What PlayStation Now should learn from Xbox Game Pass

PlayStation Now (PS Now) and Xbox Game Pass are becoming increasingly similar. Microsoft's promised that Project xCloud game streaming will be a part of Xbox Game Pass soon. Sony now allows PS Now users to download games to their consoles. Let's take a look at why one has 10 million subscribers while the other has 2.2 million.

Read Full Story >>
Oculus Quest Giveaway! Click Here to Enter
SpaceRanger5d ago

“ While it's not an accurate comparison at the moment, Xbox Game Pass has a significant head start when it comes to content and business models over PS Now.“

They state this as if just having first party games on Xbox Game pass at lunch makes them better games. Content quality and quality always seem to be two separate conversations when it comes to any point someone makes with MS first party.

But as always, these articles make it seem like Sony has no intention of improving their services.

Spurg4d ago

Sony had an ample amount of time to significantly have a stronghold on the market and own it but for some strange reason MS came out of nowhere are snatch it from them. This is no doubt a massive gain for Microsoft going forward.

"Content quality and quality always seem to be two separate conversations when it comes to any point someone makes with MS first party."
It's weird that every time the conversation of quality pops up its people seem to ignore the big guns that's Gears 5, Forza Horizon, Halo 5, MCC, and Ori on gamepass. But when the topic of diversity within Xbox portfolio those games always are the ones mentioned.

"But as always, these articles make it seem like Sony has no intention of improving their services."
Their improvements came after Xbox gamepass came to the scene. But the bar is too high for Sony to attempt to take on Gamepass. I don't see them giving out their exclusives day one because it will significantly hurt them financially.

SpaceRanger4d ago

“ Sony had an ample amount of time to significantly have a stronghold on the market and own it but for some strange reason MS came out of nowhere are snatch it from them.”

You do realize that even with less subscribers Sony still holds a strong lead in market share. Nothing has been snatched. C’mon @Spurg, you can’t be that naive.

“ I don't see them giving out their exclusives day one because it will significantly hurt them financially.”

You say that as if you believe it... yet that to you somehow isn’t an issue for MS?

The Xbox division definitely does not have a blank check. None of their hardware divisions do. They’ve been clear on this for a good while. I mean seriously, we’re talking about the company that made the Zune and Surface...

caddytrek4d ago

but for some strange reason MS came out of nowhere are snatch it from them

Yea, that strange reason is called windows money.

Gamepass is so successful because Microsoft was able to subsidize it by paying millions of dollars to get big budget games while giving the service away for $1.

Microsoft has an unfair advantage they can just take losses that would put any other company out of business.

Ratchet754d ago

Why would they want bringing their games day one on psnow?
Makes no business sense.
It's like Disney bringing the next marvel movie on D± straight away.

Cupid_Viper_34d ago (Edited 4d ago )

I kinda knew that an article like this would eventually make its way to N4g. There was a similar one that failed yesterday.

rainslacker4d ago (Edited 4d ago )

MS came out of nowhere? Really? They talked up Game pass for close to a year before it even released. They started off kind of lackluster, then got a boost when they put what little they had to offer up there as day one downloads, essentially making their first party games cheaper than actually buying them.

MS is running a budget service. Pay us however much per year, get all our first party software, even if we don't release that much per year you're interested in, and you'll get some old games as well, with a few newish titles thrown in that will go away in a few months. We're pro-consumer, Xbox is great, play on PC so you can be an Xbox gamer, -cue Charlie Sheen "winning" meme-.

Sony spent years curating their content to offer a service which is what it is. It's not meant to replace the traditional console, but can suppliment it. Sony may be fine if PSNow does replace the console one day, but they certainly don't market it as the future, nor have PS fans going on about how it's the future.

MS has good content on GP. Sony has good content on PSNow. Both are great values. But in no way did MS come out of nowhere, and Sony did implement the most practical thing worth offering, which was PS4 game downloads.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 4d ago
CaptainCook4d ago

"Content quality and quality always seem to be two separate conversations when it comes to any point someone makes with MS first party."

