Sony Can’t Compete With Xbox Game Pass

Sony Can’t Compete With Xbox Game Pass

The first console I owned was a PlayStation. Since then I’ve owned nearly every console Sony’s released — even the unfortunate PSP Go. But with age comes wisdom, and it’s time to accept that in the current console generation, Xbox just has a lot more to offer.

Xbox Game Pass is a Netflix-style catalogue with no PlayStation equivalent in Australia. It allows Xbox One and PC players to download a range of games on a monthly subscription basis. It costs between $10.95 and $15.95 for a bundled PC, Xbox One and Xbox Live Gold deal. The library contains around 250 games from a range of genres including indie titles and AAA games. While they come and go, there’s always a solid line-up of titles available.

The 12 Best Games On Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass is one of the best deals in gaming today. For $US10 ($15) a month, you get access to a Netflix-style library of video games that you can download and play whenever you want. Some marquee games hit the service the same day they’re released, as with The Outer Worlds. In other words, it’s no surprise that the subscription base has doubled over the past year.

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In some cases, Game Pass subscribers are even able to access brand new AAA titles on the service like The Outer Worlds, which was available at launch. For new subscribers, this meant they could play the game for $1, instead of $69.

Every month new titles are released onto the service for both Xbox One and PC. This month, players are able to access Kingdom Hearts 3, Yakuza 0 and Two Point Hospital, following the recent additions of Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Final Fantasy XV earlier this month. That’s whopping good value, particularly when one month costs about the same as a single lunch. It’s a dollar more than Netflix, and most of the games offer does and many of the games on the service offer 200+ hours of entertainment on their own.

As someone who hadn’t owned an Xbox before it felt sacrilegious to take the plunge. But on a cost-by-cost basis, purchasing an Xbox One just made sense. When I first booted up Game Pass and downloaded all the games I wanted to play, there were 61 in total. I was limited more by the size of the console than the line-up itself.

Let’s say that games cost around $40 on average. Buying all of these games individually would have cost over $2,440. I’d have never gotten around to playing them even after spending that much. My shame pile is legendary at this stage.

The service is also great for discovering new games. The older I get, the less time I have. That means I need to be judicious in what I play. Sometimes it means I miss indie gems. Thankfully there’s a veritable treasure trove of indies available on the service, including a bunch of great Aussie ones like Untitled Goose Game and Death Squared. It means that people are more likely to try a game that they wouldn’t otherwise buy.

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I’ve never wanted to own an Xbox console, if I’m being completely honest.

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One of the bigger ironies of Xbox Game Pass being such an enticing service for Aussie gamers is that PlayStation did it first and arguably better. PlayStation Now is a game streaming service that first launched in the U.S. in 2014. It rolled out in the UK, wider Europe and Japan in 2015.

But six years later, it still hasn’t launched in Australia.

PlayStation Now contains over 700 games from across three PlayStation console generations (Playstation 2, 3 and 4). Importantly, PlayStation 4 games are available to stream online or to download much like the service offered by Xbox Game Pass. While marginally more expensive at $US9.99 ($15.10) it offers a wider range and more features than Xbox’s streaming service.

While no official reason was given for its failure to launch in Australia, the decision was likely due to our poor internet speeds and a lack of local infrastructure. In 2019, Australia was ranked 68th in the world for internet speeds, far below the global average. And while PlayStation does have a data centre in Adelaide, the difficulties around Australia’s internet generally and our lower population density make it hard for Sony to justify spinning up more centres locally, which would make PlayStation Now more viable here.

That said, Sony added a download feature in 2018 for users with slower internet. This is also how games are offered by Xbox Game Pass locally. Still, there are still few noises about the service launching in Australia.

In December 2019, rumours began that PlayStation Now would actually be coming to Australia after an ad appeared and was removed from the PlayStation Store. Since then, no further word has been given. In the meantime, Xbox Game Pass has neatly filled the void that PlayStation Now left.

With the launch of services like Google Stadia and GeForce Now (neither available in Australia yet), streaming is slowly becoming the norm. The subscription model is more popular than ever as the cost of living rises and people look for more financially sustainable ways to game.

Xbox Game Pass is an essential service on Xbox – for most users it’s bundled into the price of their Xbox Live subscription – and its one of the few leading the streaming charge in Australia. PlayStation Now in Australia feels like a pipe dream, and even if rumours pan out to be true, it feels too late. Xbox has already won the early streaming wars, and we can only hope that with the launch of the next generation, Sony will have a more competitive offering in Australia.

