PlayStation Now vs Xbox Game Pass: Which one should you pick?

Sony finally unveiled its plans to unite its long-running PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services to create a three-tier subscription model for its users. The overhauled PS Now subscription service will sit under the PS Plus brand name and brings a host of additional features and incentives like limited-time game trials for its users. Considering the features and perks, Sony’s PS Now can make a direct dig at one of its biggest competitors, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. 

Since the new PlayStation Plus service is all set to hit the markets, users are curious to know if PS Now is the same as Xbox Game Pass or not. If you’ve got a PlayStation as well as an Xbox, you might be wondering which gaming subscription is worth your time and money. You might even wonder if it makes sense to hit a mile further and subscribe to both services. Furthermore, if you’re planning to buy the next-gen console Xbox Series X or PS5, and want to compare the gaming subscription plans for Xbox and PlayStation consoles, you’ve landed at the right place.

In this article, we’ve compared the ultra-popular Xbox Game Pass and the revamped PlayStation Plus subscription services. Right from the subscription plans to PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass game library, we’ve covered everything in this article. It will help you to understand the differences between PS Now and Xbox Game Pass, and figure out if the new PS Plus actually makes a tough rival to the Xbox Game Pass. 

Let’s get started with our list of comparisons between Sony’s PlayStation Now and Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. 

PlayStation Now vs Xbox Game Pass

PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass: Subscription plans

Xbox Game Pass is a treat for Xbox gamers and has become one of the top gaming subscription services across the globe. It features a rich game library, supports a wide range of devices, and offers some of the iconic titles as soon as they are launched. Xbox Game Pass is considered a treat for gamers.

For users who were wondering if PlayStation has something like Xbox Game Pass, the new united PS Now and PS Plus is the answer. Sony has decided to merge the two services to create a three-tier cloud gaming subscription service for its users, starting from June 2022. 

Wondering what will happen to your PS Now membership? It’s worth knowing that PS Now subscribers will be migrated to the new PS Plus membership plan, which allows them to access the PS Now benefits as well as a host of additional features. Please note that PS Now will no longer be available as a standalone service. 

The merged PlayStation gaming service will sit under the PS Plus brand and include a number of new features for customers across the three membership tiers. These different plans are designed with a vision to create a large and varied gaming community with different mindsets. 

In comparison to PlayStation, Xbox Game Pass plans are quite straightforward. The basic plan allows you to play games on console or PS and the premium plan supports PC, console, as well as mobile devices. 

Both the cloud gaming subscription services are loaded with additional features and perks. Let’s have a look at the subscription plans offered by PS Now and Xbox Game Pass. 

PS Plus Subscription Plans 

PS Plus Essentials – $9.99/month

The basic plan of the rebranded PS Plus service packs the same features and benefits as the current PS Plus plan. This includes online multiplayer access, cloud storage for saved games, two monthly downloadable games, and exclusive discounts. This basic plan is priced at $9.99 per month, $24.99 for three months, or $59.99 per year.

PS Plus Extra –  $14.99/month

The PlayStation Plus Extra plan includes all the benefits from the Essential tier, along with the catalogue of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games that can be downloaded. The PlayStation Plus Extra games lits include blockbuster hits & iconic stories from the PlayStation Studio catalogue and third-party developers. This plan will cost $14.99 per month, $39.99 for three months, or $99.99 per year. 

PS Plus Premium  –  $17.99/month

Coming to the top-most tier of the PlayStation Now service, it’s loaded with some additional features and has the most to offer. The PS Plus plan includes all benefits from the Essential and Extra tiers. That’s not all. Members will get their hands on 340 additional games, including a catalogue of classic games from PS1, PS2, and PSP consoles. In addition, PS Plus Premium includes PS3 games for cloud streaming and offers limited time trials, where a user can try & select the game before buying. Furthermore, members will have the ability to stream PS1, PS2, PSP, & PS4 games using PS5, PS4, and PC. This plan is priced at $17.99 per month, $49.99 for three months, or $119.99 per year. 

For countries without cloud streaming (like Singapore, South Korea, etc), PlayStation Plus will offer a Deluxe plan which is priced lower than the Premium tier. This plan will include everything that the Premium plan has, except for the game streaming elements. 

