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News Xbox Game Pass is five times more popular than PlayStation Now

Solid_Snake_

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Dec 28, 2018
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Microsoft's Xbox is already crushing Sony's PlayStation when it comes to creating the 'Netflix of gaming' — and it has huge implications for next-gen consoles
Ben Gilbert
2 hours ago
  • Like movies, TV, and music before it, the video game industry is currently going through a paradigm shift toward subscription services.
  • Microsoft's Xbox has Xbox Game Pass, and Sony's PlayStation has PlayStation Now — subscription services that offer access to an evolving library of games.
  • Despite the massive success of Sony's PlayStation 4, with over 100 million sold, just 2.2 million people are using PlayStation Now. Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service has over 10 million users, and estimates put Xbox One console sales at around half of PS4.
  • It's an especially notable metric as Sony and Microsoft compete to build the "Netflix for games" — a primary component of the next-generation of PlayStation and Xbox consoles scheduled to arrive this holiday season.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
In the summer of 2017, Microsoft made an ambitious bet on a new Xbox service: Game Pass.
The service would offer a curated library of over 100 games, and it cost just $10 per month. Moreover, every major Xbox game published by Microsoft, from "Halo" to "Gears of War" to "Forza Motorsport," would be published to the service at launch as part of the library.
If you're thinking, "That sounds sort of like Netflix," you'd be right, although with Game Pass you download titles instead of streaming them.
In the years since, Xbox Game Pass has become one of the best deals in gaming — a coup from Microsoft's Xbox division in a console cycle dominated by Sony's PlayStation 4. Game Pass now boasts over 10 million users, as of late April.
Sony's equivalent service, PlayStation Now, hasn't had quite the same trajectory.
The service launched way back in 2014 on the PlayStation 3 before heading to the PlayStation 4, and Sony says just 2.2 million people are paying for the service as of late April.

Sony
Notably, it's a huge increase over user numbers from last year — from around 1 million in March 2019 to over 2.2 million in April 2020 — no doubt due to pricing changes with the service, coupled with a more competitive library that takes advantage of Sony's first-party exclusives, such as "Marvel's Spider-Man" and "God of War," among others.
Even with that major increase, less than 2% of PlayStation 4 owners are paying for PlayStation Now.
It's impossible to know exactly what percentage of Xbox One owners are paying for Game Pass, but that's less important than ever to Microsoft — the company has intentionally moved its attention away from which console you buy and toward subscriptions services like Game Pass. As long as you're paying for its services, Microsoft doesn't mind if you're doing it on an Xbox, a PC, or a smartphone.
In the long term, Microsoft says it's more worried about competition from companies like Amazon and Google rather than the so-called console wars.
"When you talk about Nintendo and Sony, we have a ton of respect for them," Xbox leader Phil Spencer told Protocol in an interview published this past February. "But we see Amazon and Google as the main competitors going forward."

Microsoft
Microsoft's Xbox division, which makes the Xbox game console line, feels the threat from Google and Amazon because of one word: streaming.
In the case of Google, the service is named Stadia — a Netflix-like game service that streams games to a variety of devices, no game console required. In the case of Amazon, there's no service just yet; one codenamed "Project Tempo" is said to be in the works. And Amazon already has a robust cloud infrastructure in Amazon Web Services (AWS) to compete with Microsoft's similarly robust Azure cloud infrastructure.
"Amazon and Google are focusing on how to get gaming to 7 billion people around the world," Spencer said. "Ultimately, that's the goal."
With over 10 million Game Pass subscribers to PlayStation Now's 2.2 million, Microsoft is still a long way from 7 billion — but it's got a critical lead over the competition.
 
Nov 5, 2016
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Well, Game Pass is an undeniably great value, IMO. I just have PC Game Pass a the moment but will upgrade to ultimate when the XsX launches.

I dunno what the long term plans are for PS Now. I feel it CAN compete with Game Pass, if Sony wants it to, but it neesd to keep making improvements and strides to match Game Passes ease of use and value. First party games included on launch day are a pretty nice perk to Game Pass.
 

Nikana

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Well, Game Pass is an undeniably great value, IMO. I just have PC Game Pass a the moment but will upgrade to ultimate when the XsX launches.

I dunno what the long term plans are for PS Now. I feel it CAN compete with Game Pass, if Sony wants it to, but it neesd to keep making improvements and strides to match Game Passes ease of use and value. First party games included on launch day are a pretty nice perk to Game Pass.
Now doesn't make a lot of sense to me for the hardcore because it lacks the day 1 stuff. As a gamer who has my fingers on the pulse of the industry and know what's going on, I get the games I want relatively close to launch. Game Pass gives that so it incentivizes me and others to stay a customer.

Now makes sense for the casual person but that customer is going to be hard to acquire in my eyes.
 

-Arcadia-

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Aug 20, 2019
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Now offers downloads for ps2 and PS4 games along with streaming for those and only streaming for PS3 titles.

Gamepass right now is only download but Xcloud will be coming soon apparently.
How is the download/PS4/PS2 selection? This might be something I could get into.
 

Night.Ninja

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Feb 21, 2016
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Game pass is fucking amazing, and it's not even for the first party games because I probably would have bought them anyway if they looked good anyway.

But it's the little gems I would never have even considered looking at is where the value is for me.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
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Game pass is fucking amazing, and it's not even for the first party games because I probably would have bought them anyway if they looked good anyway.

