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Sony Believes It Would Take 'Several Years' to Create a Rival to Xbox Game Pass

Sony Believes It Would Take 'Several Years' to Create a Rival to Xbox Game Pass - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 August 2022 / 5,202 Views

Sony speaking with Brazil's regulatory body when asked about Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard answered several questions including its thoughts on Xbox Game Pass, as spotted by ResetEra.

Sony says that over the past five years, Xbox Game Pass has grown to capture around 60 to 70 percent of the worldwide subscription services market. Xbox Game Pass in Brazil represents 70 to 80 percent of the PC subscription services market.

The company believes it would take "several years" for a competitor to create a rival for Xbox Game Pass, even with substantial investments.

Sony Believes It Would Take 'Several Years' to Create a Rival to Xbox Game Pass

Sony has says subscription services can compete with games purchase for a one-time fee, but thinks the lowest upfront costs of subscription services might be "anti-competitive." This is in comparison to publishers who recoup investments in games by selling them for an upfront cost.

The company thinks subscription services could harm the consumers as it could reduce the quality of games.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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smroadkill15 (on 01 August 2022)

Game Pass is not even close to peaking yet. The best is yet to come.

  • +11
aTokenYeti (on 01 August 2022)

Sony claims that Microsoft has between 60-70% of the total premium subscription market and a staggering 80% of the PC subscription market

  • +5
DonFerrari aTokenYeti (on 01 August 2022)

For streaming, do you have any doubt of this?

  • +3
UnderwaterFunktown (on 01 August 2022)

A rival in what sense though? If they're talking of creating a sub service that's as ever present on different platforms (Console, PC, Mobile, maybe streaming directly to the TV) then that's definitely very tough and it's Game Pass's big ace. On consoles alone however, I'd say PS Plus (Extra/Premium) is already shaping up to be competetive.

  • +2
DonFerrari UnderwaterFunktown (on 01 August 2022)

I think he isn't saying only about the number of devices it can be put, but on having a similar number of subs.

  • +3

I think PS Plus is competitive if you're new to Sony's ecosystem (or returning after a long absence) and don't already have those games. But if you are a loyal Sony fan and either have (or have already played through) the stuff on the service that interests you, then the lack of day-and-date AAA releases makes it not competitive.

If you are considering buying your first current-gen console, or have both a PS5 and an Xbox Series console and you previously had a PS4, then Game Pass is significantly better value.

But someone like me whose last PS consoles were the PS2 and the PSP, then PS Plus would be great value with all the great older games on the service that I haven't played yet.

  • +1
DonFerrari scrapking (5 days ago)

Can't disagree with you. PS+ value is for the added free games that will accumulate over time (but pointless for who is coming new to it), on PS5 that instant library (good to who is coming for the first time or missing for a long time, useless for those who played most of PS4 gen on it), and now the premium tiers (emulation is still not worth it at all imho, to fell titles and improvements) is valuable either to people coming first time or absent or for now "dedicated gamers" to play the titles you were not willing to pay the price before (when we consider that along a gen the attach ratio sits about 10-12 games per system, there is a lot of people that don't buy many games and would benefit from PS+). But there is no denial that on bang for buck (discounting taste) GP is the better value for customer currently.

  • 0
AkimboCurly (on 01 August 2022)

Hot take that a low upfront price is anti-competitive. Most would see it as a sign of tough competition

  • +1
Qwark (on 01 August 2022)

Sony probably couldn't afford making something like gamepass into a success. You need to be willing to make a loss for a lot of years till you get enough subs. You also need to sacrifice a lot of game sales. It works for Microsoft, but it's not as easily done on PlayStation or Nintendo for that matter.

  • +1
2zosteven (on 01 August 2022)

Sony needs to double their efforts!

  • +1
Imaginedvl 2zosteven (on 01 August 2022)

Oh but they will. It will take time for sure but they will need to get there and they will get there. No doubts about it.

  • 0
scrapking 2zosteven (5 days ago)

Oh, dang, is that because the Emperor is coming? Here?!

  • +1

nailed it!

  • 0
gtotheunit91 (on 01 August 2022)

So the conversation has gone from "Game Pass isn't profitable" to "Game Pass is anti-competitive?"

If Sony was really this concerned about Game Pass, you would think they would have launched a true competitor by now. They themselves say it would take "several years" to create a competing service. Game Pass has been around for 5 years now. That's more than several years.

