- SIE CEO Jim Ryan says that Sony has no plans to launch its own version of Xbox Game Pass.
- Ryan says that “putting new [PS5] games into a subscription model” isn’t sustainable for Sony.
- PlayStation Game Pass might never happen, but PS5 owners will get access to 18 of the PS4’s best titles as part of the new PlayStation Plus Collection for PS Plus subscribers.
Xbox Game Pass might be Microsoft’s secret weapon this console generation. The PS4 dominated sales charts over the last seven years, but during that time, Microsoft introduced and slowly built up a subscription service that features dozens of the best games from the biggest developers, including its own first-party studios. For $10 a month, you can play Wasteland 3, Resident Evil 7, Gears 5, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and more to your heart’s content, and for $5 more, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will let you play many of those games on your phone over the cloud.
The value of Xbox Game Pass is virtually unmatched in the industry. As such, it seemed reasonable to assume that Sony would have to at least try to match it with an upgrade for PlayStation Now or a new service altogether. Instead, Sony made it abundantly clear this week that it has no interest in following Microsoft’s lead.
Here’s what Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan had to say when asked by GamesIndustry.biz if Sony had any plans to launch its own subscription service similar to Xbox Game Pass:
For us, having a catalogue of games is not something that defines a platform. Our pitch, as you’ve heard, is ‘new games, great games.’ We have had this conversation before — we are not going to go down the road of putting new releases titles into a subscription model. These games cost many millions of dollars, well over $100 million, to develop. We just don’t see that as sustainable.
We want to make the games bigger and better, and hopefully at some stage more persistent. So putting those into a subscription model on day one, for us, just doesn’t make any sense. For others in a different situation, it might well make sense, but for us it doesn’t. We want to expand and grow our existing ecosystem, and putting new games into a subscription model just doesn’t sit with that.
Instead, PS5 owners with PlayStation Plus subscriptions will get access to a new offering called PS Plus Collection, which will give them access to a curated library of PS4 games at no additional cost. 18 PS4 games will be included in the collection at launch, such as Batman Arkham Knight, Bloodborne, Fallout 4, God of War, Monster Hunter: World, and Persona 5, but it’s unclear if more will be added in the future, or if this perk is permanent.
Sony has revealed that $70 will apparently be the norm for its first-party titles this generation. If you pick up Demon’s Souls or Destruction AllStars on PS5, both of which are being published by Sony, prepare to pay $69.99. Meanwhile, every first-party Xbox game will be included in Xbox Game Pass. If Microsoft can increase its output this generation, the differences between the long-term costs of the consoles will start to become apparent.