But it's the little gems I would never have even considered looking at is where the value is for me.
Same here. Just like I don't subscribe to Netflix just for the original shows and movies. Sometimes you just want to scroll through what's available and pick something out and enjoy it.
 

Nikana

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Jan 26, 2016
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Also FYI for everyone. They added a surprise me button on console like on Game pass for PC. It's neat. We use it on my podcast my buddy and I do.
 
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-Arcadia-

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Game Pass made me an Xbox fan again. I mean, they totally lost me early gen, but the One X and Game Pass are an incredible duo.
Their initiatives have been fantastic. Every time I turn around, they’re doing something cool or new.

- One X (Ofc)
- Create-A-Controller
- Elite Controller
- GamePass
- Xcloud

Some of my favorites off the top of my head.

They’ve really been working hard to re-earn the love of gamers after that One launch disaster.
 

Bryank75

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Jan 12, 2018
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What a disingenuous piece of shit article..... there are news reports everywhere saying PS4 sales are well over 110 million.

XBox sales are at 46 million. That is much less than half. You can't just cut 10 million from PlayStation sales.... cut 10 million away from XBox too, in that case.....

What an annoying load of shit.
 

SKY EYES

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Oct 3, 2013
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No doubt. I use gamepass a lot and only downloaded maybe 2 games from playstation now.

Cant say ill renew "now" after I finish control. I'll throw money at it IF they put a MS effort into it though
 
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Bryank75

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What’s your comaparson for sales?
Well even a few years ago when Witcher 3 launched it was 4 to 1.... 4 copies sold on PS4 to every copy on Xbox.

I saw a few months ago Gears sales and they seem to have completely caved, I'm chalking it up to gamepass. Letting people play a new game for 1 dollar instead of them paying 60 or more is just stupid frankly.
 

RookX22

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You can only download games with psnow if you are on a ps4 not on PC, if it was PC also I imagine even at the current price it would be alot more popular
 
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Hostile_18

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Game pass is an amazing service.

I would like to still buy the games I love to "own" them. But it allows users to try loads of games.

It's hard for Sony to compete like for like though. I understand why they don't put their first party on there because frankly to most peoples tastes it's so much better, and it has the sales to back that up.

There will never be a day I rent a Naughty Dog game for example. It just wouldnt feel right to me. I guess a new generation coming up will soon feel differently though, so who knows.
 

diffusionx

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If the PS4 was able to run the PS3 games natively instead of streaming, it would be a much more valuable service for the type of people it is targeting. Game Pass got off to a good start because they could fill out the library with 360 titles.
 

GamesAreFun

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I feel like Sony hasn't advertised enough that PS Now allows downloads, previously it was only streaming and that deterred people.

I was curious to compare prices, and surprised that PS Now is cheaper (depending on length of the "plan" you choose), assumed it was the other way round. In the UK anyway:

12-month PS Now = £50
12-month Game Pass = £96

12-month PS Now + PS Plus = £100
12-month Game Pass + Xbox Live = £122
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
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I feel like Sony hasn't advertised enough that PS Now allows downloads, previously it was only streaming and that deterred people.

I was curious to compare prices, and surprised that PS Now is cheaper (depending on length of the "plan" you choose), assumed it was the other way round. In the UK anyway:

12-month PS Now = £50
12-month Game Pass = £96

12-month PS Now + PS Plus = £100
12-month Game Pass + Xbox Live = £122
Get ready for a massive number of people to tell you that you're wrong and that you should just keep creating new Xbox accounts and signing up for the $1 trial over and over again to get a real comparison. Seriously, PS Now has a FREE 7 day trial. So surely that means nobody is paying for Sony's service, right?
 

Screamer-RSA

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Nov 19, 2018
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What’s wrong with the store?
To clarify I’m talking about pc
Well where to begin:
You can’t backup game files.

You can’t even access the game files to mod, reshade etc. Every other store allow this.

Download speeds aren’t always at full speed.

Multiple issues with starting games due to the store reported by 1000 of people.

The store will most of the time re-download the whole game again if something goes wrong with an update and the issues goes on...

I don’t understand how anyone at MS can think that is acceptable.
 
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phil_t98

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Well where to begin:
You can’t backup game files.

You can’t even access the game files to mod, reshade etc. Every other store allow this.

Download speeds aren’t always at full speed.

Multiple issues with starting games due to the store reported by 1000 of people.

The store will most of the time re-download the whole game again if something goes wrong with an update and the issues goes on...

I don’t understand how anyone at MS can think that is acceptable.
Ah you mean Window store on pc?
 
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Gavon West

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I was subbed for GP. Great service. But the sum bishes stole three of my games that I already owned that were also on GP. As soon as the games were no longer available on GP, I didn't have access to those games anymore. And you can't talk to a rep to get this matter resolved. They can suck it now. Microsoft done fucked up.
 

Bryank75

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I was subbed for GP. Great service. But the sum bishes stole three of my games that I already owned that were also on GP. As soon as the games were no longer available on GP, I didn't have access to those games anymore. And you can't talk to a rep to get this matter resolved. They can suck it now. Microsoft done fucked up.
And Sony are shit with services and customer service...so there's no way I'm trusting them with it. They are best as a product on a shelf.