What Sony can do to make PS Now competitive versus Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass is still a better games service than PlayStation Now, but there are a couple of things that Sony can do to make it more competitive.


Sony was one of the first to try and make cloud gaming mainstream with PS Now back in 2015. Since then, Sony has expanded on the PS Now's video game library to the point that there are nearly 1,000 PS2, PS3, and PS4 games available to play and/or download on the PS4, PS5, and the PC. However, while PS Now has existed for nearly a decade at this point, Sony appears to be reluctant to promote the service, especially when you compare the lack of marketing push relative to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass.

PS Now precedes the Xbox Game Pass by several years but its subscriber count is only a fraction of its main competition.

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Where PS Now is better than the Xbox Game Pass

If we're being honest, PS Now isn't as bad as most people make it out to be. It's just that Sony doesn't spent enough time talking up how good the service already is.

Sony might not advertise PS Now as much as Microsoft does the Xbox Game Pass, but the service itself isn't half-bad. Lag might remain an issue, but it's not as prevalent as previously. Most people's opinion on PS Now is usually based on the service's first few years on the market. PS Now couldn't be any more different today, with Sony adding, among other things, the ability to download games and play them offline.

Unfortunately, this isn't as much of an edge when you consider that the Xbox Game Pass lets subscribers download and play games as often as they like as well.

To make matters worse for PS Now, the Xbox Game Pass has seen a huge improvement in the quality of games in its library. PS Now might have more games, but Microsoft has secured titles like Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, and Rainbow Six Extraction, for the Xbox Game Pass. Another big AAA title that's going to launch on the Xbox Game Pass is Starfield, which only helps widen the gap between the Xbox Game Pass and PS Now.

So, if that's the case, then in what aspect is the PS Now a better service compared to the Xbox Game Pass?

If we're being honest, the only edge that the PS Now has is Sony's first-party titles. It's no secret that the PlayStation enjoys some of the best video games known to man. Award-winning titles such as The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, God of War, and Horizon Zero Dawn, among several others, are all only available on a PlayStation console - at least, at first. Even if Sony is starting to port some of its exclusives to other platforms, such games are still going to be available exclusively on the PS4 and the PS5 for quite some time.

True, Sony isn't exactly going to make its upcoming exclusives available on the PS Now at launch, but the fact that they're eventually headed there is a huge plus.

Can Sony make PS Now compete against the Xbox Game Pass?

Bundling both PS Now and PS Plus under one umbrella is just a start. Sony needs to do more for its subscribers to compete with the Xbox Game Pass.

We can argue all we want about Sony's first-party exclusives, but they're not enough. The Game Pass is positioned to further widen the gap between its offerings and the PS Now, especially with Microsoft's recent acquisitions. Sony needs to start thinking about bringing some of its games to the service on day one AND work with third parties to do the same.

Sony could also stand to advertise PS Now more. As we've already mentioned, Sony has done so much to make PS Now better over the years. It just doesn't make sense to not let players know that it has improved. PS Now's library might not contain as many recent titles as the Game Pass, but the service's list of available games is larger by a huge margin. Not to mention, PS Now is arguably cheaper, with yearly subscriptions just costing $60 compared to the Game Pass' $120.

We're willing to bet that there are millions of PlayStation owners who aren't quite sure about PS Now because all they see is a waste of money. Sony needs to hire influencers and other people to advocate for PS Now. Even if PS Now might never see day-one first-party games, the service is more than worth the money and deserves far more than what it's currently getting.

It's a shame that it has to be this way. PS Now was here first - the Game Pass should be playing catch up, not the other way around. Unfortunately, the Game Pass has sprinted past PS Now for a while now, making it near-impossible to catch up.

If it's any consolation, Sony is reportedly working on Project Spartacus. If the reports are true, then the said service would combine both the PS Plus and PS Now under the same umbrella for a more reasonable price. If Sony can throw in the PS Plus Video Pass there (remember it?), then whatever Spartacus ends up becoming once it's launched could help give Sony's subscription service a better shot at a larger market share.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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