Xbox Game Pass vs. PlayStation Now: Which Is the Better Deal?
Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now are two of the most popular gaming platforms on the market. Both require a monthly fee, but in return, members are given access to an ever-growing library of games—many of which are playable on other devices or through the cloud. That begs the question: Which of the two is a better deal?
Whether you're looking to invest in a new console or only have space in the budget for one of these services, it's important to understand what these two platforms offer before making an investment. From monthly fees and available games to compatible platforms and more, here's a closer look at both PS Now and Xbox Game Pass.
What are Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now?
Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now are lumped into a category known as "video game subscription services." In short, you'll cough up a monthly fee in exchange for unlimited access to a library of games. Several important factors vary between the two—here's what you need to know.
What is Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass comes in three different flavors. The most enticing option is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which lets you play more than 100 games on console, PC and mobile devices. It also gives you day-one access to titles from Xbox Game Studio and includes Xbox Live Gold as part of your membership. You're also entitled to a free EA Play subscription, letting you play dozens of hit games in the publisher's catalog.
Two other plans are offered (Console and PC), which remove the complimentary Xbox Live Gold subscriptions but let you access their respective Game Pass catalogs. PC Game Pass, for example, lets you play games on PC, while the Console version lets you play games on either Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S.
What is PlayStation Now?
Unlike Xbox Game Pass, there's only one version of PS Now. This offers you access to a massive catalog of PlayStation titles, which are playable on PS5, PS4 or PC. Games can either be streamed remotely or downloaded to your hard drive. Many Sony games are represented in its catalog, although you'll find plenty of third-party games and iconic titles from previous console generations.
How Much Do They Cost?
Both Game Pass and PS Now are surprisingly affordable. Here's a look at their pricing structures.
Xbox Game Pass
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – $14.99/month
- PC Game Pass – $9.99/month
- Xbox Game Pass – $9.99/month
- PlayStation Now – $9.99/month
Keep in mind that both services offer a slight discount if you opt for annual payments instead of monthly payments.
What Games Are Included?
Game Pass and PS Now are constantly updating their catalogs. Microsoft's offering is typically seen as superior to that of PlayStation's, but there's no doubt something for everyone in both lineups. As of March 2022, here are a few highlights from PS Now and Xbox Game Pass.
Best PlayStation Now Games
- Mortal Kombat 11
- God of War
- Final Fantasy VII
- XCOM 2
- The Last of Us
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Batman: Arkham City
- Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
Best Xbox Game Pass Games
- Halo Infinite
- Back 4 Blood
- Rainbow Six Extraction
- Mass Effect Legendary Edition
- Stardew Valley
- Nier: Automata
- Spelunky 2
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
- Forza Horizon 5
Which Is the Better Deal?
At the end of the day, both PS Now and Xbox Game Pass are among the best gaming subscription services money can buy. If you're a PS4 or PS5 owner, PS Now is an easy recommendation. The same goes for Xbox owners and Xbox Game Pass.
However, when you compare everything the two services have to offer, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is without a doubt a better deal. Providing access to EA Play, Xbox Live Gold and a staggering roster of games across PC, console and mobile puts it ahead of PlayStation Now in terms of value.
A standalone PC Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass subscription is more comparable to PS Now—all three cost $10/month and don't offer access to online multiplayer—but Microsoft has won over the majority of gamers with its Ultimate bundle. Much of its success is due to the continued addition of new games, including day-one releases for highly anticipated titles such as Halo Infinite and Rainbow Six: Extraction. Microsoft has put Xbox Game Pass at the top of its business plan—a fact that shines through when you look at its ever-growing roster of AAA games and hit indie releases.
Sony is reportedly working on a revamped version of PlayStation Now, so expect the race to tighten throughout 2022. Until then, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate reigns supreme as the better deal.
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