Microsoft’s published a corporate puff piece praising its Xbox Game Pass business model. The lengthy roundtable discussion, featuring Xbox bigwigs Phil Spencer and Sarah Bond, has been released to coincide with the Game Developers Conference, and the content is much what you’d expect: a lot of talk of percentages, numbers, and graphs trending upwards. The general gist – if you don’t have 22 minutes to spare – is that subscription models increase sales, improve engagement, and diversify player’s tastes.
With all this apparent success, it’s only a matter of time before other platform holders follow suit, and Bond perhaps knows more about PlayStation’s plans than the rest of us. “[Subscriptions] have lowered the barrier for entry and created a whole new market and love for games and gaming experiences that otherwise wouldn’t have existed,” she beamed. “It’s one of the reasons why I’m excited to see gaming become a bigger part of our industry: we have our subscriptions, Sony’s announced theirs, and I anticipate other platforms are going to do the same because it’s so, so good for both developers and players.”
Fair enough, Sarah – but to our knowledge Sony hasn’t announced anything. Now, there are a few explanations here: it’s perfectly possible Bond simply made a mistake, which is fair enough, it happens to us all the time. It’s also plausible she’s referring to existing subscriptions, like PS Plus or PS Now. Or, potentially, she may have mistaken rumours about Project Spartacus for some kind of official announcement. All of the aforementioned are viable explanations.
Given her position, though, it’s also possible she may have some awareness of what PlayStation’s got cooking behind-the-scenes, and believes it’s already been announced. All we know at this stage is that a multifaceted reboot of PS Plus is allegedly nearing release, which will add additional paid tiers to the current setup and will include perks ranging from a vault of games to cloud streaming, similar to what’s already being offered in a limited capacity with PS Now.