How Sony’s new PlayStation Plus stacks up against Xbox Game Pass and other gaming subscription services
Sony is launching its new PlayStation Plus in India next week. The update brings the service in four tiers, namely Essential, Extra, Deluxe, and Premium. While the Essential is the base version, Deluxe and Premium are the higher tiers, depending on what market you’re in. The new PlayStation Plus aims to help Sony increase revenue. It’s also meant to better compete with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, a similar tiered service designed specifically for Xbox gamers.
On this week’s episode of the Gadgets 360 Orbital podcast, host Akhil Arora talks with an industry insider Rishi Alwani and video game enthusiast Pranay Parab — both former Gadgets 360 teammates — to talk about the new PlayStation Plus and the growing gaming subscription services market that already has Xbox Game Pass as its primary name.
We’re kicking off the conversation to discuss the benefits gamers will get with the new PlayStation Plus service. Sony is bringing it to India on June 22.
However, instead of considering India as part of the Asian rollout, the Japanese company took the country to Europe to plan the release of the new service.
“From a consumer behavior perspective, or shopping and gambling habits, India is more in tune with the western market,” Rishi said. “It’s also because the branch of Sony that actually came up with the idea for India and the Middle East was Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe, which was basically known as Ski London.”
He also adds that the other reason Sony considers India to be part of Europe is because the country is “PAL territory” – meaning it’s based on the encoding system of PAL colors.
The new PlayStation Plus offers three different tiers to choose from in a particular market. The Deluxe tier is available in markets where cloud streaming is not available, while the Premium version is for markets with cloud streaming.
India is getting the Deluxe tier as Sony’s cloud streaming is not yet available.
“I feel like they erred on those multiple levels,” Pranay says.
He also sees that the annual plan which goes up to Rs. 5,749 for the PlayStation Plus Deluxe is quite an expensive purchase.
Unlike Sony, Microsoft is offering Xbox Game Pass as part of a trial offer to entice gamers. The Redmond company also regularly offers promotional offers and discounts to convince Xbox users to choose the subscription service. Additionally, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – the premium tier of the service – is available with access to EA Play, which grants access to a list of Electronic Arts (EA) titles.
However, Xbox Game Pass also has its limitations.
“The biggest problem with Game Pass is Microsoft India itself and Xbox sourcing in India itself, which is a running joke at this point,” Rishi says.
In addition to Sony and Microsoft, the gaming subscription services market has added publishers including EA and Ubisoft with their respective offerings. It’s similar to how over-the-top (OTT) players, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, compete against each other.
We talk about where the market is going in the future, given that we have subscription services alongside the main AAA releases. The discussion also revolves around whether it’s worth getting the new PlayStation Plus.
You can listen to all of this by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.
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