Xbox Game Pass Subscription Plans

Xbox Game Pass Console –  $9.99/month

The standard version of Xbox Game Pass is priced at $9.99/month and allows you to play over 100 games on your console, which are added and removed on a regular basis. It offers members discounts & deals and allows you to get your hands on the latest titles on Day 1 of release. There’s also a PC version of this plan that lets your experience the same features and benefits on a PC rather than a console.

It’s worth mentioning that Xbox Game Pass Console/PC doesn’t include online multiplayer access, which is available across all the tiers of PlayStation Now. If you’ve got an Xbox console and want to enable online multiplayer access, you would need Xbox Gold Live which is priced at $9.99 per month. This plan won’t give you access to the Xbox Game Pass library but supports online gaming. 

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – $14.99

The expensive tier of the Xbox Game Pass is equivalent to the PS Plus Premium plan and throws in everything that a gamer would ask for. It includes all the benefits from the Xbox Game Pass Console plan plus some tempting incentives like in-game content, partner offers, and other free perks. The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gives you the freedom to enjoy games on any platform, including consoles, PC, web browsers, and mobile devices. It offers an expanded library of 454 games available on all four generations of Xbox consoles. Furthermore, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes EA Play and Xbox Live Gold which enables online multiplayer access. This plan is priced at $14.99/month.

Now that we know the different subscription plans for PS Now and Xbox Series X, let’s see how these plans stack against each other.

PS Plus Essential Vs Xbox Gold Live

PS Plus Essential Xbox Gold Live
Online Multiplayer access Online Multiplayer access
Exclusive discounts Exclusive discounts
Two monthly downloadable games Two monthly downloadable games
Cloud storage for saved games Automatically saves your game data to cloud
$9.99/month $9.99/month

PS Plus Extra Vs Xbox Game Pass Console

PS Plus Extra  Xbox Game Pass Console
All PS Plus Essential perks + a library of 400 PS4 & PS5 games to download and play Library of 454 games available across the original Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S.
Exclusive discounts Exclusive discounts
Online multiplayer access No online multiplayer access
No new titles are added as soon as they are launched Offers Xbox Studio titles on the same day of their release
$14.99/month $9.99/month

PS Plus Premium Vs Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

PS Plus Premium Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
All perks from PS Essential and PS Plus Extra All perks from Xbox Game Pass Console + Xbox Live Gold + EA Play
Offers a library of over 700 titles Offers a library of over 400 titles
No new titles are added as soon as they are launched Offers Xbox Studio titles on the same day of their release
Supports PS consoles and PC Supports Xbox consoles, PC, web browsers, and mobile devices
Support for cloud streaming  Support for cloud streaming 
$17.99/month $14.99/month

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PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass: Pricing

We’ve discussed the features and perks of the different subscription plans offered by PlayStation and Xbox cloud gaming services. Now, let’s quickly compare their prices.

PS Now Pricing

PS Plus Essential: $9.99 monthly, $24.99 quarterly, or $59.99 yearly.

PS Plus Extra: $14.99  monthly, $39.99 quarterly, or $99.99 yearly. 

PS Plus Premium: $17.99 monthly, $49.99 quarterly, or $119.99 yearly. 

Xbox Game Pass Pricing

Xbox Game Pass PC: $9.99 monthly, $29.99 quarterly, $119.99 yearly

Xbox Game Pass Console:  $9.99 monthly, $29.99 quarterly, $119.99 yearly

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: $14.99 monthly, $44.99 quarterly, $179.99 yearly

We can clearly figure out that the yearly subscription of Xbox Game Pass PC/Console is equivalent to the yearly cost of the PlayStation Plus top-tier that’s loaded with additional features and perks. Whereas, the yearly subscription cost of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is pretty steep as compared to PS Plus Premium. Having said that, the monthly subscription plan is almost $3 cheaper and lets you play Xbox games on mobile devices as well as web browsers. You should do the maths and choose the best cloud gaming subscription plan that matches your gaming requirements and fits your bill. 

Also Read: Best OLED TVs for Xbox Series X

PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass: Games library

Content is king, and both the gaming subscription services bring a deep and varied content library to the table. Talking about the PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass games list, the Premium tier of PS Plus boasts an enormous catalog of over 700 downloadable and streamed games from across all eras of PlayStation. It means you’ll get to pursue titles from the Original PS, PS2, PS3, PS4, as well as PS5. Since the PlayStation has been in the market for around 25 years, it definitely has a wider base for first-party titles. The blockbuster hits & iconic stories from the PlayStation Studio catalogue are available in the new PS Plus Premium tier. This includes game of the year like God of War, Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank, and more. In addition, PlayStation Plus has a slew of third-party titles and award-winning gems, including Red Dead Redemption, Batman Arkham, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, LittleBigThings, and more.

