"Inevitable" was the word that Xbox's Phil Spencer used when he described Sony's rumored plans to create a competitor against the Xbox Game Pass.
Spencer recently spoke with IGN to share his thoughts about Sony's secret subscription service, Spartacus, among other things. The Xbox boss explained that several factors go into planning something like the Game Pass. Spencer enumerated everything from multi-platform releases, backwards compatibility, and customers getting a choice on how and where to play. Finally, Spencer described Sony's attempt to copy the Game Pass as a matter of when and not if.
After it was first introduced in 2017, Microsoft has made several big investments to turn the Game Pass into the go-to subscription service for gamers today. As a result, the Game Pass is currently leaps and bounds compared to whatever Sony is offering. Case in point, Game Pass routinely sees games launch on the service.
Just this January, games like Rainbow Six Extraction and Hitman Trilogy will come out on Game Pass. This is on top of the massive list of first-party exclusives like Starfield that Microsoft confirmed would launch on Game Pass at E3 2021. Not to mention, with Microsoft's acquisition of Activision, Game Pass is about to get bigger. We can expect Call of Duty 2022, Diablo IV, and Overwatch 2 to launch on Game Pass, among others, going forward.
If nothing else, Spencer's words help give the reports of Spartacus credibility. Sony has not confirmed Spartacus at all nor that it's merging PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus. But, Sony's recent decision to pull out PS Now gift cards from retailers is fueling speculation that Spartacus' release is imminent.
Hopefully, Sony does do something to help its subscription services compete better against the Game Pass.