As subscription-based, on-demand gaming services have gained popularity in recent years, both PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass have established their positions at the top of the market by offering a variety of content and great value for subscribers. There’s just one burning question that demands to be answered: Which one is better?
It’s a tough one. Each has advantages over the other – PS Now has more attractive pricing, plus its library of 700+ titles makes Game Pass’ library of 200+ titles look paltry in comparison, whereas Xbox Game Pass tends to offer more recent games, as well as including first party titles on the day of release.
It’s hard to say which one is better overall, but taken one month at a time, we may get our answer. So join us as we look at what’s been added and what was removed from each service and declare which one came out on top in March 2020.
Sidebar: If you’d like to find out more about before venturing on a subscription to either PS Now or Xbox Game Pass, check out our feature examining the pros and cons of PS Now where we investigate how it stands up against its biggest competitors.
With their headline offering, Sony have managed to quietly deal quite a blow in this war. Coming months after Xbox boss Phil Spencer talked about how much he enjoyed Remedy Entertainment‘s Control (2019) and would love to see it on Game Pass, Sony have only gone and nabbed it themselves.
Mr Spencer’s not alone in his adoration of Control, we gave it five stars in our review and owing to a series of patches to add new abilities and a new game mode, as well as the release of a paid story expansion, Control has only gotten bigger since then.
Sony’s other major addition is Lara Croft‘s 2018 adventure Shadow of the Tomb Raider. While it may not have lived up to its forebears in the rebooted trilogy, this is a stellar stealth action game with set pieces so over the top that it would make Nathan Drake blush.
This month also saw the inclusion of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017), NASCAR Heat 3 (2018) and a slew of Koei Tecmo titles made up of *deep breath* Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (2015), Toukiden Kiwami (2015), Toukiden 2 (2017), Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII (2016), Warriors All-Stars (2017), Nights of Azure (2016) and Nights of Azure 2 (2017).
None. While PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (2018) was scheduled to leave the service this month, it’s instead been give an extension and will remain available for the time being.
Xbox Game Pass
Microsoft’s commitment to adding first party releases to Game Pass on day one took the spotlight this month with the addition of two fresh releases. First, beautiful and well reviewed 2D platformer Ori and the Will of the Wisps (2020) and second, Bleeding Edge (2020) – a MOBA from newly acquired studio Ninja Theory that thus far has been met with indifference from critics.
The two biggest hitters joining Game Pass this month came in the form of Souls-like The Surge 2 (2019) and divisive basketball sim NBA 2K20 (2019), a title that received decent reviews from critics, but currently has an average Metacritic User Rating of around one out of ten.
Padding out March for Game Pass subscribers are Train Sim World (2019), Pikuniku (2020), Kona (2017) and Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid (2019).
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (2016), Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition (2016) Shenmue 1 and 2 (2018) and Thimbleweed Park (2017) were all sent packing from Xbox Game Pass this month.
Your Winner – PS Now
It’s a decisive win for Sony this time. Kudos to Xbox Game Pass for continuing to expand and provide value to their subscribers, but it’s hard to compete with PS Now’s inclusion of the AAA, multi game of the year award winning Control only six months after launch. Factor in recent entries in beloved franchises like Tomb Raider and Dynasty Warriors along with life-swallowers like the Toukiden games and there’s little doubt that March 2020 belongs to the blue brand.