PlayStation Explains Why PS5 Won't Have Game Pass-Style Service
The PlayStation 5 has no plans to set up a subscription service like Xbox Game Pass, as Sony feels the business model is "unsustainable".
I, a partaker in Game Pass for PC, really like what Microsoft has got going here. It's cool that I've got access to all of these games, whenever I want to play them, and the range on offer is impressive. Gears 5, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, No Man's Sky, The Gardens Between, Final Fantasy XV... the list goes on and on, and on and on for backwards-compatible games, and with bells on for Game Pass Ultimate members.
For example, EA Play will also be added to the catalogue of games for PC players and Ultimate members in late 2020. With this, they'll even get a 10% discount on digital purchases of EA games. Tidy.
Moreover, Xbox Game Pass unlocks all of Microsoft's exclusive titles on their launch day for free for subscribers. Jim Ryan, CEO of PlayStation, isn't a fan of this, though.
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"These games cost many millions of dollars, well over $100 million, to develop. We just don't see that as sustainable," he told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview. "For us, having a catalogue of games is not something that defines a platform. Our pitch, as you've heard, is 'new games, great games.' We have had this conversation before - we are not going to go down the road of putting new releases titles into a subscription model."
In fact, Xbox itself has acknowledged that Xbox Game Pass isn't a golden goose, in spite of its more than 10 million subscribers. "It's a different mindset. If you do optimise for profit, and you do specifically say... you can either say, 'How do we get as much profit out of each customer?' Or, do you pivot that and say, 'How do we add as much value to our fans?' 'How can we actually over-deliver on value?' If you do that, you build fans for life," said Aaron Greenberg, head of marketing for Xbox, in an interview in July.
This is all very well and wholesome, but what's the bottom line of this approach? "We always laugh [when people suggest Microsoft is losing money on the service]. Please don't worry about us," said Greenberg. The company actually circumvents a lot of the advertising cost of this sort of model by relying on word of mouth. This is similar to Sony's approach with PlayStation Now: did you know that you can get access to The Last of Us, Resident Evil 7, Vampyr, and more for £8.99 per month? Well, now you do!
In last week's showcase, Sony revealed the PlayStation Plus Collection, bundling a generous collection of acclaimed PS4 games which will then be free for PS Plus members on PS5. The PS5 pre-order palaver has left a lot of players in the cold, but the company has assured that a second lot of pre-orders will be available in time.
Featured Image Credit: Microsoft, Sony