The company hasn’t confirmed the full list of the new PS Plus games, but the rebranded PS Now will definitely include the most loved titles like Spider-Man, God of War, Returnal, Death Stranding, and more. Moreover, Sony promises to regularly refresh its games library to keep the gamers hooked. It makes PS Now, a great option for gamers who crave a wide game library.

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Coming to the Xbox Game Pass game library, the subscription currently offers more than 400 titles from all generations of Xbox, dating back to the original Xbox. Just like Sony, Microsoft also adds more to its games library over time. Xbox Game Pass has a wide range of first-party games to choose from, including Gear of Wars, Forza, and Halo. Also, since Microsoft has acquired Activision and Bethesda, Xbox Game Pass offers some award-winning franchises like Redfall, Wolfenstein, and Doom. Furthermore, Game Pass Ultimate members are provided with monthly access to a library of free Games with Gold titles. 

Now, if we compare the quantity of content on PS Now to Xbox Game Pass, Sony’s PlayStation is clearly ahead of Microsoft’s Xbox. Having said that, when we’re talking about the games library, it’s extremely important to factor in the quality of games and availability. And, Xbox Game Pass emerged as a top dog. While the PlayStation Now has a large game library, gamers will have a hard time finding the latest and greatest AAA titles anytime around the release. This is because the PlayStation Plus service doesn’t offer day-one releases (we’ve discussed this in detail below). 

Coming to the Xbox Game Pass, it might have less number of games, but it beautifully makes up for it with its quality. In addition to its entire first-party catalog and some high-value first-party titles, Xbox Game Pass offers downloadable access on day one of the launches, at no additional cost. Now, this is something that puts Xbox Game Pass ahead of PlayStation Plus. The most notable example of this was the release of Forza Horizon which gained a massive player base on Day 1 of launch. Sony states that Day 1 releases would affect the game studios and hence the quality of games. This is something that we will see only in upcoming IP releases.  

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PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass: Cloud Storage

All the tiers of the PS Plus service include up to 100GB of cloud storage. This allows you to save your game progress to the cloud and then download it on any other console with that game installed. Therefore, if you’re playing a game on your PS4, you can save and upload your game progress to the cloud, you can then download it on your friend’s PS5, and resume from where you had left off. 

In comparison with PS Now, Xbox Game Pass doesn’t even charge for cloud storage. It means you don’t need a membership to save your game data to the cloud. If you’re signed up for Xbox service, saved games are automatically stored in the cloud, when you’re connected to the Xbox network. Therefore, when you’ll sign in to a different Xbox console using your Xbox profile, all your saves will be available to that console. Also, it’s worth knowing that each game is provided storage on your Xbox console, and the cloud storage increases with your game library. 

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PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass: Day One Exclusive Game Releases

One of the major differences between PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass is the access to day one exclusive game releases, and Xbox Game Pass is clearly a winner in this area. All the plans of Game Pass offer downloadable access to all the first-party as well as some third-party titles to the Xbox Game Pass members on day one of the launches, at no additional cost. This is one of the strongest selling points of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. Therefore, whether it’s the fan-favourite blockbusters like Halo or Forza or returning IPs like Hellblade, Xbox Game Pass members will get access to these at the launch itself. It’s really hard to say no to such a tempting deal, right! Undoubtedly, this makes the Xbox Game Pass, a more enticing option for gamers who’ve got an obsession with new games and want to get their hands on the latest titles as soon as they launch. 

Now, let’s get to know how PS Now is different from Xbox Game Pass in terms of day one access to its new releases. Unfortunately, Sony has decided to take a different road and doesn’t offer first-party games at the launch, not even to the Premium tier members. PlayStation’s CEO Jim Rayan has justified this by saying that if they bundle those first-party games with subscription plans, it could result in less investment in its Studios and might have an adverse impact on the quality of the games. Whatever be the reason, the end result is that Sony’s new PlayStation Plus service is unable to match its competitor. This fact alone could pull more users to Xbox Game Pass than PS Now. 

