2020’s console war is unlike any in history.
The battle won’t be won solely on a box’s horsepower or exclusives, but value.
Microsoft’s consumer friendly Game Pass has forced Sony to respond.
This week, Sony announced the Playstation Collection; a library of 18 of the best PS4 titles that will be available on day one for Playstation Plus subscribers on PS5.
The two services are not the same in price or content, what’s giving more bang for your buck?
Both Xbox and Playstation charge the same price to play online: $79.99 in Australia.
Excluding special offers, subscribing to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (which includes Xbox Live Gold) costs $15.95 per month.
At $191.40 per year, it’s an extra $111.41 per year to access Game Pass.
The Playstation Collection is included with Playstation Plus at no extra cost.
The Playstation Collection will launch with 18 PS4 titles.
Xbox Game Pass grants access to every first party Xbox Series X title at launch, like Halo Infinite, Avowed and Fable.
Game Pass also features more than 100 titles from Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
18 of the best are below:
Two games feature on both services: Resident Evil: Biohazard and Batman Arkham Knight.
Xbox Game Pass clearly wins on quantity, but how about…
Xbox’s is banking on big value from its upcoming exclusives like Halo Infinite and the addition of EA Play, with massive titles like Fifa and Madden available on Game Pass on day one.
But as it stands, many of Xbox’s 100+ Game Pass titles are smaller indies or pre-Xbox One titles.
That’s not to say they’re bad games, but many are older or lack the appeal of current generation AAA titles.
Here’s how those top 18 compare on Metacritic:
As it stands, Playstation’s 18 have a slightly higher average Metacritic score than the “top-18” on Xbox Game Pass.
Of course, this does not take every game into account on Xbox’s service. (You can find that here: https://www.xbox.com/en-AU/xbox-game-pass/games)
And it literally is every game on Playstation’s service.
This may seem obvious, but it could actually be a big deal for some.
You can play games in the Playstation Collection on Playstation 5. That’s it.
Xbox Game Pass is available on Xbox Series X, the cheaper Xbox Series S, Xbox One and – in many cases – PC.
There’s also an option to stream Game Pass to compatible phones for gaming on the go.
WHEN YOU CAN PLAY:
You can join and enjoy Xbox Game Pass today on Xbox One, PC and mobile, with Series X & S support when they launch on November 10, 2020.
The Playstation Collection will be available when the PS5 launches on November 12, 2020.
Can you compare apples and oranges?
Xbox’s Game Pass is more expensive but it has more games (of varying quality), is available on more platforms and promises some big additions with the likes of new Halo, Fable and EA Sports games on their way.
Sony’s Playstation Collection is a love letter to the Playstation 4. A bonus at no extra cost which gives a lot to new players and little to die-hard fans who already own most first-party exclusives. You’ll have to pay full-price for all new PS5 games, and there’s no guarantee the missing PS4 swansongs like The Last of Us: Part 2 or Ghosts of Tsushima will arrive in future.
The rift emerging between Microsoft and Sony’s strategy is one of principal.
Sony believes its heavy hitters are worth the price of admission, even if fewer people play.
Microsoft is selling its biggest names short to fundamentally change the way we buy and play games.
Rope enough people in and they’ll pay more in the long run; the average Xbox One owner bought 6.5 games this generation.
Ultimately, it’s a gamble.
Microsoft is going all in and forcing Playstation to call. Best part for gamers is, they’re getting a better deal than ever.