For the past few years, Xbox Game Pass has been dubbed "the best deal in gaming." For a relatively small monthly fee, subscribers can access an ever-growing library of Xbox first-party titles as well as several third-party games.
The deal got even better when Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, effectively adding countless Bethesda games to the subscription service.
When asked about a potentially similar service for PlayStation last November, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said, “There is actually news to come, but just not today.”
It appears that news about that service may come sooner rather than later, as a former PlayStation creative discussed more details about the rumored subscription service.
PLAYSTATION'S ANSWER TO XBOX GAME PASS?
PlayStation is working on a competitor to Xbox Game Pass, according to former PlayStation developer David Jaffe.
In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Jaffe, who created the God of War series and co-created Twisted Metal, said that “there will be a response to Game Pass,” according to his sources at Sony. The video was also transcribed by Video Games Chronicle:
“What I can tell you is I know they are doing some stuff because I know people at Sony who have told me that they are doing some stuff … There will be a response to Game Pass.”
Jaffe went on to question Sony’s potential attempt at a Game Pass competitor, saying:
“What it is we don’t know… Here’s what I would say I worry about. If Jim Ryan thinks the proper response to Game Pass is to emulate backwards compatibility, PS3 games, PS2, PS1, and then to also add Trophies, which is what that patent suggests they’re going to do, and they’re also going to fold in all the movies and s--t and make a streaming service, he’s absolutely wrong if he thinks that mixing it with PS Now [is the way to go].”
“That would make me go, ‘I don’t think the man has a clue’, because that’s not going to compete with Game Pass, but I don’t know if that’s the case, but I don’t think Jim Ryan is ready to throw under the bus at all.”
PLAYSTATION’S ATTEMPT AT A GAME SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
With Ryan’s comments last November and Jaffe’s sources discussing a potential Game Pass competitor, it seems very likely that an official announcement regarding PlayStation’s rumored service will come soon. Though it offers a streaming library with PlayStation Now, PlayStation has yet to dabble in a library-based subscription service that allows players to download a library of games.
Xbox has made Game Pass its main policy direction over the past few years, most recently adding a PlayStation first-party developed game to its catalog. Coupled with Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the owner of Bethesda Softworks, Game Pass has been unrivaled in terms of its value and offerings. It seems that after such an unchallenged period of growth for its rival’s service, PlayStation is poised to offer its own take on the game subscription model.
Backwards compatibility is a notably missing feature from the PlayStation platform. Xbox was heralded as a champion for backwards compatibility once the feature was added during the Xbox One console generation. Based on Jaffe’s comments, it appears that PlayStation’s answer to backwards compatibility will come with its subscription service. Perhaps old PlayStation games will appear on that service as a work-around to physically inserting old discs into new hardware.