Before we get into how Microsoft’s Game Pass is bad for consumers, and game studios in general, let’s start this out with the official news from Sony about their Game Pass competitor service. Sony’s PlayStation Now will join the current PlayStation Plus service, and combine their individual properties with some other stuff in a tiered offering. Currently, PS Now offers game streaming and downloads from past and current PS4 libraries. PS Plus allows for online play, free monthly games, and special PS Store discounts.
PlayStation Plus Essential
- Provides the same benefits that PlayStation Plus members are getting today, such as:
- Two monthly downloadable games
- Exclusive discounts
- Cloud storage for saved games
- Online multiplayer access
- There are no changes for existing PlayStation Plus members in this tier.
Price: for PlayStation Plus Essential remains the same as the current price for PlayStation Plus.
- $9.99 monthly / $24.99 quarterly / $59.99 yearly
PlayStation Plus Extra
- Provides all the benefits from the Essential tier
- Adds a catalog of up to 400* of the most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games – including blockbuster hits from our PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners. Games in the Extra tier are downloadable for play.
- $14.99 monthly / $39.99 quarterly / $99.99 yearly
PlayStation Plus Premium
- Provides all the benefits from Essential and Extra tiers
- Adds up to 340 additional games, including:
- PS3 games available via cloud streaming
- A catalog of beloved classic games available in both streaming and download options from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations
- Offers cloud streaming access for original PlayStation, PS2, PSP and PS4 games offered in the Extra and Premium tiers in markets where PlayStation Now is currently available. Customers can stream games using PS4 and PS5 consoles, and PC.
- Time-limited game trials will also be offered in this tier, so customers can try select games before they buy.
- $17.99 monthly / $49.99 quarterly / $119.99 yearly
Why Game Pass Is Actually Bad, But Inevitable
I have been reading complaints of how there is no mention of first-party AAA titles coming to the new PS Plus. I would say they are not coming “yet.” People seem to think that offering several games that usually cost $60-$80 to people for a SHARE of a $20 subscription is sustainable. As in, they will continue to receive the same quantity and quality of games in this new era as they did before. They’re wrong. I just gave you the basic math. Instead of a studio selling their games and sharing that full price profit within their company, many studios under an umbrella will be forced to share from a larger pool fed by less money. Also, that pool will need constant growth to maintain quality and quantity. However, its the idea of games as a service becoming the norm for consoles, and PC potentially, that is really awful.
Microsoft’s Game Pass offers consumers a great deal, and I am not denying that Sony’s offering lacks the same appeal. I am stating that GP is not a sustainable platform without severely overhauling gaming in general. Studios will have to look at making up for less revenue by lowering the quantity of games, reducing quality, or making you spend more on stuff in game. Think of all of the Gotcha games, and mobile games in general, and the loot boxes that everyone seems to hate. Imagine that pay to win, pay to spin, pay to not suffer crap infecting BioShock 4, Final Fantasy XVI, or even the next Horizon game. It would likely be the games after those to feel the full effects of this new world order, but you get the picture. Just look at reactions to Gran Turismo 7’s use of real world money for cars.
Sony Will Fall To This Too
With PS Plus focusing on offering older games, demos, and Sony exclusive discounts they are hoping to offer gamers a huge library that are only available via resellers and some perks within their ecosystem. This allows studios, including Sony, to make full price on new games sold for the PlayStation and entice people to stick with the PlayStation brand without sacrificing too much revenue. IT’S BUSINESS 101! However, don’t think this is me shilling for Sony. If you know my feelings on gaming subscription services you know I am not a fan of them in general due to consumer behavior. Also, I hate Sony Pictures/Columbia! They have ruined too many things for me! However, Sony will have no choice but to start offering newer and bigger titles within its service. The people want it, despite not seeing the bigger picture.
Many people do not think of what happens when a game they love leaves the service. They lose their library despite having payed hundreds of dollars over years, but can no longer afford the subscription. They don’t think about smaller studios and projects not getting to float on the money from big sellers. Basically, they see less money coming out of their wallet, up front, and more games in their grasp RIGHT NOW. It is the very definition of short sightedness.
Look at the struggles of movie and TV streaming. Look at Disney missing numbers for Disney+ and Netflix constantly raising prices. We’re consuming ourselves to less stuff to consume. The only question is, how long will Nintendo hold out against this?
What do you think of Sony’s new PlayStation Plus details? Do you think subscription services are sustainable? Let us know in the comments below.