There can be different business models in the gaming industry. It doesn't have to be subscription service or nothing. Sony's business model has worked for them for a long time and with the launch of the new PS+ service, Sony isn't in any danger to be making these kinds of claims.

  • +1
rapsuperstar31 gtotheunit91 (on 01 August 2022)

Gamepass wasn't much of a threat during those 5 years when Microsoft rarely released new 1st party games outside of Forza games. Gamepass is great to play indie games, older 360 games, and all of the Yakuza games. Now 5 years later, Microsoft's investments are gong to start paying off next year with hopefully a steady stream of strong 1st party games that is going to make Gamepass a lot harder to compete with. If Microsoft has a steady 2-3 years of awesome 1st party games come out, the proposition of paying $140 for 2 a new Sony games per year or $120 a year or less for all of the Xbox's 1st party games is going to be a tougher sell.

  • +4
DonFerrari gtotheunit91 (on 01 August 2022)

You know both can exactly be a match right?
Anti-competitive is one of the forms of dumping that makes your product not profitable, selling for a loss to ensure no one will be able to compete with your bigger pockets.
When 70B is put on purchase and those weren't made by that service you can start smelling where the match come.

  • +3
gtotheunit91 DonFerrari (on 01 August 2022)

For sure! I guess I'm referring more to Sony previously stating that putting their titles into a subscription service day 1 like Game Pass isn't sustainable and would affect the quality of their games. Which, that's completely fair! PS Studios games are unmatched in their quality and I can totally see where Sony is coming from.
But going from that public perspective to now saying the service is anti-competitive just rubs me the wrong way. Imho I don't think they need to compete with Game Pass in a 1 to 1 set up. Sony is still in the strongest position they can possibly be in and the new PS+ service is VERY strong for what it is!

  • +2
DonFerrari gtotheunit91 (on 01 August 2022)

Understood. And well this wasn't even PR or anything, just their answer on a formal inquiry that they will certainly try to portray as best for them as they can, just as MS trying to say that even with the purchases they would still be 3rd in revenue.

  • +1
the-pi-guy gtotheunit91 (on 02 August 2022)

Being anticompetitive and being unsustainable are not at odds with each other, you could argue they're synonymous in this case.

A lot of companies have business practices that are unsustainable, because they know they can survive longer than the competition.

Amazon and Walmart will sell products at a loss, because they know they can afford it longer than small business. The small businesses that are competing close up shop, and then Amazon/Walmart raise their prices because now they don't have competition, and they can go back to profiting.

  • +2
DonFerrari the-pi-guy (on 02 August 2022)

And in the case of Amazon and Walmart even if not selling at loss, with the sheer volume and gain of scale they can price a lot lower than most business and still profit while crushing competitor.

  • 0
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twintail gtotheunit91 (on 01 August 2022)

Sony has never said that GP isn't profitable. They have claimed that it may not be profitable for them. The competitive statement might be baseless, but ultimately this conversation was about MS's purchase of Activision. It wouldn't make sense for Sony to be supportive of the move so obviously they're throwing out concerns. Either way, I'm pretty confident they know that nothing is going to stop this acquisition regardless.

  • +4
Zedex (6 days ago)

Sony has all the tools in place to build a competitor to game pass at the moment; it just isn't a sustainable or viable business model for them. It's impossible to recoup the AAA business development costs for first party releases with a subscription model today.

  • 0
DonFerrari Zedex (5 days ago)

That is why he say it would take a long time, because unless you want to throw absurd amount of money towards it to accelerate like MS did, it will take time.

  • 0
DonFerrari (on 01 August 2022)

Nothing really new.

  • -2
Podings (on 01 August 2022)

I had forgotten that Game Pass is a thing. Seems to be doing pretty well.

  • -5
scrapking Podings (5 days ago)

Forgotten that Game Pass was a thing? Not sure if serious... It would be pretty hard to consume news on a video game website, while also forgetting Game Pass is a thing, I would think?

  • +2
Podings scrapking (4 days ago)

I'm mostly a Nintendo/PC-indie-stuff guy, so I don't hear about GamePass unless there is news about it, which mostly just are that it's doing really well.

  • 0
scrapking Podings (2 days ago)

I guess it comes down to how much gaming news you consume. My last Nintendo system was the DS Phat, and my last Sony system was the PSP, but I still tend to consume a lot of Nintendo and Sony news, which is why it seemed strange to me. But fair enough! :)

  • 0