Lets all forget Gears Tactics and Minecraft Dungeons that just released on Xbox Game Pass /s

SpaceRanger4d ago

Lol okay? You say “let’s all forget” like the gaming community didn’t already move on from Gears Tactics...

Cupid_Viper_34d ago (Edited 4d ago )

It seems so obvious why Microsoft is pushing Gamepass very hard (practically giving it away at times) while Sony isn't doing the same. For one company it makes all the sense in the world to go the "Netflix" route ASAP since its other 2 competitors are selling consoles and games by the boatloads while they themselves can't do that.

Let's take a look at what has happened in the gaming market since Gamepass came to be:

Gamepass: 3 years on the market - 10+ million subscribers - $9.99 ( we won't necessarily include the $1 promos). Still, these are great numbers rights? Now let's look at what the competition accomplished in that same time span. The

Nintendo Switch sold 55.77 Million consoles, at $350 a pop. [ Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 24.77 million ] [ Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - 18.84 million ] [ The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 17.41 million ] [ Super Mario Odyssey - 17.41 million ] [ Pokémon Sword/Shield - 17.37 million ] [ Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu/Eevee - 11.97 million ] [ Animal Crossing: New Horizons - 11.77 million (Currently sitting at 13.41 million) ] [ Splatoon 2 - 10.13 million ] [ Super Mario Party - 10.10 million ] [ New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - 6.60 million ]
These are the ONLY the top 10 selling games on the Switch.

So we can safely assume that, at least for the time being, Nintendo has ZERO intentions of liquidating their games on a subscription service $9.99/month when they can sell 146 MILLION games at $60/each. And again, this only accounts for their top 10 games.

Now in those same 3 years, Sony sold 40 million PS4, 6.5 million PSVR Headsets, added 11 million new PS+ members, also sold a whopping 650 million games (1st and 3rd party). I would do the break down of first-party games sales since 2017 but it would be too time-consuming for me. But we know that Sony has over 6 1st-party games that have sold more than 10+ million games each. In 2018, PSN alone made more money than the ENTIRETY of Nintendo, and we know that the Switch and its games sell like hotcakes.

A subscription "Netflix" model might very well be the future of gaming down the road, but for now, neither Sony or Nintendo are in a hurry to cannibalize their own business models to "wholesale" their entire games library for $9.99/month. I mean, cmon..

rainslacker3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

I'm going to be honest with you. Nothing against either of those games, but when's the last big game that MS released that really had staying power in the gaming media? What's the last game they released that really got tons of attention before release to be classified as one of those high profile games. What's the last game they released, and how quickly did it fade away into the back channels of the gaming media and general discussion?

You say, "lets forget" as if people are purposefully disregarding those titles to try and force a conclusion, but the reality of the matter is that most people aren't just forgetting, those games were never really a big thing to begin with. I'd wager plenty of people don't even know about those games, and while MS has made strides with Minecraft, I've never really felt the community as a whole associates Minecraft with Xbox in the way the people on hardcore console forums have been doing for a while now. I know Xbox fans love to go on about Minecraft due to it's overall success, but Minecraft is about akin to Angry Birds or Candy Crush. Yes, it's popular, but it's not one of those games that people gush on about endlessly. I've seen more talk about how minecraft is this uber-awesome system selling success, and all praise those who own it after MS brought it, than in all the years before MS was even involved with the title.

I think xbox fans are so desperate to make arguments, that they'll take whatever they can and make it into more than what it is. It's really a sad state when you go from last gen where they had Gears, Halo, Forza, Fable, and a slew of 3rd party exclusives worth talking about, to talking up a spin off SRPG that isn't even on the console, a purchased and rather simplistic but addictive creation sim, and a number of indie style through mid-tier titles as something worthy of comparison to the routinely released GOTY contenders from Sony and Nintendo....and Nintendo isn't even directly competing with MS in the same way as Sony is.

