Even as PlayStation loses PS Plus subscriptions, Sony’s service still outnumbers Xbox Game Pass

Sony’s PlayStationPlus Relaunch has been an interesting experiment so far. Some people are massive for the newly updated service, which features classic PlayStation games as well as (sometimes) new titles. But there’s also a contingent of people who are annoyed by the updates – who think it could definitely offer better value for money. Especially in the more expensive tiers.

The Xbox Series S is an important part of this generation – for Game Pass and beyond.

New data, shown in Sony’s latest earnings presentation this week, shows that Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscribers fell to 45.4 million this quarter from 47.3 million. The fact that this is the third straight quarterly drop in PS Plus subscribers would be bad news in and of itself, but considering this is also due to the PS Plus relaunch…well, it probably is Sony feeling a bit sour.

But oddly enough, there is good news in this data. Sony just had its best quarter ever for subscription revenue. Per a tweet According to industry analyst and all-around smartass Daniel Ahmad, Sony is seeing 21% more revenue per subscriber in the PS+ segment. To be clear? Fewer people are spending more money on PS Plus. This basically means people pay for the more expensive tiers.

High profile games like Yakuza: Like a Dragon help sub services stay alive.

So, while we’re all annoyed that there aren’t any PS1 games for the PS Plus Premium tier, or even if we’re a bit irritated that the only day-and-date games are third-party oddities like Stray , the numbers speak for Sony: Many PS Plus subscribers have switched to either the Extra or Premium tier.

And however you slice it, the facts remain: PS Plus is more popular with consumers than Xbox Game Pass. Our latest update on Game Pass came in January this year, when we found out that the service has over 25 million subscribers. This applies to a console ecosystem that contains about 63 million consoles. Xbox games generated a staggering total revenue of $16.28 billion for Microsoft in calendar year 2021, with Xbox Game Pass accounting for 18% of that. So while the numbers are lower than Sony’s PS Plus subs, overall the gains from these subscription services aren’t to be scoffed at.


Game Pass is even starting to get big Sony-first games like Death Stranding.

We learned last month how much Xbox and PlayStation are spending to get games into their service, thanks to a listing from the publisher behind Ark: Survival Evolved. The PlayStation Plus game which members can claim for five weeks between March 1st and April 4th and according to the information above we know that Sony secured the game for $3.5 million during that period. Microsoft, meanwhile, paid a little less — $2.5 million to showcase the game on Game Pass in the first half of 2022, and then another $2.3 million to bring ARK 2 to its launch in 2023 to bring into service.

So what’s the takeaway? Sony and Microsoft are both investing huge sums in their respective subscription services — but for a happy ending. There is clearly money to be had. And yes, Sony may have a whopping ~20 million more subscribers than Microsoft, with Xbox growing to match its PlayStation counterpart.

Whichever way you look at it, subscription services are here to stay. Even as PlayStation loses PS Plus subscriptions, Sony’s service still outnumbers Xbox Game Pass

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