With gamers playing more games than ever, Microsoft’s Game Pass has been a massive hit and huge draw card for the company. It has definitely lured some gamers over from PlayStation, and it is this Sony is trying to address with an update to its PlayStation Plus subscription service. It now offers a comparable service to that of Game Pass and Switch Online.
If you’re a console owner trying to figure out the best deal, here’s a breakdown of what each service offers, as well as their prices.
PlayStation Plus Essential costs $9.99 per month (or you can get a steep discount by paying $59.99 yearly) and is basically how PlayStation Plus works now. Players will get online multiplayer access, cloud storage for saved games, and two games to download and keep per month.
PlayStation Plus Extra is essentially the Xbox Game Pass tier. It’s $14.99 per month (or, again, save by paying for the year upfront at $99.99). It grants you everything in the Essential tier, plus access to a library of what Sony called the “most enjoyable” PS4 and PS5 games for download. However, unlike Game Pass, if you want PC streaming or previous-gen PlayStation games, you have to go up the next tier.
PlayStation Plus Premium rolls the two lower tiers together and adds cloud streaming of PS3 games and streaming or downloading of original PlayStation, PS2, and PSP games. At $17.99 per month (or $119 yearly), this tier is the retro games special.
A major difference between these three tiers and its biggest competition, Game Pass, is that it doesn’t offer first-party PlayStation Games at launch. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said that they’re in “a virtuous cycle” with their studios and that releasing new games at launch on these new subscription services would break that cycle. “It’s not a road that we’re going to go down with this new service,” Ryan said.
Nintendo Switch Online
The subscription service from the mobile console is the most different compared to its contemporaries. They have less brand new games, offering new ones every now and again. Their service is also the cheapest across the various tiers.
Switch Online is a basic $19.99 per year subscription grants you the ability to play online multiplayer for the appropriate Nintendo games, as well as access to a slew of NES and SNES titles. Every month, new (old) games are added, and you have access to them for as long as you’re a subscriber.
Switch Online + Expansion Pack is a premium tier that was recently added. For $49.99 per year, the Expansion pack grants all the amenities of a basic subscription, plus access to an ever-expanding library of Sega Genesis and Nintendo 64 titles, new Mario Kart 8 Deluxe courses, and an Animal Crossing: New Horizons DLC Happy Home Paradise.
Xbox Game Pass
This is certainly the biggest and widest variety of games in a library available today. It is also very generous with day on offerings for new games. Microsoft’s recent acquisitions will certainly just make this even a bigger draw card.
Game Pass costs $9.99 per month ($119 yearly), which includes EA Play for PC — Electronic Arts’ subscription service that offers the publisher’s games like Dragon Age, FIFA, and more through Game Pass.
Game Pass Ultimate costs $14.99 per month ($179 yearly), and includes Game Pass for Console, PC, EA Play offerings, and online multiplayer.