Sony seems to have learned from Microsoft’s success. The Japanese company is finally in the process of preparing a subscription game offering similar to Xbox Game Pass. Proof that Sony’s growth may not only be on the PS5.
Sony seems to be preparing great things for the year 2022. In fact, an indiscretion by Bloomberg has revealed that the Japanese multinational planned to launch, in 2022, a service that competes with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft is one step ahead
The project, currently dubbed “Spartacus,” would allow many PS4 and PS5 games to be played online, as well as older titles released on PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP. The offering looks a bit like what Nintendo is offering with Nintendo Switch Online (which also allows you to play old games) and actually attacks Microsoft’s offering head-on.
It must be said that Sony has some delay to fill this area. While the company has sold more consoles than Microsoft, Sony’s subscription offerings (PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now) don’t compete with what Xbox Game Pass has to offer. Microsoft’s service is natively integrated into Windows 11, allows games to be played as soon as they are released, and according to the latest news, it has 18 million subscribers (up from 3.2 million on Playstation Now). Recent studio acquisitions by Microsoft have also made the catalog very attractive. On the other hand, the Playstation Now catalog is a bit lacking in recent title and the quality of the streaming sometimes leaves something to be desired.
L’interface du service PlayStation Now // Sony
However, game subscriptions and cloud gaming have been on the rise lately. Proof of this is Microsoft’s investment in Game Pass, as well as the new Nvidia offer that offers, for 100 euros for 6 months, a subscription that allows you to rent RTX 3080 graphics cards to play your favorite streaming titles. At a time when semiconductor shortages are preventing Sony from selling as many PS5s as it would like, subscriptions are a valuable tactical investment. Shortage or not, the money for a subscription drops every month.
A simplification of the welcome offer.
Erasing the distinction between the PlayStation + service and Playstation Now will also allow Sony to simplify its offering. You no longer need to know which subscription offers retro games or streaming games. The entire Sony ecosystem will be accessible through a one-stop-shop mechanism, offering various prices to suit individual needs.
So it’s not surprising to see Sony go to great lengths to develop a subscription offering capable of competing with Microsoft’s. The company has accumulated a certain technical delay and now must show that its future is not only linked to the sale of consoles, year after year.
This change is expected to occur in the spring of 2022. So Sony will have been slow to adjust to the benefits of subscription gaming, but at least the company appears to be making progress.
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