As Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass continues to mutate and evolve, it’s interesting to question what, if anything, Sony must do to respond.
Sony has two different subscription services, both of which share features with the Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus and PS Now.
And owning Xbox Game Pass Ultimate basically means getting access to everything on offer.
A few months ago, this meant having access to a vault of games, as well as Xbox Live Gold benefit, such as the monthly free games.
Now, Microsft has expanded its subscription service to include game streaming via Project xCloud, and EA Play.
This latest addition was revealed today and was likely set to be shared by Microsoft during a bigger event.
Here’s what we know about the new partnership, with Microsoft confirming this week:
“We are teaming up with Electronic Arts to provide Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC members with an EA Play membership at no additional cost starting this holiday.
“This means Ultimate members can enjoy EA Play on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and Windows 10 PCs, and Xbox Game Pass for PC members get EA Play on Windows 10.
“Formerly known as EA Access and Origin Access, EA Play will bring the best of EA to Game Pass.
“More than 60 of EA’s biggest and best console and PC games like FIFA 20, Titanfall 2 and Need for Speed Heat, as well as titles from some of EA’s most popular franchises like Battlefield, Mass Effect, Skate, and The Sims.
“Exclusive in-game challenges and rewards, special member-only content, discounts on EA digital purchases for DLC, games, and more.
Access to trials of games for up to 10 hours from best-loved franchises and top titles like Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21.
“Not only will EA Play titles be available on console and PC, this holiday, some of the best EA Play games will also be available for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to play on Android devices via the cloud at no additional charge.”
It should be noted that this new partnership, and other changes, are connected to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and not the base version of the service.
But with that being said, is it time Sony announced changes to the PS Plus or PS Now services?
The most logical step would be to provide a new tier that would provide access to both, making it possible to stream games and get a few free each month.
Sony has only made big changes to PlayStation Now in recent months, with the tech giant committing to more limited releases.
These are usually timed but allow Sony to offer the likes of God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Meanwhile, PS Plus has stayed relatively static since Sony removed PS3 and PS Vita games from the monthly roster.
So the question will be how Sony decides to handle the launch of Xbox Games Pass + EA Play + the Xbox Series S.
We would expect some kind of shake-up with the release of the PS5, but we will have to wait and see whether Sony will announce anything like the EA Play deal in the coming months.