Ever since we heard rumblings of a Netflix-like service for games from Microsoft, it’s grown into a product that is now at the forefront of what Microsoft offer across Xbox and PC.
Yesterday’s Xbox Games Showcase also reinforced this, with announced games making sure the viewer knows that they can also be played on Game Pass when they’re released.
But it brought up a few questions for me regarding Sony and the PlayStation 5. We have yet to discover if PS Now is going to be expanded to take on Game Pass, or to just stand still and be an afterthought.
With that, here’s why I think Sony needs to up their game in this area.
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A PlayStation Pass
Currently on a PlayStation 4, you can sign up to a £9.99 a month plan for PS Now, Sony’s service of a small library of games that you can either stream or download. There’s a mix of PS3 games and some PS2 Classics alongside PS4 games, but that’s about it.
When it comes to Game Pass, you’ve got games from the original Xbox from 2002, right up to this year. Fusion Frenzy is a game released back in 2001 as a launch title, and its ready to play in Game Pass.
But the PS Now service is already looking scarce, with the oldest game on its service being Fantavision; a game that was also a launch title for the PS2, but it’s a game so bland about fireworks and not Fanta Orange that it’s not even worth a rental.
It’s time for Sony to pull back the curtain slightly, to really show how their streaming and back-catalogue game can be used to its fullest potential. Right now, it just seems lacklustre.
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A Back-Library waiting to be exploited
I’ve been banging the big drum about how Sony needs to focus on their twenty-five year back-catalogue for the PlayStation 5. It’s their trump card for this next-generation, and it’s maddening to me that they’re not using it as a feature for PS Now or just for the PlayStation 5.
Imagine having a monthly release schedule of past games such as The Bouncer, Tomb Raider 2, Ridge Racer 4, Bloody Roar, AirBlade, Tekken Tag 1, and so many more.
Microsoft may talk about having a huge library for Game Pass, but that’s nothing compared to the brands that Sony has had on their systems since the mid-nineties. To have a new-kind of PSNow that would feature so many games from its last twenty five years, it can trump the library that Microsoft have been touting.
It seems so obvious for Sony here. It’s great that their mindset for games on the PS5 will only work on the PS5, and in my opinion, that’s how it should be. But it feels like they’re missing a massive trick on taking advantage on the games that have brought them to where they are today.
I would be very happy in paying a monthly subscription on playing the back-catalogue of games from Sony’s past on the PlayStation 5, or even on other devices. PS Now used to be able to work on certain Sony televisions, so why not go back to this feature, and build on it.
Hell, people forget that Sony still have their ‘Xperia’ smartphones, so to have a PS Now service on there with an accessory to hook up a Dual Shock 4 or a Dual Sense to it, seems very alluring. Even bundling it in to a monthly phone-contract, similar to how networks bundle Spotify and Disney in, it could work with PS Now.
But of course, I’m a realist, and it seems that, as we’re only months away from the release of PlayStation 5, it’s looking more and more unlikely that something like this will occur in any method, but I can dream.
And regardless, I will always believe that this is a fantastic opportunity that Sony are unfortunately squandering. But I’d love to be surprised by the end of this year.
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