PlayStation Plus vs Xbox Game Pass: Which to Choose?

Estimated read time 9 min read

Sony and Microsoft have both ventured into the realm of subscription-based gaming services, akin to Netflix for video games. With PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass, gamers can dive into a vast library of games for a monthly fee. The sheer volume of available games is so immense that it could take a considerable amount of time to explore them all.

Both services come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. This guide aims to shed light on these aspects, helping you make an informed decision, especially if you’re on the fence about which console to invest in. It’s crucial to understand the nuances of each service to ensure you get the best value for your money.

Xbox Game Pass UltimatePlayStation Plus Premium
For a monthly fee of $17, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate provides a subscription reminiscent of Netflix, granting access to a vast array of games suitable for both Xbox and PC. Additionally, it encompasses the Xbox Live Gold service, essential for online Xbox gameplay. A notable perk for members is the ability to stream games directly to their mobile devices.On the other hand, at $18 per month, PlayStation Plus Premium offers its users the capability to engage in online gameplay, download a plethora of games, and stream a curated selection of titles to PlayStation consoles and personal computers.
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Playstation Plus

Sony initially launched its subscription service as “Sony Now” in 2015, offering users the chance to stream a plethora of Sony games, both classic and contemporary. However, in June 2022, Sony revamped its offering, introducing three distinct tiers under the “PlayStation Plus” banner: Essential, Extra, and Premium.

Essential PS Plus: This tier provides subscribers with one PS5 game and two PS4 games each month. Additionally, it offers online multiplayer capabilities and cloud storage. Subscribers also enjoy exclusive discounts on games for the Sony PlayStation console.

PS Plus Extra: This tier grants access to a collection of over 400 PS5 and PS4 games, all of which can be downloaded. Notably, this plan includes Ubisoft+ Classic titles, allowing users to enjoy some of Ubisoft’s most renowned games without any additional charges.

PS Plus Premium: This is the most comprehensive tier, combining the features of both Essential and Extra. Subscribers can stream and download PS5 and PS4 games, while PS3 games are available for streaming only. The game library is further enhanced with titles from PS1, PS2, and PSP, adding over 340 games to the existing collection. Ubisoft+ Classic titles are also part of the package.

To utilize the streaming feature, a stable internet connection is required, with Sony suggesting a minimum speed of 5 Mbps. While streaming offers the convenience of not downloading, it might occasionally suffer from lag and fps drops.

Xbox Game Pass

The Xbox Game Pass caters to both Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S users. Additionally, there’s a version for PC users with Windows 10 or 11. Historically, the Game Pass only allowed game downloads. However, Microsoft has since incorporated a streaming feature, eliminating the need to consume storage space for trial games. To engage in online gaming, subscribers need either Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

The Xbox Game Pass is straightforward, devoid of tiered structures. Subscribers have unrestricted access to titles from all Xbox generations and can download as many as their storage permits. To maintain the subscription, a check-in with Xbox Live is mandatory every 30 days. The game roster on Xbox Game Pass is dynamic, with some titles being added and others removed. However, subscribers benefit from discounts on game purchases and their DLCs from the catalog.

PlayStation Plus Vs Xbox Game Pass: Pricing and Plans

Both services kick off with a starting price of $10 per month. PlayStation Plus, with its tiered structure, offers varied pricing. Subscribers can opt for monthly, quarterly, or annual payments. Check out the price comparison in the table below:

Xbox Game Pass Core$10 a month, $60 per year
Xbox Game Pass for Console$11 a month
Xbox Game Pass for PC$10 a month
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate$17 a month
PlayStation Plus Essential$10 a month, $25 quarterly, $60 per year
PlayStation Plus Extra$15 a month, $40 quarterly, $100 a year
PlayStation Plus Premium$18 a month, $50 quarterly, $120 a year

For a mere $10 monthly, the Xbox Game Pass offers both console and PC gamers full access to the Xbox game collection, allowing them to download any title of their choice. However, streaming isn’t an option with this package. If streaming is what you’re after, you’d need to opt for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at $15 monthly.

On the other hand, PlayStation Plus offers a range of plans. Starting with the Essential plan at $10 per month, users receive three games for download and can play online with others. For a broader gaming experience, the PS Plus Extra at $15 monthly grants complete access to the Sony PlayStation game catalog. Yet, if streaming is your preference, the PS Plus Premium at $18 monthly is the way to go.

PlayStation Plus Vs Xbox Game Pass: Game Library

Both PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass are designed with the aim of offering users a vast collection of games, akin to what Netflix provides for movies and series. While both platforms boast impressive game libraries, their strategies for curating and updating their selections differ.

