I find it a bit funny, that here I am in the middle of Broketober and aside from GRID (which I am enjoying quite a lot, which doesn’t surprise me considering my history with Codemasters racers) and the surprisingly good River City Girls (thank you WayForward for bringing back yet another beloved franchise) I haven’t really purchased many games this month. I planned to purchase Ghost Recon: Brekapoint but decided to hold back and rent it through Gamefly after all I’ve heard about it. Of course the majority of criticisms came through the only microtransactions excuse. I have heard from some of my friends about how they were able to go through the game without paying for a single extra, and that got me wondering if it would be time for another episode of “Didn’t Spend A Dime,” but I’ll have to wait to see for myself.
And then of course, there is The Outer Worlds, a game I’ve been waiting to play for a long time. For me though, that also will not be a purchase, as it will be coming to Xbox Game Pass the day it is launched. Matter of fact, the game is already installed onto my hard drive and it just waiting to be unlocked next Friday.
So let’s just say that since it first came out, Xbox Game Pass has been a winner for both me and my wallet. However, as I mentioned in my last column, I recently purchased a PS4 Pro and am getting back into the PlayStation library. With my purchase I noticed there was a seven day trial for PlayStation Now. If you remember my past experience with PS Now, it was not that good. The price was way too expensive, especially when you consider that games can be downloaded via rental periods instead of a monthly service. Then there was the massive input lag and poor streaming quality, even though my connection was more than enough to cover the stream.
I will have to say that since then, from what I saw with PlayStation Now, it has improved quite a lot. While the streaming is still quite poor for my tastes, thankfully it is not just a streaming service anymore. Taking a cue from Xbox Game Pass, Sony has now added game downloads into PS Now, and with it comes a library of 358 downloadable titles, consisting of both PS2 and PS4 games. PS3 games are still streaming only and considering the complex architecture of that system’s Cell processor, I don’t see them ever being emulated. Still it’s quite a large library, but there are some issues.
One thing I love about Xbox Game Pass is how Microsoft includes all their first party titles on Game Pass right from their launch date, and from what it looks like they will be staying there permanently. That’s not the case with PS Now. Sure it does have some of their top exclusives such as God of War, but they are expiring in January of next year. As for Spider-Man, their other huge hit of 2019, there is no sign of it at all on PS Now. In addition, if anyone wants to play these games on PC, they are stuck with streaming, so the luxury of cross download and cross progression you see in Xbox Game Pass (provided the games support them) is nonexistent.
There is one other factor that I will give Sony huge credit for when it comes to PlayStation Now: the price. The service is now available monthly for $10, same as standard Xbox Game Pass, and it can be purchased yearly for only $60, which means you get six months for free! There is a catch though, as PlayStation Now does not include PlayStation Plus, which needs to be purchased separately. I’m hoping that eventually Sony will add their own Ultimate package that bundles both Plus and PS Now for one low price.
I will also hope that Microsoft does a yearly package for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. If they considered a year of Ultimate for $90, that would be a massive steal!
Still, PlayStation Now has greatly improved, and even though I will never back up game streaming based on my experiences with it, I would recommend anyone who gets or already has a PS4 take a good look at PlayStation Now. For PC gamers, not so much.
Currently Playing: GRID (Xbox One X,) River City Girls (Xbox One X)
Waiting For: The Outer Worlds (Xbox Game Pass)