PlayStation Plus is finally bringing it to Xbox Game Pass. Beginning Thursday, Sony’s game subscription service has turned into a three-headed dragon, and it’s designed to squarely stand against Microsoft’s behemoth. While PS Plus may have more members (47 million over 25 million), Game Pass has been the go-to product for the past few years. That’s thanks to Microsoft spending billions of dollars to give Xbox, PC, and mobile gamers access to day-one releases, a continuously updated catalog of great backends, and services that adapt to the way you play. Ultimately, Sony knew it had to respond to Game Pass in one way or another. Now it has.

Now that Sony and Microsoft are more equal, which one is doing better with its video game subscriptions? That’s what we’ll dive into here, comparing all three PS Plus plans (Essential, Extra, and Deluxe) to three Xbox offerings (Live Gold, Game Pass, and Game Pass Ultimate). Note that this isn’t always apples to apples, as Sony and Microsoft are taking the approach. But to be sure, the Sony and Microsoft gaming duopoly — Nintendo operates in its own world, really — is only further cemented by these subscriptions. Xbox and PlayStation have opened up the hardware world between them, and now they’re going even further.

PlayStation Plus Deluxe vs Extra vs Essential: What’s the best in India?

If you want more of the bigger debates, listen to our podcast below. If you’re just here for PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass, on.

PS Plus Essential vs Xbox Live Gold: Benefits

The newly rebranded PlayStation Plus base tier still can’t compete with Xbox Game Pass. Instead, its direct competitor is Microsoft’s other subscription, Xbox Live Gold. Allow me to explain.

For one thing, you’ll need PS Plus Essential and Xbox Live Gold to play online multiplayer on Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, respectively.

Also, they offer two or more free games every month. Sony offers two PS4 games and one PS5 game, while Microsoft is sticking with the Xbox One and Xbox 360 era.

During PlayStation and Xbox digital sales, having a basic subscription also gives you an additional discount – usually around 10%.

PS Plus Essential has some benefits that Xbox Live Gold can’t match. You can get additional exclusive content in PlayStation games. On Xbox, you’ll need to use Xbox Game Pass for this.

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Second, you’ll get access to the PlayStation Plus Collection, a catalog of two dozen PS4 hits — from Bloodborne to Battlefield 1 — only available on PS5.

That being said, Sony locks free cloud storage for your PS4 and PS5 game saves after a subscription. Microsoft isn’t stingy with cloud storage, and it’s available to everyone — even if you don’t subscribe.

While Sony gives you 100GB of PS4 storage and 100GB of PS5 storage, Microsoft’s policy is flexible: “Every game provides storage. As your game library grows, so does your cloud storage. “

Batman: Arkham Knight is part of the PS Plus series
Image credit: Warner Bros/Rocksteady Studios

PS Plus Essential vs Xbox Live Gold: Prices in India

Although it may have a new name, the PS Plus Essential keeps the old price of Rs. Rs 499 per month, Rs. Rs 1,199 per quarter, Rs. 2,999 a year.

Meanwhile, Xbox Live Gold is priced at Rs. Rs 349 per month, Rs. 749 per quarter, Rs. 1,999 a year.

The latter is cheaper, but PS Plus Essential tends to offer better free games. The PS Plus Collection (on PS5) is a bonus.

Plus, Sony used to discount PS Plus at least twice a year—usually 25% off. We’ll need to see if this continues with the PS Plus Essential.

I’m going to announce this round for Sony.

The first new PlayStation Plus tier to truly rival Xbox Game Pass is Extra, the middle bracket of Sony’s three new tiers. While it’s still not an exact one, you’ll see.

Sony’s game catalog – as it’s called – offers over 300 PS4 and PS5 games, including titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Control, Marvel’s Spider-Man and Homecoming. Some games are provided by Ubisoft+ Classics, which is a subset of Ubisoft+.

Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass offers over 400 Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Xbox games. this is the best.

On top of that, Game Pass also offers multiple Day One releases, including everything from Xbox Game Studios — from Halo Infinite to Forza Horizon 5 — as well as third-party titles.

Forza Horizon 5 Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 is day one release on Xbox Game Pass
Image credit: Xbox/Playground Games

Sony has said that the new PS Plus won’t take this approach in its own games. The newest first-party games on the service are remakes/upgrades (Tsuma Director’s Cut and Death Stranding Director’s Cut), and the latest new game is the return in April 2021.