CaptainHenry9164d ago (Edited 4d ago )


He's that Naive. You were right

TheHan4d ago

@SpaceRanger; Well if Sony doesn’t make PS Plus a appealing service like Microsoft has with the Gamepass. Offering all first party games on the gamepass means that you get high quality games released day one to play. That allows millions of people to play said game without having to buy a game and have buyers remorse. Goes for all other third party games to, as well as those company’s making money for every download that’s made on the gamepass. Microsoft knew to bridge the gap between friendly developer/publisher sales practices as well as being consumer friendly. Which PS seems to lack in both.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3d ago
isarai4d ago

The only thing Gamepass does that PSNow doesn't is day one 1st party games. Not only that but their subs have grown from 700,000 to 2.2million in a matter of months. Pretty sure they'll be fine.

I personally dont care if either of them succeed or not, i've only used GP twice for Crckdown 3 and Gears 5 but i'd prefer to own physical copies of my games.

RpgSama4d ago (Edited 4d ago )

I mean, if Sony were giving away subscriptions at $1 AND on top of that adding all their first party games day one I guess they would have many, many more subscribers than what they have right now, actually I'm surprised they have as many as they do, that's a big thing for them and they did it on service alone, without giving anything away. And MS with all their doing they actually should have more in my opinion.

Atom6664d ago

I'm not surprised that their subs went up each time they improved it in meaningful ways:

1st - allowing downloads instead of just streams. Decent bump.
2nd - adding AAA PS4 games & slashing the price. Large bump in numbers.

Prices between the two are fairly comparable now. It might be cheaper for Now depending on your dedication to milking GP deals. I did the GP ultimate $1 conversion thing. I grabbed a bunch of 3 month XBL codes that each gave an additional month when entered (so 4 months) for $14.99 each. Converted it all to GP ultimate for a dollar when done.

For PS Now, I used the free trial (twice using a new profile) then entered the code I grabbed on sale for $50 for a year once my 2nd trial ended. (I thought about trying the unlimited hack that's been floating around, but I played it straight).

It's hard to compare pricing precisely, but I've personally been pretty thrifty and ended up investing about the same for 12 months of each.

It might have been a bit slow, but they have adapted instead of watching PS Now fail like PS Vue did. It's now a very good service that is competitive in price. They will likely hit that 5 million target next year that Ryan was talking about.

rainslacker3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

I'm not big on sub services in general, and I wouldn't even have Netflix and question if I want to keep Amazon Prime(which I have for something other than streaming), but the wife likes it, and we cut the cord on cable a few years ago. But, for $1 for a year or three....heck yeah. even if they didn't have their games day one.

I would have gotten it on Xbox for $1, but I didn't feel like subscribing to XBL, which was required for the promotions. It was a good value, but I didn't see the point since most games on it I want to play, I already own, and what new games they might make, it'd still be cheaper to just buy than getting an XBL sub for however long. I'm still holding onto my free trial for something. Not sure what, just nothing yet that really makes me want to take advantage of it yet. PSNow, I have tried the trials in the past, as there have been several through the years. Never used it since they started doing downloads. I keep finding the way I consume my games isn't condusive to sub style distribution, as I can spend a long time on a single game, and I'm kind of a slow starter when choosing a new game to play, so sub services make that even more annoying for me.

SegaGamer4d ago


It's not just 1st party games, they got Streets of Rage 4 on there the day it released.

Also, as a pc only player these days, PS Now has very little appeal to me in it's current state. Streaming isn't a great way to play games, the app itself is crap and lacks basic features, controller support outside of dualshock 3 and 4 isn't great, and I can't download any games, unlike on Game Pass where I can download every single one of them.

Outside_ofthe_Box4d ago

"Let's take a look at why one has 10 million subscribers while the other has 2.2 million"


rainslacker3d ago

I'd say probably the cheap ass trials, that are generally pretty lengthy instead of just one month. It is a good value overall at regular price, but I don't think it's the kind of value that drives people to subscribe at the rate that MS has seen. This leads me to believe that MS is either not quite truthful with the numbers, or they managed to procure a signficant number of cheap buy ins. However, adding PC into the mix does change the metrics, but it's hard to believe they got that much of their user base on console making up those kinds of numbers.

