Xbox has long held the title of the most popular gaming subscription service, and Game Pass promised to be one of the Series X’s biggest selling points as we enter the new console generation. But it suddenly looks like PlayStation Now aims to strip that advantage away.
Sony has quietly doubled the number of PS Now subscribers since last year. Despite still lagging far behind Xbox’s Game Pass numbers, it’s clear the service is gaining momentum.
If Sony doubles down on PS Now ahead of the PS5 launch later this year, they could quite realistically make it the biggest gaming subscription service of the next console generation.
One of the biggest advantages that Game Pass has over PS Now is that it features AAA titles at launch. The best example of this was Gears 5, which was available to subscribers from day one.
This was a massive selling point for the service. Why buy the game at launch when you can access it via GamePass for a fraction of the cost? That is a lesson that PS Now always needed to learn.
Until relatively recently, hardly any of Sony’s prestigious IPs have featured on PS Now. When Spider-Man came to the service, it made it enormously more attractive to mainstream consumers.
If Sony wants to keep this forward momentum going, they need to commit to listing more first-party IPs, even if it translates into a decrease in game sales.
PlayStation has assembled an enviable roster of first-party exclusives. Spider-Man is good, but franchises like God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn might be even better.
It’s inexplicable that neither of those two latter titles has launched on PS Now. And it’s even more baffling because Horizon Zero Dawn is about to launch on PC this summer anyway.
Then again, it’s encouraging that PS Now has managed to grow so quickly without Sony pulling out its trump cards. But as gamers debate whether to purchase a PS5 or Series X, it’s time for Sony to pull out all the stops to make its platform as attractive as possible.
With some release-day launches and more core IPs, PlayStation Now could really start to square up against Xbox Game Pass.
And eliminate a key Series X selling point in the process.
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