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5 Lessons PlayStation Now Needs to Learn from Xbox Game Pass

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:17 PM
William Worrall
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:17 PM
  • Xbox Game Pass is a great service, as evidenced by its user base.
  • PSNow has struggled to compete.
  • There are at least five lessons PSNow could take away from Game Pass.

Xbox Game Pass is a pretty stellar service. It doesn’t require a strong internet connection, it’s fairly priced and gives you access to loads of great games. It’s a shining beacon of inspiration to other game subscription services on the market.

PSNow is less impressive. Sure, it boasts a bigger library of games, but size isn’t everything. PSNow has never been able to rival Game Pass, despite being around since 2014. In fact, PSNow has only 700,000 users  compared to Game Pass’ 9.1 million users . Pretty shocking considering the PS4 has outsold the Xbox One by a landslide .

With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at five lessons PSNow could stand to learn from Microsoft’s game subscription if it wants to be a more successful service.

1. PSNow Costs Too Much

This is something that PSNow is already in the process of learning. People don’t want to pay $20-a-month for game streaming. Considering how unstable live game streaming can be, it’s just too much to pay for a service that only sort of works.

Compare that to Xbox’s service which costs half the price, and it’s clear that Sony has the right idea in lowering its prices.

2. Game Pass is More Convenient

While PSNow might be on-par with Game Pass cost-wise these days, it still needs to offer more convenient options. Recently, Xbox announced Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a service that combines Game Pass for PC and Xbox One with Xbox Live.

All three services on their own would cost you around $10 each month. In the ‘Ultimate’ package the cost for all three together is halved down to just $14.99, bringing abundant savings on a better service.

3. Xbox’s Service has New Releases

PlayStation has some amazing first-party titles. PSNow even has more than five times the games that Game Pass has. The one thing that PSNow doesn’t have is timely releases. PlayStation is determined to squeeze as many sales as possible out of their new releases.

Gears 5, Gears of War 5
AAA big-hitter Gears of War was made available to subscribers on the day of launch. | Source: Microsoft

On Game Pass you could play Gear 5 the day it was released. This meant the game had three million players on its first weekend alone . Not only that, but Halo Infinite will be on the service the day of its release, meaning more people will get to play it. PlayStation could do with following that example if it wants PSNow to be an attractive option.

4. Game Pass Helps You Play More

A true measure of Game Pass’ success? It’s proven to help gamers to simply play more games.

According to figures from GameIndustry.Biz’s investor summit , Game Pass subscribers bought 40% more games then they had before subscribing. This even applied for games that weren’t part of the service.

xbox game pass
XBOX Game Pass is enabling gamers to play more game than they otherwise would or could. | Source: Mark RALSTON / AFP

Further, 91% said they had played games they wouldn’t have if not for the service. Subscribers also appear to play around 30% more genres then they did before joining the service. Such impressive growth is good for both gamers and the companies involved in the service.

5. You Don’t Need a Good Internet Connection

Probably the best lesson PSNow could learn is the need for a ‘download’ option. As it stands you need a fast, always-on internet connection for PSNow and even then it isn’t guaranteed to work well.  With Game Pass even if your connection sucks you can just wait for a game to download and be sure it’ll play smoothly.

There you have it – five lessons PSNow needs to learn from Game Pass to really compete in the marketplace. That is unless Google Stadia turns out to actually be any good and ruins things for both of them.