I have had Xbox GamePass since day dot and while I do own a PS4 it's not really my go to machine, I do not really have much interest in the PS5 as it's somewhat hard to get and honestly I'm fine with the Series X. So while I cannot speak on the merits of owning a Playstation much as mine mostly collects dust I can comment on what I feel makes GamePass such a good service for Xbox and what Playstation could take from that service for itself to make it a success
What makes up Xbox GamePass
- Day one releases from Xbox owned studios
- Backwards compatibility
- Expose Indie games
- Third party dev inclusion
- Cloud stuff
So what should of that list Playstation do without doubt, the first 3
Day one releases for Playstation owned studios
This has been a bit of a mixed bag on Xbox if all truth be told, some games are amazing some I felt phoned it in and this is of course the danger with games going the ole Netflix route - more content is more content and more is more... this does offer the danger of game developers doing enough and not much more because it's on the service people will play it.
Playstation has some amazing first party titles, I would but them next to if not slightly behind Nintendo when it comes to first party titles but looking into what they could offer cracks already exist as it seems God of War: Ragnarök would not come to a gamepass service offered by Sony and while the whole Playstation gamepass service is not in stone until Sony announces it and it's not confirmed that the God of War game would not come either again until Sony does not announce it (who would announce a game not coming to a new service? "hey guys check out our new service oh by the way .. no GoW:Ragnarök.. we cool..")
They have to deliver something to that between big titles coming and going keeps them subbed ..
So what should Sony offer new users in terms of first party titles ?
- God of War
- Gran Turismo
- The Last of Us
- MLB The Show Nth
You will note that the games titles are none specific, these are series of games and if they are aiming to offered what Xbox does, drop the lot day one everything and do so in the future, other titles like Spider-Man and the upcoming Spider-Man 2 (and of course Miles) should probably be offered also we have already seen two Marvel titles on GamePass from Square Enix in the woeful Avengers Game and the fantastic Guardians of the Galaxy game ..
This is what I feel should be a good start for a gamepass service, obviously built it out with more game, more dev studios and of course more Genres too but I cannot escape the feeling that much like Nintendo, Sony will not want to go down the road of offering new titles to a service.
I get the feeling the service will offered those slightly dustier games, if like me when Games in second hand stores existed you waited a couple of weeks and instead of paying $40-50 a game you picked them up (based on demand) between $15-30 I don't see Sony dropping it's mega selling games like Uncharted, Horizon Zero Dawn, Forbidden West, Spider-man, GT 7 because this is the same company that argued $70 is fair for next gen games
Sony dropped the ball on this quite hugely and it is honestly one of the main reasons I have stuck with Xbox over the past few years, despite it being a little meh at times I have gone from an original Xbox to a Series X because I did not have to sell my game library along with my old console because it was obsolete - I kept the library and sold the console because my games still work...
I could be wrong but so far as I'm aware directly putting a PS4 disc into a PS5 game (or digital download) works fine, but the PS3 is too complex for them to emulate and PS2, PS1 just outright does not work either?
The PS5 is a monster and should be more than able to offered backwards compatibility to the PS1 and PS2, PS3 seems to be a little more understandable given it's complexities but still this needs to improve and within this generation, perhaps if it's not an option in physical format (probably worried about piracy) then at least offer a digital version once a disc is confirmed to be legit and run it through some form of emulation it's mind boggling that Sony (and Nintendo) sit on these old titles because reasons...
Expose Indie games
In no way am I suggesting Sony does not support Indie Games it clearly does but I know from playing XBox GamePass I have had so much fun discovery a few great games that I would probably not looked at if they were not on the service .. probably makes me a game snob but an honest game snob at the very least 🤪
A GamePass service will let these games shine and thats a good thing!
I have not forgotten about the other stuff listed as features for GamePass so here goes, Third party dev inclusion in this case is EA and honestly I played the latest FIFA they offered for a season and was bored out of my mind soon enough, Battlefield is in a horrible state and I'm surprised they didn't push it to GamePass to keep the player numbers up until the game was fixed (12 week run as it was just to keep things stable) perhaps the game I played the most (aside from a long long FIFA season) was unravelled..
Third party dev inclusion is nice to have but unless you are a die hard FIFA player or Plants vs Zombies fanatic it's just a tac on.
The Cloud stuff depends on your locale, I live outside any supported region, as such I can only use remote play on console, not in the cloud but I would love to go over the cloud instead on some of my devices but it's hard to argue the merit of something have myself not been able to use properly.
Perks I fall into the same category as again in an unsupported region so I only ever see things like World of Tanks/Warships tokens rather than couple months free youtube premium for example - I can see this stuff being great for some people but most I suspect will ignore it after a while if it's even offered
Sony can afford to mess this up
Sony can afford to mess up a subscription service in the early weeks, but the value of a service long term is it's content and the question is simple... "Will Sony be willing to forgo sales of top selling franchises in favour of persistent and consistent subscription numbers?"