PlayStation Now vs Xbox Game Pass | Games, Prices, Perks & More!

Over the next few days and hours, gamers from around the world will be getting their hands on next-gen hardware. But this generation, more so than any other, consumers will also have to weigh the pros and cons of the various subscription services that go along with those platforms. So today we're going to run you through the most important ones, PlayStation Now, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Live Gold, and give you all the information you need to know before signing up.

PlayStation Now | PlayStation Now is the PlayStation equivalent of Xbox Game Pass, giving instant access to an ever shuffling library of games. Unlike Game Pass, which only has a monthly plan, PS Now also offers a $24.99 quarterly plan and a $59.99 yearly plan, with the 12-month plan breaking down to just $4.99 per month. The one drawback with PS Now is that PlayStation exclusives, which are ideally a selling point for the service considering how many hits PlayStation had this generation, are in rotation. Meaning that games like Days Gone will leave after a few months in place of other titles while games like Dishonored 2 have ongoing access.

Another thing to consider is that PS Now isn't required for PlayStation users. Yes, you won't have access to hundreds of games on the service but no functions are limited due to not having a subscription. That responsibility goes to PlayStation Plus.

PlayStation Plus Collection | PlayStation Plus is a required membership for players who want to go online and play multiplayer games with friends. Unlike Game Pass, PS+ is an easy service to gift because along with a monthly membership, it can also be purchased on a per-year basis. The monthly price of PS+ is $9.99/month while the yearly membership costs $59.99. That means each year you'll spend roughly $60 less getting the yearly subscription as opposed to 12 individual months, which is why it's an easy recommendation for the long run.

Along with online access, PS+ also gives PlayStation users free games and member-exclusive discounts. Each month there are two or three free games that members can add to their library and, as long as their Plus membership is active, they can play those games at any time. The free games for November 2020 are Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition, and the PS5 exclusive Bugsnax. Having a PS+ membership for a long time is an easy way to build up your PlayStation game library and while you never really own the games truly, because once you cancel your membership they disappear until you renew it, it's a great way to try new games that you might not have otherwise. The one drawback is that unlike Game Pass, where you can get access to the full library of games upon subscription, PS Plus only lets you play the games you've free purchased. This means that simply being a member will not ensure the games are yours, you need to actively sign-in, add to cart, and purchase the games for $0 at checkout.

This brings us to the PS+ Collection specifically. For the launch of the PlayStation 5, PS+ members will have the option of claiming a collection of games from the last generation, both first-party and third-party, that are "generation-defining." While we wouldn't necessarily call them that, it is an impressive list of games nonetheless and for players who are making the jump from Xbox to PlayStation, it's a fantastic way of experiencing some of the PlayStation 4 generations best exclusives. Here is the full list of games in the PlayStation Plus Collection:

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Battlefield 1
  • Bloodborne
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Zombies Chronicles Edition
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
  • Days Gone
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Fallout 4
  • Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition
  • God of War
  • inFamous Second Son
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Persona 5
  • Ratchet and Clank
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • The Last Guardian
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
  • Until Dawn

Xbox Game Pass | In this section we will cover both the $9.99/month Game Pass and the $14.99/month Game Pass Ultimate. Both services give members access to over 100 games, which includes big AAA releases as well as small indie darlings. A big promise of Game Pass is that all Xbox Game Studio titles will release day and date on the service. And considering how many companies are now under that roof, it is a huge plus to the program. Going into this upcoming generation, along with Halo Infinite and the next Gears of War game, Elder Scrolls VIAvowedStarfield, and more will be available immediately upon release. As for titles on Game Pass right now, we have several lists focused on Xbox Game Pass games including the 7 scary horror games and 7 great RPGs on the service, that we recommend checking out. It's also important to mention that starting tomorrow, November 10, EA Play will join Game Pass Ultimate at no additional cost.

Speaking of Ultimate, let's talk more about those differences. While Game Pass gives you access to all those great games and member-exclusive discounts and deals on Xbox consoles, Ultimate has an additional library of games that can be played on PC and Android mobile devices via xCloud. There are also occasional free in-game content and partner offers that are only available to Ultimate Members. For example, signing up to Game Pass Ultimate right now will give you access to 30 days of Disney+. Just enough time to binge all of The Mandalorian. Perhaps the biggest bonus for Ultimate however is the inclusion of Xbox Live Gold. While Gold has some perks in and of itself, like free Games with Gold each month and special deals, it's a required membership if you want to play multiplayer games on your Xbox. When considering that Gold, by itself, is $9.99/month, it's easy to see why Game Pass Ultimate is one of the best deals in gaming. As a cherry on top, your first month of Ultimate is just $1, allowing you to put it through its paces before paying the big bucks.

Xbox Live Gold | On the note of Gold, we just want to mention that although the subscription isn't as pushed by Microsoft, who have instead put all their eggs in the Game Pass Ultimate basket, the subscription is still available in 1-month and 3-month plans. As we said earlier, 1 month costs $9.99 while the quarterly plan is $24.99.

Games with Gold gives Gold members 2 to 4 free games every month and thanks to Xbox's commitment to backward compatibility, the monthly free games can range from newer releases to games released on the original Xbox. There are also Deals with Gold that gives members up to 50-75% off of games and other Microsoft Store content. Currently, GreedFall on Xbox One is 75% off, and Borderlands 3: Deluxe Edition is 50% off. The one negative about the Xbox online ecosystem is that, unlike on PlayStation and even Nintendo, free-to-play games like Fortnite still require Gold whereas no subscription is required on other platforms.

And that concludes our info dump on next-gen subscription services. If we're being honest, PS+ is a much better deal than Xbox Live Gold just from the quality of free monthly games alone. However, as great as some of PS Now's games are, Xbox Game Pass is a tough deal to beat. Moving forward, with Xbox's commitment to upping the value for Game Pass Ultimate, it's really a no brainer for Xbox and PC players. It is important to note for PlayStation players that getting a yearly membership to both PlayStation Now and PS Plus is cheaper than Xbox Game Pass Ultimate after 12 months.

As we head into the new generation, it's clear that exclusives are lacking for both sides and if you're picking up new hardware, these services are an ideal addition to your shopping cart because they give you immediate access to a wide range of games that will look, play and load better on the new systems. If you have any further questions regarding PlayStation Now, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Live Gold you can let us know in the comments or on social media @greatwhiteandco.

Post a Comment