Sony is planning a response to Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate, according to the man leading the PS5’s charge against the Xbox Series X and Series S. Speaking to Russia’s TASS, Sony CEO Jim Ryan says there is news to come on the gaming subscription front, but wouldn’t be drawn on whether Sony is plotting a direct competitor to Xbox Game Pass.
Game Pass Ultimate – which provides online gaming, a huge array of new and existing games and access to the xCloud technology and an EA Play membership – is a clear advantage for Microsoft’s new range of consoles.
Sony has its PlayStation Now subscription service, which offers access to hundreds of PS4, PS3 and PS2 games via the cloud, but the overall package pales in comparison to the value proposition of Xbox Game Pass.
When asked about how Sony plans to counter, Jim Ryan said: “There is actually news to come, but just not today. We have PlayStation Now which is our subscription service, and that is available in a number of markets.”
When that news will be forthcoming remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely to be until next year. However, should Sony be able to offer a subscription service to rival Game Pass, it would cancel out one of Microsoft’s key advantages.
Elsewhere in the interview, Ryan revealed he expects three quarters of PS5 gamers will have upgraded from the PS4 console, while up to a quarter will be from other platforms.
“There are around 114 million PS4s in the world, the number of those who transfer if you keep that in mind is a small number. But for us, the PS4 community is going to remain incredibly important certainly for 2020, 2021 and 2022. Because in those three years, that will be the larger PlayStation community,” Ryan added.
Ryan said that the competition with Microsoft keeps Sony working harder, but pointed out Sony’s repertoire of exclusive games could once again be the difference maker in this generation.
He added: “Great games are really important for the PlayStation 5, and if those great games are exclusive to our platform, we think that is a point of difference in our favor, and we’re very happy to be able to offer the PlayStation community games that they can only find on a PlayStation. The strength of the games that our studios made in the PS4 cycle was a big factor in the PlayStation 4 being so popular.”