass. Sony’s reluctance to include first-party titles from day one is one of the major reasons why their service is inferior to Microsoft’s. There’s also the issue of backward compatibility. Sony’s decision to structure the PS3 the way they did is still coming back to haunt them. With backward compatibility pretty much impossible on PS4, Sony made accessing a whole generation of titles much harder.

However, PlayStation Now is still a pretty great service. You don’t hear about it much since Xbox Game Pass dominates the news, but Sony has the bones of a really good subscription model. With a few adjustments, PlayStation Now has the potential to rival Game Pass. In fact, if Sony were to implement everything I mention here, it would be arguably better. 

PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus

PlayStation Plus Collection - Introduction Trailer | PS5

At Sony’s last online showcase, we saw the announcement of the PlayStation Plus Collection. This is a collection of titles available to play day one on PS5 as part of your PlayStation Plus subscription. Sony is very aware of the pedigree of their games and is using them to usher in the next generation of PlayStation. However, one of the best aspects of Game Pass is that Game Pass Ultimate includes a Games with Gold subscription. Reducing the price of PlayStation Now was a good start, but offering an all-in-one subscription at a slightly lower price seems like the logical next step.

Having two separate subscriptions is needlessly confusing, and having both Plus and Now in one subscription would make it much more appealing. With several excellent games on the PS Plus Collection, PlayStation Now would look like a subscription service worth having. Sony even has the benefit of not really having to put their new games on the service straight away. Let’s be honest, Xbox hasn’t impressed anyone this generation with their exclusive offerings, but PlayStation crushed it. Sony could drip-feed their exclusives over the past two years into the service, and it would more than rival Game Pass in terms of overall quality.

PlayStation Now vs Xbox Game Pass: Which has better games?

Final Fantasy XV is the latest game to hit PlayStation Now

Final Fantasy XV is the latest game to hit PlayStation Now

Ever since Sony’s recent commitment to PlayStation Now, they’ve been steadily adding excellent games to the service. Like I said before, PlayStation Now is pretty great, it’s just overshadowed by Game Pass. Subscribers will tell you that the service already has loads of amazing titles to play, and there’s more every month. Final Fantasy XV and Resident Evil 7 were added last month, with Dead Cells and Hitman 2 the month before. Here’s just a selection of the games you can currently play with PlayStation Now:

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
  • Bloodborne
  • DOOM
  • Fallout 4
  • God of War III Remastered
  • Gravity Rush 2
  • Metal Gear Solid V
  • Metro Exodus
  • Overcooked 2
  • The Evil Within 2
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Watchdogs 2
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order

There are loads more, but this article would be a mile long if I was to list them all. There’s also a very good selection of PS3 games to play if you’re broadband is up to streaming:

  • Devil May Cry HD Collection
  • Fallout 3
  • Fallout New Vegas
  • Every God of War
  • Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • Spec Ops: The Line
  • The Wolf Among Us

Again, there’s more but we’d be here all day. The notion that there’s nothing to play on the service has always been ridiculous to me. Sure, there’s a lot of chaff to wade through, but the great games are there for people to find. If Sony cleans up PlayStation Now a bit and keeps adding great titles every month and sprinkle in some of their top quality exclusives, it has every chance of competing with Xbox Game Pass. 

One of the best RPG's ever made is available to stream on PS Now.

One of the best RPG’s ever made is available to stream on PS Now

If I’m being realistic, I don’t think Sony will implement these changes. Their newly announced PS Plus Collection signals to me that they don’t plan on merging the services any time soon. It’s this reluctance to change which frustrates me the most. They have the games to completely outclass Game Pass in every way but distribute them very liberally. The amount of potential that PlayStation Now has is through the roof. However, if Sony continues this very cold approach to next-gen, Xbox will continue to dominate the PlayStation Now vs Xbox Game Pass debate. 

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