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PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass: Supported platforms

When we’re trying to understand which is better, the new PS Plus or Xbox Game Pass, we must have an idea about the supported platforms. Xbox Game Pass PC and Xbox Game Pass Console plans allow their members to play over 100 games on PC and consoles, respectively. On the flip side, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate plan adds support for Xbox Cloud Gaming so that its members can enjoy Xbox games on additional platforms as well. The list includes Android phones & tablets via the Xbox Game Pass app, Chromebooks via Chrome browser, and iOS/ iPadOS/Mac devices via Safari browsers. Therefore, you can play Xbox games anywhere, just make sure that you’ve got a good internet connection. 

Now, when we compare the new PlayStation Plus service with the Xbox Game Pass, the Premier tier allows you to stream games using PS5, PS4, and PC. However, Sony did not mention anything about its support for mobile devices. It’s unclear whether the company would offer an Xbox Cloud Gaming-like app for mobile platforms. This may disappoint mobile gamers. 

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PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass: Backwards Compatibility

When we’re comparing PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, it’s extremely important to factor in backward compatibility with their devices. Microsoft’s Game Pass allows you to play games on Xbox Series X, Series S, and Xbox One. It means the Xbox Game Pass is not backward compatible with older Xbox consoles like the original Xbox and Xbox 360. Having said that, Xbox Game Pass allows its members to choose titles from the original Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, as well as Xbox Series X|S. 

Coming to the new PlayStation Plus, Sony has decided to take a radically different approach on this. The new PS Plus service will include older games from Sony’s back catalog across PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, and PS5. Also, you’ll be able to download these games to your devices. However, there’s a caveat here. The PS Plus won’t include all the titles that are released across each PlayStation console, rather the member will be able to make a selection from an exciting game library that’s regularly refreshed. Having said that, it’s nice to see that the revamped PS Plus is backward compatible with all the generations of the PlayStation. As a result, Sony could fetch more gamers and have a huge base under the PlayStation Plus umbrella. 

Also Read: Best HDMI Cable for gaming on PC, PS4, and Xbox

Final Verdict: Which is better PlayStation now or Xbox Game Pass?

Here comes the final question- who’s the winner, PS Now or Xbox Game Pass? See, both the cloud gaming subscription services bring a lot to the table and have their own set of pros and cons. PlayStation Plus has a vast game library, offers online player access in each tier, supports cloud streaming, and offers tempting quarterly & yearly subscription plans. Coming to the Xbox Game Pass, it offers an unbeatable game library value, day-one access to new releases, and support for more platforms.

PS Now could be a better option for users who’re in search of an incredible subscription service for streaming and offers online multiplayer access at an affordable price. Also, if you’re a patient gamer who’s not obsessed with playing games right after the launch, PS Now is a great option. Now, if you’re thinking about which PS Plus subscription plan you should go for, we’ve tried to make it easy for you. If you’re happy with your current PS Plus plan or need a basic gaming subscription plan for your console, PS Plus Essentials is perfect for you. If you crave a super-strong game library with PS4 titles, PS Plus Extra is gonna excite you. Furthermore, if you’re interested in playing classic titles from PS3, PS2, and PS1, cloud streaming, and try before you buy trials, Sony’s PS Plus Premium tier has got you covered. 

On the flip side, if you want to play Xbox games on Android smartphones, iPhones, iPads, and Macs, Xbox Game Pass is all you need. Moreover, for gamers who just can’t wait to get their hands on the AAA titles from some big studios like EA, as soon as they are released, Xbox Game Pass could become their best bet. The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has everything that you could ask for. Right from the multi-platform support and cloud gaming to Xbox Gold Live and EA titles, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the ultimate choice. On the flip side, users who want to play games on PC/console and don’t care about Xbox Gold Live and online multiplayer can go for Xbox Game Pass PC/Console. 

More importantly, you must choose the service based on the ecosystem in which you’ve invested or are planning to invest. If you’ve got an Xbox Series X, it makes sense to go for Xbox Game Pass to reap all the benefits of your console and the subscription service. On the other hand, PlayStation owners should go for the revamped PS Plus service to make the most out of their gaming setup. Lastly, if you’re a true game lover who has got both the consoles in your cave, you may subscribe to both services.

Which gaming subscription service do you like the most? Are you an Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus lover? Give a shoutout in the comments section below.