Now that the dust is starting to settle after the excitement of new consoles launching, it gives us time to reflect and speculate on what is to come over the next couple of years. Both Microsoft and Sony had a relatively successful launch for the new Xbox and PlayStation consoles, despite some hiccups along the road.
Both companies, however, seemed to have achieved this success through different means, with Sony being able to launch a new console off the back of the very successful PS4 and a strong lineup of exclusives to come, and Microsoft selling the new Xbox more as a device for accessing a service than anything else. The idea of “Netflix, but with games” in the form of Game Pass is incredible, especially if you consider the affordability of it and the fact that it is available on more than just one platform. It is a massive selling point for Microsoft and the reason I think the new Xbox Series X|S is selling so well.
Thing is though, does Sony need to follow suit? While Microsoft can essentially add their entire library of games, and everything to come onto the service, it doesn’t seem that viable for PlayStation. Microsoft, at this stage at least, doesn’t have such a big exclusive catalogue, meaning they stand to lose out a lot less than their competitor. And seeing how well every PlayStation exclusive sells, does it make sense for Sony to follow suit and offer their biggest franchises on such a service right off the bat?
Personally, I don’t think so, and I don’t think that they need to go the same route. While we might still be fighting in the trenches of the “console wars” and comparing the consoles in painstaking detail, it is clear that both Sony and Microsoft aren’t really in such direct competition with each other anymore. Yes, they would like to get a leg up on each other, but what they offer to the gamer is different.
Sony does have PlayStation Now, which they still haven’t made available in South Africa (seriously, what’s up with that?), which makes games available on a subscription service of sorts, but it’s not nearly as robust as Game Pass. What they can do with PlayStation Now however is going the EA route with EA Play, where games get added to the Vault after a couple of months or year or something like that, along with a couple of third-party games and it can be a very interesting and worthwhile service. But giving away the next God of War at a monthly sub of R99? Nope, not gonna happen.
Source: PushSquare – Sony on PS5’s Response to Game Pass: There Is News to Come, But Not Today