Sony typically takes a few months before incorporating the latest games into their PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium levels. In contrast, Microsoft ensures that new releases are immediately available on their Xbox Game Pass. This is a significant advantage for those eager to dive into the latest games right off the bat. However, for indie game enthusiasts, Sony’s approach of adding these games to all their PS Plus packages from day one might be more appealing.

Both gaming giants have also formed alliances with numerous game studios to enrich their offerings. For instance, if titles from EA Games like Need for Speed, the Sims, or Star Wars captivate you, the Xbox Game Pass might be your best bet, especially since these can be enjoyed on the Xbox console. Additionally, Microsoft’s collaboration with Riot allows Game Pass for PC users to indulge in League of Legends. Conversely, Sony’s partnership with Ubisoft ensures that their game selection, along with the Ubisoft+ Classic games roster, is available on the PlayStation console. So, if franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Tom Clancy are your favorites, PS Plus might be the way to go.

It’s worth noting that not every game remains indefinitely in the libraries of Microsoft or Sony. The availability largely hinges on the game’s publisher. While all proprietary games, those developed and released by Microsoft or Sony, are permanent fixtures, third-party titles might see rotation. This is particularly true for newer games with a predetermined availability duration. However, iconic first-party games generally remain accessible without interruption.

Here are some of the most popular and successful games available on each console subscription service.

Most Popular PS Plus Games

  • God of War
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Doom Eternal
  • Final Fantasy 16
  • Spiderman
  • Death Stranding
  • Red Dead Redemption II
  • Assassin’s Creed franchise

Most Popular Xbox Game Pass Games

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • Ghostwire: Tokyo
  • Minecraft Legends
  • Goat Simulator
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Among Us
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Mass Effect

PlayStation Plus Vs Xbox Game Pass: Online multiplayer and saves

Every PlayStation Plus subscription comes with built-in support for online multiplayer gaming. In contrast, Xbox mandates either the Xbox Game Pass Core or its premium offering, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, for users to access online gameplay.

Additionally, PlayStation Plus subscribers benefit from the capability to store their PlayStation game progress in the cloud. On the Xbox side, the cloud save feature is generously available to all Xbox users at no extra cost, eliminating the need for a Game Pass or any other paid subscription.

Setting PlayStation Plus apart from Xbox Game Pass is the unique Share Play feature. This allows PlayStation Plus members to share their gameplay screen with fellow PlayStation console users online. It simulates an offline multiplayer experience and even permits sharing games with buddies who might not own a particular title.

PlayStation Plus Vs Xbox Game Pass: Cloud Gaming

Cloud Gaming, also known as Game Streaming, is a feature available with both Xbox Game Pass Ultra and PlayStation Plus Premium. This allows users to stream games not only on their consoles but also on other devices, even if they don’t possess an Xbox or PlayStation.

With Xbox’s cloud gaming via Game Pass Ultra, users can enjoy streaming on a variety of devices including Xbox consoles, PCs, tablets, smartphones, and select Samsung smart TVs. Impressively, certain games are even tailored for touch interfaces, eliminating the need for a controller when played on mobile devices.

On the other hand, PlayStation Plus Premium restricts streaming to PS5, PS4 consoles, and PCs. As of now, direct streaming to smartphones or TVs isn’t an option. Moreover, titles exclusively designed for the PlayStation 5 aren’t available for streaming. However, a workaround exists: download these specific games to your primary PS5 console and subsequently stream them to devices like PCs, Macs, iOS, and Android.

A standout feature of the PS Plus Premium package is the Play Share capability. This lets users share their gameplay screen with friends online, creating a shared gaming experience as if they were co-located. Unfortunately, Xbox Game Pass currently lacks this feature or anything similar.

PlayStation Plus Vs Xbox Game Pass: Verdict

Currently, Xbox Game Pass holds an edge over PlayStation Plus, but it’s evident that PlayStation Plus is rapidly evolving and enhancing its subscription perks. The ability of Xbox Game Pass to offer premium games and launch them simultaneously is a significant advantage.

While both tech giants, Sony and Microsoft, have subscription models catering to PC gamers, Xbox takes it a step further by incorporating smartphone users, allowing them to relish certain games without the need for a physical controller. Sony, on the other hand, is still in the process of broadening its array of standout titles and compatible devices.

The perceived superior value of Xbox Game Pass can be attributed to its longer presence in the market, giving it ample time to refine its offerings. However, Sony is not far behind and is making strides at a commendable pace. The potential gaming hours one can accrue with a PS Plus subscription already runs into the thousands.

Ultimately, the choice between the two boils down to individual gaming preferences. It’s advisable to peruse the complete game libraries of both PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass to identify the titles that resonate with you. Notably, PlayStation Plus boasts a more extensive collection compared to Xbox Game Pass, and it’s home to some of the most captivating and critically acclaimed exclusives tailored for the PlayStation platform.

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