Outside_ofthe_Box3d ago

I mean trials play a role, but I also feel MS is more in your face about it. After all they did say they view Google and Amazon as their main competitors so it makes sense for them to try and jump on the lead in this space. But I also feel that Sony is going to push Now more upon PS5 launch. Guess we'll see.

rainslacker3d ago

No doubt MS is being aggressive with their marketing. I don't think anyone can deny that, no matter how much they may want to talk bad about MS. Whether that's a good or bad thing changes among those people. But, I do think that the really cheap, rather lengthy promotional pricing does have a big role in how many people are signing up. If I could have gotten a year or two for $1, I would have, but I didn't feel like spending extra on the XBL membership which was required to get those specials. The month long ones at that price i either am not at a place where I want to take advantage of it, or I miss it because I'm not paying attention. I still have a one month free trial I can use at some point.

I think overall, the service is a good value, and I've stated that repeatedly. But in general, sub services like these aren't conducive to the way that I personally play games, so I see less benefit from paying the regular price. I say if it works for people though, then certainly take advantage of the rates, because you do get a good number of quality games pretty cheap. If they maintain the value and quality for the long term, I think they'll be pretty successful in terms of user count. Whether it's profitable for MS is for them to worry about. Long term effects of services like these for the consumer, and general industry remain to be seen, and I think getting into the pros and cons is really more speculation at this point.

joejoejoe4d ago

Of course Gamepass has 10 million, it's $1/month. The real figure I'd like to see is how many people actually keep their subscription after the trial. I imagine it's extremely low, considering the lack of quality content on the service.

glennhkboy4d ago

I do. I've kept it for a year now.

Deebo_slice4d ago

I have. The PC version that is. I play Primary PS4 but, this is a way to not miss out on Xbox games and sample some others. At $5 a month, it is a steal.

joejoejoe4d ago (Edited 4d ago )

Oh yeah, the PC version is only $5/month. That's actually a decent deal. $10 is way too much for what's offered, but $5.... tempting. Can you play online with that? I know the console version still requires a separate XBL subscription.

Speaking of which, wow. M$ really goes out of their way to screw over their console fanbase. Not only are there no more console exclusives, but their biggest selling feature is half price on PC. If I had an XBone I'd be livid.

Kerppamaister4d ago

@joe there's more games on xbox game pass than on the pc side of it

Dissidia4d ago

Lack of quality content on the service? Even if you skip all MS first party offerings on Game Pass, you still get access to

Yakuza Series
Kingdom Hearts Series
Witcher III
Nier Automata

That’s just what’s currently there and what I could think of. The value continues to be added for many people who simply love to play games and may have missed out on some of this generation’s best.

Scoff at 10 million and make excuses all you want, while you’re at it watch the number continue to grow.

SegaGamer4d ago

I'll add more

Streets of Rage 4
A Plague Tale Innocense
Void Bastards
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy XV
Metro Exodus
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Dead Cells

milohighclub4d ago

I account for 2 subs at 1 dollar. Probably makes up most the customers.

Remember the 360s "sales figures"

SegaGamer4d ago

"considering the lack of quality content on the service"

What a load of bollocks. There are a ton of highly rated games on game pass.

Tedakin4d ago

Every Halo, Every Gears of War, Ori, Ori 2, Sea of Thieves, Red Dead Redemption 2, Rare Replay, Every Forza..... lack of quality content?

joejoejoe4d ago (Edited 4d ago )

Is Rare Replay actually playable on PC through Gamepass? As far as I know it isn't purchasable.

Dissidia4d ago

Replied to Deebo_slice in order to keep spewing nonsense, but didn't reply to me or SegaGamer. Your comments are foolish, have fun.

milohighclub4d ago

I didnt even play the games at $1 I've signed up twice at $1 blasted some of their "big hitters" realised most the library is wank didn't play it after the first day. I think I got a week or so of playtime in of gears and state of decay the first time I subbed. Everything else was shit really.

Just been spoilt by years of really good games on playstation, I felt I wasted my dollar tbh.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 4d ago