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That said, other game developers will get this opportunity. For example, the upcoming cyberpunk cat game Stray will be released on the first day of PS Plus Extra and higher.

As you know, Sony doesn’t offer classic games on the PS Plus Extra — those that are beyond the PS4 era. This makes Xbox Game Pass a better for some people.

Sony has priced the PlayStation Plus Extra at Rs. Rs 749 per month, Rs. Rs 1,999 for three months. 4,999 a year.

That’s demanding in India, especially considering Microsoft’s choice to lower Game Pass prices in early 2022.

Xbox Game Pass now starts at Rs. Rs 349 per month, Rs. Rs 1,049 for three months. 2,099 for six months.

There’s no annual option, but even stacking two six-month Game Pass subscriptions is cheaper, although Sony offers an 80% savings over the monthly version on the annual plan.

Xbox Game Pass doesn’t have online games, but PS Plus Extra doesn’t offer classic games.

PS Plus does have Ubisoft+ Classics, while Game Pass has few Ubisoft games like Far Cry 5 and Assassin’s Creed Origins.

But the biggest difference is that Game Pass has a lot of day one versions.

With lower prices, a larger catalog, and better perks, Microsoft easily wins this round.

Unless online gaming is your priority, in which case this round is Sony’s.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Assassin's Creed Valhalla

PS Plus game catalog offers Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Image credit: Ubisoft Montreal

PS Plus Deluxe/Premium vs Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: Advantages

What’s left now is the best. PlayStation Plus Premium offers the best level of competition for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. But the benefits here are not available globally.

If you want to stream games over the cloud, you’ll need PS Plus Premium or Game Pass Ultimate.

The Premium Edition includes all available PlayStation Now games – separate subscriptions now merged into PS Plus – including PS3 games available only via cloud streaming.

So-called Xbox cloud gaming is only available with Game Pass Ultimate, unless you like free-to-play games like Fortnite that are open to everyone. The Xbox Cloud Gaming Catalog is a smaller version of the Game Pass catalog.

While PS Plus Premium supports streaming on PC and PS5, Xbox Cloud Gaming works on PC, Xbox and mobile devices.

But cloud gaming is not available in India and elsewhere. Sony has also come up with a different name for the service – it’s called PlayStation Plus Deluxe. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate retains the same name.

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PS Plus Deluxe/Premium has two other benefits. Classic catalog of over 80 PS1, PS2 and PSP era games. And a bunch of game demos – with runtimes between 1 and 3 hours – for titles like Horizon​​​​Forbidden West, Cyber​​ 2077 and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.

Meanwhile, in Game Pass Ultimate, you get four other benefits. The biggest of these is access to all of EA Play, which gives you hundreds of games, 10-hour trials on the latest titles, and 10% off all EA game purchases.

FIFA 22 FIFA 22

EA Play offers FIFA 22, part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Image credit: EA Sports

Second, Xbox Live Gold is included with Game Pass Ultimate, giving you access to online multiplayer and other things I mentioned in the beginning.

Third, Microsoft is also including PC Game Pass in Game Pass Ultimate, which means you can also access hundreds of Game Pass games on your gaming PC.

Finally, Game Pass Ultimate offers free perks and exclusive discounts from time to time, whether it’s a limited Disney+/Discord subscription, or bonus game content and add-ons.

PS Plus Deluxe vs Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: Indian Prices

PlayStation Plus Deluxe – top – priced at Rs. Rs 849 per month, Rs. Rs 2,299 for three months. 5,749 per year.

Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is priced at Rs. Rs 499 per month, Rs. 1,499 for three months, Rs. 2,999 six months, Rs. Rs 5,999 per annum. 11,999 for two years.

As you can see, while Game Pass Ultimate is a lot cheaper than PS Plus Deluxe per month, it’s slightly cheaper if you choose to use PS Plus Deluxe year-round.

Of course, if you go the open-secret route — accumulate 36 months of Xbox Live Gold, then convert it to Game Pass Ultimate — then Microsoft’s subscription will be much cheaper.

When it comes to perks, Sony has nothing against EA Play and PC Game Pass. Ubisoft+ Classics – available on PS Plus Extra and Deluxe/Premium – are unbeatable.

While Deluxe/Premium might put Sony on par with Game Pass Ultimate’s classics, it still doesn’t beat Microsoft’s all-day release stuff.

Game Pass Ultimate is a for me, especially if you go the open-secret route. Even more so if you own both a PC and an Xbox.


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