Gaming should be easy, like in the old days when you put the game in and just play. These days, there are so many streaming services for movies and TV, and the gaming world has fallen into the same realm.
You’ve probably heard of Game Pass, Microsoft’s gaming subscription service, but how does it hold up with so many other services out there?
What Does Game Pass Offer?
Game Pass is for PC and Xbox consoles, starting at $9.99/mo, and you get a lot for that price. You get access to over 100 high-quality games on PC or console, and new games are added all the time, with Xbox Game Studios titles the same day as release. There are also some discounts and deals for subscribers too, though not as noteworthy.
The last deal they offer is Game Pass Ultimate. For $14.99, it provides everything from before but offers it on PC, console, and mobile. They also give Cloud gaming, free perks like in-game content and partner offers, and Xbox Gold for a month if that isn’t enough.
Being on PC and having Xbox titles at your disposal makes it an enticing offer. Playing exciting upcoming AAA titles like Starfield, Elder Scrolls 6, Stalker 2, Gears 6, and Fable at the time of release is great. You don’t need to purchase the games, and you’ll probably get exclusive DLC for certain games for having Game Pass.
Now for an Xbox fan, this is a no-brainer. An automatic wallet throw at Microsoft or others raises the question, “Should I get this? There are other services out there, and maybe they fit what I want?”
What Are Some Similar Services?
Playstation Plus, Google Stadia Pro, EA Play, Ubisoft Plus, and Amazon Luna are competing against Microsoft in this new area of gaming. Maybe you didn’t want to participate in the console wars and got a PC, but now you’ve entered the Streaming Wars.
PlayStation Plus Essential provides two monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage for saved games, and online multiplayer access for $9.99/mo.
The next tier is Playstation Plus Extra, which provides all the benefits from the Essential tier and adds a catalog of around 400 PS4 and PS5 games from Sony and third-party partners, which you can download and keep for as long as you have the subscription, and this tier is only $14.99/mo.
The final tier, Playstation Plus Premium, adds up to 340 other games, including games from PS1 to PS3 via cloud streaming. Plus Deluxe is offered for people who can’t stream games but has the same benefits as premium but at a lower price. The major downside is that first-party titles aren’t available when they launch and will be added later. Sony said in an interview that the reason they did this was to keep the standard of the quality of first-party games high, but we’ll see if that stays true.
Google Stadia Pro
The subscription service for Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service for $9.99/mo. This includes playing on anything that allows you to cast to it, any Android device, or anything that can open a Chrome window. With the Pro subscription, you get access to a library of games that gets updated monthly, which is usually a mix of recent AAA titles and some indies. You also get discounts for purchasing games on the platform, although not all deals are great. Stadia is also a little slow to get newer AAA titles, and some more prominent companies still haven’t supported a Stadia release.
If you want to learn more about Stadia, check out our feature article here.
EA play has two tiers, a $4.99/mo plan, which offers 10 hours of early access to new games, unlimited access to their selection of EA titles, and saving 10% off EA digital content. Their EA Play Pro, which costs $14.99/offers early access to “deluxe versions” of new games but not much else compared to the basic plan.
Ubisoft plus PC access, which is $14.99, and multi-access, which is $17.99, are relatively the same. Both have new releases at launch, DLC and Season Passes for games, and over 100 games on pc. Multi-access has Cloud Gaming which is that extra $3, allowing you to connect your account to Amazon Luna and Stadia if you already have them. This is an excellent deal for those who are major fans of Ubisoft, but most of these games will show up on other services at later dates.
Is Gamepass Worth It?
All the streaming services have their own exclusive libraries, though several eventually overlap (minus platform exclusives). With Ubisoft games eventually coming out to other services and EA Play being included in Game Pass, the question is, “If I’m going to save money and play the most games, what service would I get?”
The two leading contenders would be Game Pass and Playstation Plus. At the time of writing, the new Playstation Plus service hasn’t come out yet, and we don’t know whether or not it will be as much of a contender until then.
In my opinion, with the quality and longevity of games on Game Pass lacking at the moment, it’s hard to tell how Playstation will perform when their new system does come out. Microsoft already has a huge advantage with their recent acquisitions of Bethesda and Activision Blizzard, so Sony will really need to knock it out of the park.
As someone who uses Steam and plays MMOs, having a subscription service that you can pay for and play any games at any time is a benefit. With Playstation not including first-party titles when they launch, those who want it for the first-party titles will affect it.
If Sony makes us pay for first-party titles or the delay in adding new first-party titles is too long, it won’t hold up for long. These are the choices for the best bang for your buck without paying for anything additional. At this moment, Game Pass is, by far, a way better deal and service more worth it. Having access to certain games that most players for those games are already on PC, and with Playstation Plus not out yet, and have yet to encounter their own set of trials to change how their service is used. If you have to choose one, it’s clear that it should be Game Pass.
How do you feel about this new shift in gaming services? Is there a platform we missed? Let us know in the comments, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date!