The 12 Best Games On Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass is one of the best deals in gaming today. For $US10 ($15) a month, you get access to a Netflix-style library of video games that you can download and play whenever you want. Some marquee games hit the service the same day they’re released, as with The Outer Worlds. In other words, it’s no surprise that the subscription base has doubled over the past year.

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  • Xbox has already won the early streaming wars……Without actually offering any streaming?

    I’m nitpicking, but I basically agree with this whole article. GamePass is great – one of the few subscription services I actually pay for.
    If XCloud turns out alright and offers GamePass games as well, it will likely stomp all over the competition.
    Whether that means it will be any good with the state of our internet remains to be seen.

  • accept that in the current console generation, Xbox just has a lot more to offer.

    As someone with both consoles, its not that one sided. Xbox Game Pass is great and for those purchasing an Xbox now, its a fantastic way to obtain a ton of games right off the bat.

    But Sony has such an edge in the competition this gen, that even Game Pass is not enough to fully get them ahead.

    Exclusives: Sony has some of the best exclusives on the market. Spider-man, God of War, Horizon, Death Stranding (minus the PC Port), TLOU2, Uncharted, Bloodborne and much more. Xbox just does not have that edge. Sure its great to have all these games, but these games sell the console. People buy a PS4 to play Spider-man or God of War specifically. It’s the games that people recommend and hype up. And a lot of dirt cheap from time to time which helps the case.

    Online: While this is slowly being less of a thing, most people who haven’t jumped onto this gen yet but have friends that have, there is a good chance the friends are on PS4. This is just pure numbers, PS4 dominates the market, its just more likely. And its very common for people to buy consoles friends are using then get the opposite and can’t play online. And while Cross Play is slowly getting rid of this barrier, its still there for a majority of popular online games (Apex, BFV, SWBFII, Overwatch, Siege, GTAO/RDO)

    Really its exclusives that give PS4 the edge, it’s why they dominated most of this gen (however the E3 reveal did a number on early sales). And it’s why game Pass is a strong system seller, but it’s not THE deciding system seller for most people.

    However next gen, Sony might be in trouble. People buy the new Xbox and they have hundreds of titles right away while Sony will rely on upgrading users and there PS4 libraries to support players. Which for people jumping in for the first time, is not a good strategy (yeah they have there PS4 exclusives to buy, but selling PS4 games for a PS5 is not as good sounding then hundreds of FREE (with subscription) games from previous gen. (I might be wrong, but selling a console with tons of games with a sub vs a console that requires you to buy lots of last gen games, the former sounds better, even if they are also last gen)

    • Agreed, recently got a ps4 pro, the ps4 hits collection sold me honestly, bought a bunch of games at 17 each on special and they are all fantastic games.

    • Exclusives are really all I even care about. who gives a damn if Xbone wants to give away games. it doesn’t mean anything unless they are games that actually interest me. I don’t buy games that often and tend to stick to games with a lot of replayability so volume isn’t appealing in the slightest.

  • Completely agree, I own most major consoles and I recently let my Playstation Plus expire and moved that money to Game Pass. I’ll still buy major PS4 releases (excited for Dreams which is coming soon) but I’m getting older too and need to be selective about my purchases. On Game Pass I discovered Lonely Mountains: Downhill, a game I’d never buy but it’s so good to just play in between the larger stuff. The lack of Playstation Now (even just the download service) is a major mis-step in our market. If PS5 doesn’t solve that for us here in Oz, I’m extremely worried for Sony.

  • I would also suggest the following: most Playstation owners probably own a computer. It won’t necessarily be a gaming rig, but it will still be enough. Now, what if when the Series X launches, Microsoft also offers a year’s subscription to Game Pass + XCloud for the price of a AAA game- to anyone, not just Xbox/PC owners. This means that not even Playstation owners need miss out.

  • Im going to stick to paying for the games that i want, that tend to be on Sony Or Nintendo rather than the weak sauce offerings that are xbox games these days.
    People “worried” about Sony when they seem to actually produce content over a console that doesnt is weird.

    • I find that every so often my session has expired or whatever so it ignores my comments because it thinks I’m logged out or something. If I log out and back in again it’s all fine and recognises me again. It can often happen when you (as the site owner) reset servers or update things.

