Xbox Games Pass vs PlayStation Now: Want to know if Microsoft or Sony is king of the on-demand game service? Read on to find out our verdict.
Let’s face it, while there are plenty of reasons to decry the decline of physical media, the writing’s on the wall: physical’s out, digital’s in. Sony and Microsoft have both made moves to capitalise on this shift, with their bespoke on-demand gaming services, PlayStation Now and Game Pass respectively.
While similar in nature, there’s a lot that separates Game Pass and PS Now apart, including price, perks and the number of games included. If you’re struggling to decide which one to sign up for, allow us to break down the key metrics and determine once and for all, which is better – PS Now or Xbox Game Pass?
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Xbox Game Pass vs PS Now – List of games included
The biggest selling point – but arguably the hardest one to pick apart. Similar to Netflix or Prime Video, most titles don’t stay on Game Pass or PS Now forever – the only ones that do are sure-fire exclusives like Gears 5 and The Last of Us. Even then, Game Pass has the upper hand as Microsoft has now made it customary for first party titles to also appear on Game Pass from day one of release, making it a solid investment for new content.
Working in PS Now’s favour however is the fact that it boasts considerably more titles than Game Pass, and that’s by a huge margin of roughly 400+ games. Originally intended as Sony’s workaround for the PS4’s lack of backwards compatibility, PS Now has a greater emphasis on last gen games, including a bunch of PS3 classics like Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and inFamous.
When it comes to modern titles however, Game Pass tends to edge out the competition ever so slightly by nabbing major titles like Kingdom Hearts 3, Nier Automata and No Man’s Sky.
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Xbox Game Pass vs PS Now – Price
Much like the respective library of games, the price for Game Pass and PS Now will play a huge factor in most people’s decision to sign up, but luckily the verdict is a little more clear cut this time around.
Game Pass can only be paid for as a monthly subscription, starting at £7.99 (for either console or PC). For £10.99 a month however, you can get access to both Game Pass for PC and console, alongside an Xbox Live membership, allowing you to play online and pick up additional free games via the Games with Gold program.
PS Now on the other hand has a slightly more expensive monthly rate of £8.99, but you can pay for a whole year’s access to the service for just £49.99 – an absolute bargain by any standards. The only problem is that if you want to play of PS Now’s games online, you’ll still need a PS Plus subscription.
Overall, while PS Now offers the cheapest price by a country mile, Game Pass – specifically Game Pass Ultimate – offers the best value for money by including Game Pass and Xbox Live in one easy to consume bundle.
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Xbox Game Pass vs PS Now – Streaming vs Downloading
Every single game featured on Game Pass can be downloaded directly to your Xbox console, meaning that they can also be played offline. All you need you to do is reconnect to the internet every 30 days to verify that your Game Pass subscription is still active.
While PS Now launched as a streaming only service – similar to Google Stadia – Sony has since added a list of titles eligible for download, but much like Netflix, this doesn’t apply to every single game that’s on the service. As a result, if you want to get the most out of your PS Now subscription, you’ll need a solid high-speed internet connection to see you through.
Xbox Game Pass vs PS Now – Additional perks
On top of the huge library of games that either service brings to the table, Game Pass and PS Now also boast some unique perks that could sway you. Doing its bit to attract the PC gaming crowd, Sony has introduced a PC app for PS Now, meaning that you’re no longer tied to your console whenever you want to stream one of the service’s games.
While PC compatibility for Game Pass will cost you a bit extra, the service does reward you for spending time playing its games. An ingenious idea that I would love for Sony to replicate, Game Pass lets you complete weekly quests in return for points, a currency that can then be exchanged for gift cards at real-world retailers such as John Lewis.
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Xbox Game Pass vs PS Now – Verdict
There’s no denying that PS Now has made some significant leaps over the last few years to become a serious contender for Game Pass, but Microsoft’s on-demand service still edges out as the top-dog thanks to a library of new first-party titles, the ability to download every game that’s listed and the innovative reward system that earns you real-life freebies just for playing games. For the time being, Xbox Game Pass comes out on top.