PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass subscription services compared

While both platforms offer extensive perks, here's how they really measure up

Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation offer an extensive range of perks and a treasure trove of games to choose from. Reuters
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From film and television to music, subscription services have become the norm for all forms of media consumed today.

Gaming is no different, and the two main players, Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox, offer extensive subscription services, with a trove of games to choose from. Here's how they measure up.

PlayStation Plus

Sony’s subscription service began life as PlayStation Live, a service that allowed users to stream a library of games instead of purchasing and downloading them on their consoles. The feature was introduced to the PlayStation 3 and 4 in 2014.

PlayStation Live’s name was later changed to Playstation Plus. The service offered users new games to download for free every month — with usually two or three to choose from. It also featured exclusive discounts.

For years, PlayStation Plus remained the same, with few alterations to the service. But that all changed in 2022 when Sony announced a complete overhaul.

Today, PlayStation Plus offers a three-tier option. The first, Essential, offers the same original perks: subscribers can download two or three games a month for free, while also having access to exclusive discounts.

The second, Extra, adds a library of games that is updated monthly. It is important to note that if a game is downloaded from this library, the user can continue to play it, even if it is removed from the library later on.

Extra also offers access to Ubisoft+ which is the French developer's own library of games, which include titles from the beloved Assassin's Creed series.

The third tier, Deluxe, has all the perks from the previous two tiers, plus access to an additional library of classic gamesfrom previous Playstation consoles

Playstation Plus currently has about 47.4 million subscribers worldwide.

Why should I subscribe?

Gaming can be costly, especially if you want to do it right and try to keep up with the latest technology has to offer. A popular console such as the PlayStation 5 will set you back a cool $499.99.

But a console is nothing more than a fancy piece of hardware without games to play on it. New games on the PlayStation 5 range in price, between $50 and $80 for Triple A, or high-profile titles.

Under these circumstances, a subscription to Playstation Plus provides an immediate return on investment with its large range of games to choose from, none at an additional cost over the subscription fee.

New games, as well as beloved classics, are constantly added to the service and subscribers can always look forward to seeing which will be available for download.

PlayStation Plus subscription prices


One month: $7.99

Three months: $20.99

Twelve months: $49.99


One month: $11.99

Three months: $33.99

Twelve months: $82.99


One month: $13.99

Three months: $39.99

Twelve months: $95.99

Top games on PlayStation Plus

Control: Ultimate Edition, Horizon Forbidden West, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Ghost of Tsushima, Mortal Kombat 11, Stray.

Xbox Game Pass

Having launched in 2017, Microsoft’s subscription service has proven to be popular among gamers, with many citing the service as a huge draw for purchasing an Xbox console.

Much like PlayStation Plus, the Xbox Game Pass adds new and old games to its library, allowing subscribers to download titles regularly.

The main difference between the Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus is that on the former, you’re able to carry over your experience from the Xbox to a Microsoft PC.

This allows for cross-platform gaming, with some titles benefiting from the PC format, due to its potentially powerful video card.

Xbox Game Pass also has a multi-tiered system, with the two base tiers available for either an Xbox console or a PC, and a third tier which allows one account to be used on both.

Why should I subscribe?

Xbox has always prided itself on one particular thing: online and multiplayer gaming. Xbox servers are also known to be sturdy and capable of managing large-scale game lobbies.

Game Pass is also supplemented with a large library of games.

Over the past few years, Microsoft has worked hard and spent millions on acquiring prestigious game studios, as well as earning exclusivity for its games.

This means that with an Xbox, you’ll be able to play games that will probably never be playable on a PlayStation console.

Xbox Game Pass subscription prices

Console: $9.99 a month

PC: $1 for the first month then $9.99 a month

Ultimate: $1 for the first month then $14.99 a month

Top games on Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft Flight Simulator, Quantum Break, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Motorsport 7, Psychonauts 2.

Updated: March 29, 2023, 8:36 AM