Among the slides of the corporate strategy meeting headed by Sony Corp President and CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida, we got a quick look at PlayStation Now’s performance since its incredibly sluggish start in 2014. Thanks to a shake-up of its service in October 2019, featuring price slashes and new additions of much better games to its catalogue, Sony has reported a jump in subscribers from over 1 million at the end of March 2019 to over 2.2 million at the end of April 2020.
As the slide put it, catalogue enhancement has been at the heart of Sony’s initiative to make PlayStation Now more attractive. It introduced marquee games: big-hit, platform exclusive titles being available on the service for a limited time. Until January 2020, these included God of War, Infamous: Second Son and Uncharted 4. Most recently, Marvel’s Spider-Man was added, which is available until the 7th of July 2020. Among third-party titles, PlayStation Now subscribers were greeted with additions like Control and Just Cause 4.
PlayStation Now is still massively behind rival service Xbox Game Pass. PlayStation Now has recorded 2.2 million subscribers, which is great, but Game Pass subscriptions hit 10 million as of the same time and it’s not hard to see why. The most frustrating gap in quality that Sony refuses to gap with PlayStation Now is only offering its console-exclusive titles months, or even years, after release for a limited time. That’s in addition to its current game catalogue of over 650 titles with a monthly fee of £8.99 (UK) and $12.99 (US).
Game Pass however, at lower monthly pricing (£7.99 UK and $9.99 US), offers its first-party games from launch, PERMANENTLY. That’s right. So including Xbox games like Gears 5, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves and even the upcoming Halo Infinite, Xbox had long since stated that they would add console-exclusive titles Game Pass from day one, and as they’re Xbox’s own titles, have no exit-date from the service, offering optimal value to their subscribers.
PlayStation Now improving its service is wonderful, making its jump in subscribers all the more understandable. However, its service improvements are only being drip-fed to its community, so that Sony can see if their own gaming subscription service can catch up to Xbox’s Game Pass with the bare minimum required, keeping its purse strings as tight as they can. Well, Game Pass having almost 5 times as many subscribers shows that they’re still not doing anywhere near enough.
If you’re lucky enough to own consoles from both platforms, Game Pass is definitely the gaming subscription service to go with. Its catalogue of games aren’t all full of 10/10s, but it’s got an unrivaled selection of brilliant and exclusive titles at an even better price.