What are the differences between PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass? Is PS Now better than Game Pass? If you happen to be weighing up the two gaming services offered by Sony and Microsoft, potentially to help you decide which console to purchase, you might be wondering which is the better deal. As part of our PS5 Guide, we're going to explain what the differences are between PS Now and Xbox Game Pass and decide which one is better. For more information, refer to the following guides: All PlayStation Now Games.
PS Now: What Is It?
PlayStation Now is a subscription service available on PlayStation 4 and PC that allows users to download and stream select PS4 games to play. Those with an active subscription can also stream select PlayStation 3 games over the internet. Certain PlayStation 2 games are also playable on PS Now.
You can sign up to PlayStation Now in monthly increments of £8.99/$9.99 or opt for a yearly subscription at £49.99/$59.99 and this will give you access to every single PlayStation game on the service. PS4 games are added to the service on a monthly basis, with the vast majority of them staying there for the foreseeable future. Lately, Sony has started to include bigger titles in its line-up which do come with an expiration date. Those games are no longer playable through PS Now once they leave the service, but you can still buy them through the PlayStation Store.
To quickly sum up, PlayStation Now allows you to:
- Download and stream PS4 and PS2 games
- Stream PS3 games
- Play those games on your PS4 or PC
Xbox Game Pass: What Is It?
Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service available on Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X that allows users to download a wide range of Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Original Xbox games to play. Every title on the service is downloaded to the console itself rather than streamed from a server.
You can sign up to Xbox Game Pass in monthly increments of £7.99/$9.99 and gain access to every single game available on the service. Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Original Xbox games are added to Xbox Game Pass on a very regular basis, but a handful of titles are taken out of the 200+ line-up at the end of each month. The service's biggest selling point is the fact that brand new Xbox One, and later Xbox Series X, titles from Microsoft Studios are added to Xbox Game Pass on the very same day they launch. Essentially, this means that you no longer have to pay full price for first-party games on Xbox consoles.
To quickly sum up, Xbox Game Pass allows you to:
- Download Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Original Xbox games
- Play those games on your Xbox One, Xbox One S, or Xbox One X
PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass: What Are the Differences?
The most obvious difference between PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass is that they are both only available on different consoles. PS Now is not available on Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass is not available on PS4. However, what really separates the two are their varying game selections. Many PS4 exclusives are available on PlayStation Now, but they've arrived years after their initial release date. As such, it's going to take a long time before the likes of The Last of Us: Part II and Ghost of Tsushima come to the service. On the other hand, games from Microsoft's first-party studios are on Xbox Game Pass the moment they launch. PlayStation Now is able to offer a bigger and wider catalogue of games, but the offerings of Xbox Game Pass are more up to date with current releases.
One other key difference is that PlayStation Now is available on PC while Xbox Game Pass is not. In order to access Xbox Game Pass on PC, your subscription must be upgraded to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This comes with an increased monthly cost of £10.99/$14.99. A new service named xCloud will be added to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate later this year that allows users to stream Xbox games to their android phone or tablet. This arrives at no extra cost.
One final difference between PS Now and Xbox Game Pass is that the former utilises streaming to deliver some of its catalogue while every title part of the latter can be downloaded. PS3 games on PlayStation Now can only be streamed over the internet, they cannot be downloaded. As such, you may encounter difficulties playing these titles if your internet connection isn't up to snuff.
PS Now vs Xbox Game Pass: Which One Is Better?
Deciding which of the two services is better is largely going to depend on what you're looking to gain access to. Xbox Game Pass generally has a more up to date catalogue of titles with first-party titles available from day one and even third-party games entering the service at an impressively fast rate. Meanwhile, PlayStation Now's newest additions tend to be a couple of years old. You do have to remember though that with PS Now, you gain access to hundreds of PS3 games for streaming and an overall catalogue that is rarely reduced in size. PlayStation Now only removes a few bigger titles a year while multiple games leave Xbox Game Pass on a monthly basis.
There is no obvious winner here because the two services appeal to different types of gamers. PS Now can boast of a wider catalogue of games while Xbox Game Pass sports much more up to date releases. That includes first-party and third-party games. In the end, it all comes down to whether you want to gain access to more titles or the latest releases. PS Now satisfies the former while Xbox Game Pass serves the latter.
If you have been deciding which service to go with, what one have you chosen? PlayStation Now or Xbox Game Pass? Let us know in the comments below and check out our other PS5 guide.