Published:
January 2, 2020 6:39 PM UTC

PlayStation Plus’ January Free Games Pale in Comparison to Xbox’s Great Deal

Despite a stronger showing from Sony in the past few months, PlayStation Plus January looks like it's pretty much handing the win to Xbox.

  • Xbox and PlayStation announced their ‘free’ game collections for January 2020.
  • Xbox is offering four games over the month, including Styx: Shards of Darkness and Tekken 7.
  • Sony is offering Uncharted the Nathan Drake Collection and Goat Simulator, a package that doesn’t seem to measure up to Microsoft’s offerings.

Free game collections are super common these days. The Epic Games Store has been giving away tons of free games to win supporters. Sony and Microsoft are probably the two most famous givers of ‘free’ titles. They’re constantly competing to offer the best games to their subscribers. PlayStation has recently managed to claw back a certain level of quality with the releases.

Obviously there are exceptions to the rule. It was pretty cool of PlayStation to offer The Last of Us Remastered back in October. But, on average, Xbox has managed to provide better Games with Gold than Sony has for PS+. Despite a stronger showing from Sony in the past few months, PlayStation Plus January looks like it’s pretty much handing the win to Xbox.

Uncharted might be a decent game, but everyone who cares already owns it; and let’s face it, Goat Simulator is a joke that runs out of steam pretty damn quickly. | Source: PlayStation

PlayStation Plus January Is a Pretty Lackluster Selection For Several Reasons

The games coming to Xbox this month are pretty great. Not only do they include a great stealth co-op title that not enough people have played, but they also managed to pack in three other games over the course of the month. The selection is nice and broad, offering stuff you can play solo or with other people in varying degrees.

Turning over to PlayStation Plus, we have two games. The first is the Nathan Drake Collection, which compiles the single-player campaigns of the first three Uncharted games. While these games are widely considered to be pretty dang good, they’ve also all been free on the service before, albeit not in a package that made them playable on PS4 but still.

The only other game on offer is Goat Simulator, a game about running around a physics simulator abusing people, as a goat. Whether or not you enjoy Goat Simulator is going to be pretty subjective. But, personal experience tells me that the novelty wears off pretty effin quickly. That’s why if you search the game now, you’ll find there are 40 different versions of the same game trying to capitalize on how ‘hilarious’ ragdolling is.

Sony Needs to Step Up Their Game

Not so long ago, Sony used to offer more games with their ‘free’ games service. Before March 2019, you used to get games for the PS3 and Vita alongside PS4 games. Part of the reason this was stopped was that those consoles were pretty much dead (unfortunately). Of course, this hasn’t stopped Xbox from giving away 360 games, so what’s the difference?

Well, obviously the main difference is that PlayStation 4s have zero backward compatibility at all. You cannot play any previous generations’ games on the PS4 unless Sony specifically ports it for you, or by subscribing to PSNow I guess. Either way, when Sony stopped providing the extra games, a certain jump in quality was expected but only half delivered upon.

While we’ve had a few months of decent games, the loss of games from PS+ hasn’t been tempered by an increase in quality or features. Realistically it would have been nice to have Sony make some sort of gesture, such as allowing people to keep their Vita and PS3 games permanently from now on instead of still requiring a PS+ subscription despite no longer being supported by the service.

Overall, if PlayStation Plus January’s free games are anything to go by, Sony really needs to buck up their ideas for 2019’s ‘free’ games.

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

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Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:40 PM UTC

William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Contact him at: william.worrall@ccn.com

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