  • The fact that games leave GamesPass is what really puts me off. While I do have it, I play games at a slugs pace and often juggle 5 – 8 games at a time.

    • It’d be nice if there was a 30 day grace period for any game you have played during the gamepass period, so you know you need to get a move on with certain titles.

    • That seems like a significant omission for the article. (Says the person that will never part with his PS4 for PT reasons)

  • They have a section of games leaving soon, so you have like a month of a game being in the leaving soon section as a warning. And honestly it’s never that many, maybe 4 or 5 games a month

  • It’s such good value. Sony definitely has Microsoft beat in terms of exclusives, but if you’re a halo or gears fan like me getting them basically for free is so awesome. Also games like a Ori and such, so stoked. It’s super good value. It’s also great for like getting kids a console for Christmas, rather than having like one game they basically have an entire library on Christmas morning, if you open it up first and download stuff first beforehand that is

  • Eh, I’ll be cancelling my PC Game Pass sub as soon as it starts charging me (got three months free with my last GPU). It did provide me a way to try out Outer Worlds, and gave me the impetus to finish Gears 4 (and to play enough of Gears 5 to learn that it isn’t my cup of tea), but I don’t really want/need it for anything.

    It looks to be the final year of this console generation, and I still see no reason why I would get an Xbox – the MS exclusives I would want to play can be played on PC, and are few enough and cheap enough that subscribing to a $10/month service to get them doesn’t really make sense to me.

  • it offers a wider range and more features than Xbox’s streaming service.
    Three times it’s mentioned as a streaming service, however it shouldn’t be confused with xCloud.
    Also, it wasn’t mentioned that the value proposition increases even more over time — every first-party game comes to Game Pass day-and-date and stays in it for good (instead of cycling out after a year.)

  • It does compete and wins from a sheer quality point of view. The build quality of the machine is better, it’s software is better, it’s controller is better and longer lasting, his games are leaps and bounds above anything Xbox has done in years.

    PS4 doesn’t bombard its players with ads are every turn.

    yes game pass is good but it is a distraction,from all the above and let’s face it, it is no better than a year long Steam Sale. There is only so much gaming people can do in the year. Who has ever really gone back and played any of those games we bought to their completion?!!!

    Sure it might be nice if PS4 does something like that, but they don’t need to.

    Funny how the platform with the good value game pass is absolutely riddled with BUY BUY BUY ads every where, but the platform that doesn’t have is almost completely ad free. The worse PS4 has is a single icon on the main page during some big sales. You still have to click the link to get bombarded. That is worth more to me than a back catalogue of games I will never play.

  • I use the game pass on PC. Works great for finding games to play co-op with my 7yr old son. Currently playing through Astroneer together.

    The odd hing is that you only seem to need one subscription for two PCs….it even has a system where you can log into the store as one account but play the games as a different account. Makes me feel a little shady getting 2 copies of each game for $1 (still on the 3 months trial) but it seems to be an intended/allowed system as far as I can tell.

  • Xbox has only ever had one exclusive game that interested me (Gears of War) and then version #5 came out and that all went to hell. Xbox has nothing to offer as far as content goes, and it is a distant second to Sony in the console sales race.

    • How about buy once and play on
      1.all Xboxes
      2. Alienwares
      3. Surfaces

      If you want potable gaming,
      4. Alienware UFO is a good candidate
      5. OneMix2S + gamepad dock
      6. LattePanda Alpha + joucons
      7. OneGx
      8. Surface Neo

      If you have can access to a good internet
      9. Low specs WinClassic and WCOS.
      10. Android
      11. iOS.

      Better CP right?

    • Doesn’t have those but has others, plus, does PS has buy one and play on not just PSes/Xboxes but also on
      1. Alienware laptop
      2. Surfaces
      3. AlienwareUFO
      4. OneMix2d + gamepad dock
      5. LattePanda Alpha + joycon
      6. OneGx
      7. SurfaceNeo (a WCOS variant)
      8. Any low specs PC
      8. Android
      9. iOS

      PSPA isn’t possible.
      PS4 runs it games on native level (xb1 has 1 hypervisor and 2 VMs).
      PSNow != xCloud, you cannot stream latest games day 1.

  • Currently have the xbox pass on pc and a ps4. surely this is the best of all options? This way I don’t miss out on any of the big games. Only have to wait a year or two for the Nintendo games to be playable on the emulators…

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