There seems to be something in the pipelines for PlayStation 5 that will be a response to Xbox Game Pass.
Speaking with Russian publication TASS (via Push Square) in a recent interview, chief executive Jim Ryan was asked if Sony Interactive Entertainment has plans to counter Microsoft with an Xbox Game Pass-like subscription-based service on PS5. He teased that “there is actually news to come but just not today.”
Xbox Game Pass was launched in 2017 and has ramped up more than 15 million subscribers worldwide across multiple platforms, 5 million of which were added in the last year alone. Xbox Game Pass has surged in popularity for a fairly simple reason: players can access a large selection of games (including recent and critically acclaimed games) for as low as $10 per month.
The closest Sony has come to a similar service was with the PlayStation Plus Collection where PlayStation Plus subscribers can gain access to a “curated library of PS4 games that defined the generation.” PlayStation Plus Collection however can hardly be measured with the same stick as Xbox Game Pass.
It should be noted that Ryan himself has previously gone against the idea of an Xbox Game Pass-like service on PS5. “We are not going to go down the road of putting new release titles into a subscription model,” he said to Games Industry a few months back. “These games cost many millions of dollars, well over $100 million, to develop. We just don’t see that as sustainable.”
Sony is currently busy with meeting the significantly high demand of PS5 consoles worldwide. A shortage in supply is believed to carry on throughout the holiday season and perhaps in the first quarter of 2021 as well. Whatever Sony is working on to counter Xbox Game Pass remains to be seen but based on statements alone, the unannounced service will likely not be subscription based and most probably linked with the existing PlayStation Plus subscription. Sony may as well be considering to expand PlayStation Plus Collection.