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Xbox boss speaks on rumored PlayStation service tiers/consolidation

Topher

Gold Member
Microsoft’s head of gaming has said he expects PlayStation to follow in Xbox’s footsteps when it comes to launching an anticipated Game Pass rival.

Details on an Xbox Game Pass competitor service reportedly being planned by PlayStation emerged in December and picked up steam last week.

According to documents seen by Bloomberg, the new service is codenamed ‘Spartacus’ and will combine the current PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services, phasing out the branding of the latter. It’s expected to launch for PS4 and PS5 this spring and to be structured across three payment tiers.

The first will reportedly include existing PlayStation Plus benefits such as online play and free monthly titles. The second will offer a large catalogue of games like Xbox Game Pass (although not first-party titles at launch). The third will add extended demos, game streaming and a library of classic PlayStation games.

Asked about the rumours by IGN, Xbox boss Spencer said he thought a Game Pass-like service from Sony was inevitable and that he expects it to make new releases available day one in the subscription.

“I don’t mean it to sound like we’ve got it all figured out, but I think the right answer is allowing your customers to play the games they want to play, where they want to play them, and giving them choice about how they build their library, and being transparent with them about what our plans are in terms of our PC initiatives and our cross-gen initiatives and other things,” he said.

“So when I hear others doing things like Game Pass or coming to PC, it makes sense to me because I think that’s the right answer.”

Spencer continued: “I don’t really look at it as validation. I actually, when I’m talking to our teams, I talk about it as an inevitability. So for us, we should continue to innovate, continue to compete, because the things that we’re doing might be advantages that we have in the market today, but they’re just based on us going first, not that we’ve created something that no one else can go create.

“I like it because it feeds our energy on what are the next things that we should be working on as we continue to build out the things that we’ve done in the past. Because I think the right answer is to ship great games, ship them on PC, ship them on console, ship them on cloud, make them available Day 1 in the subscription. And I expect that’s what our competitor will do.”

UK retailers said to be removing physical PS Now cards from sale next week

Xbox Game Pass launched in June 2017 and has become central to Microsoft’s gaming business, attracting over 18 million subscribers as of January 2021, according to the latest publicly announced figure.

It offers members access to over 100 titles, including all first-party games at launch, for $10 / £8 per month on console or PC. For $15 / £11, users can access the games on console, PC and mobile devices, including via Xbox Cloud Gaming.

The value of the titles added to Xbox Game Pass in 2021 reportedly exceeded $6,300.


 

Topher

Gold Member
It’ll be a legendary thread the day that happens.

Sarcastic Tim And Eric GIF
 

leo-j

Member
Great strategic move by Phil. He knows Sony won't actually release 1st party games day 1 (at least initially), but by saying what he did, he's setting the expectations so that when Sony fails to meet them, Spartacus will get heavily criticized.
Yup! Totally expect Sony to push 1st party ps4/5 games into Spartacus or game trials for an hour on Spartacus and allow game streaming instead of downloading full games but I read somewhere they had a server capacity of 5 million streams? Maybe that’s why they haven’t been pushing ps now as hard?
 
I like his mindset. He's already preparing for increased competition and trying to push for the next thing.
Spencer is continuing to say all the right things.

I dont expect Sony to copy day 1 first party just yet. But its best for Xbox to prepare if they do.
 

DeepSpace5D

Member
Would it make any sense to develop perhaps smaller AA exclusives as subscription timed-exclusive? Meaning, they would only be available to be played day 1 on the subscription service for a period of time, and then after the timed exclusive period has ended they can be purchased as normal.

Does that make any sense at all to not offer a game to be sold by regular means at launch, and to be specifically made to get subscribers?

This question could apply to any sub service I guess, not necessarily just Spartacus or whatever it will be called.
 

leo-j

Member
What does this mean?

Gamepass does day1. If sony wants to compete with, they will need to do day1.

Its that simple.
Nah I think if they push promo, and release higher budget quality titles more often they will be able to compete. Also gamepass has a fault in it. Sony tells you when games leave while gamepass does not.

Sony has a bigger catalogue than Xbox and can use that to an advantage.
 

Chukhopops

Member
What does this mean?

Gamepass does day1. If sony wants to compete with, they will need to do day1.

Its that simple.
I mean Spencer doesn’t say anything (or I missed it) about expecting the competition to do day 1 games too. Of course GP does day 1 games.
Also gamepass has a fault in it. Sony tells you when games leave while gamepass does not.

Sony has a bigger catalogue than Xbox and can use that to an advantage.
They tell you a month in advance but I agree they could announce it 2-3 months ahead. Not going into the catalog argument, been done to death before.
 

kyoji

Member
Yet again Phil is attempting to marginalise any advantages his competitors have by trying to make them play by his rules and wishes.
bruh i was really going to say something similar and i just said nahh not worth it but dude is fantastic at using media outlets to his advantage.
You are spot on and most people dont even realize the bs he is pulling in these interviews he has.
 
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Yea, that title is misleading. Spencer said new releases no WHERE does he say First party.

And I'm sure Phil knows Sony just as well as he knows how to manage studios during his Xbox reign..........oh wait?
That's nit-picky.


I find it funny that literally every Sony fan thought their beloved exclusives wouldn't be on PC and look where we are today. Sony literally has the upper hand if they released a proper subscription model like Xbox with the exclusives and the userbase that they have.
 
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GHG

Member
bruh i was really going to say something similar and i just said nahh not worth it but dude is fantastic at using media outlets to his advantage

The funny thing is, it's been working. Sony's leadership is weak right now so he's capitalising.

The moment they decided to go along with crossplay he smelt blood and hasn't let up since.
 
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kingfey

Banned
Nah I think if they push promo, and release higher budget quality titles more often they will be able to compete. Also gamepass has a fault in it. Sony tells you when games leave while gamepass does not.

Sony has a bigger catalogue than Xbox and can use that to an advantage.
They wont compete with gamepass, with that offering. Sony might have a bigger catalog, but that means shit, compared to day1.

Remember, MS is a trillion company. They bought $7.5b Bethesda. That is 1/3rd of what sony generated last year. They are able to afford more day1 games, and large catalog of 3rd party games. While Sony cant. They have around 16-20 games a month for gamepass. that is 192-240 games a year. Sony cant compete with those offerings.

Gamepass tells you that. If you have xbox or pc, you can see the leaving soon section.

Gamepass entire business model is day1. That is something Sony cant afford at AAA level.
 

Papacheeks

Banned
bruh i was really going to say something similar and i just said nahh not worth it but dude is fantastic at using media outlets to his advantage

I think Phil is talking like this because they want to be seen as the better service which has been a thing since 2018. If Sony comes out swinging with a dope service that has great appeal and more people at a faster rate sign up and they still sell bank on software, then I think Microsoft will look like they have mud on their faces.

I think thats why PR wise Phil is so open on this. Xbox needs Gamepass to succeed for the brand, Sony has such WW appeal and brand recognition with their first party, their just like PS NOW not amounting to anything they could have this fall somewhat flat and still sell boat loads of games.
 

kyoji

Member
This is all speculative anyway how phil would have inside knowledge to this is as about as solid as take two ceo (jokingly) saying game pass was at 30mil subs, we saw what happened there. So ill believe it when i see it, but theres no need for them to go that route, theres been no issues for them moving software titles or selling consoles for that matter.
 
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Yet again Phil is attempting to marginalise any advantages his competitors have by trying to make them play by his rules and wishes.

Luckily for him Jim Ryan is weak and seems to be happy to go along with everything.
Have told this before but Phil and then VP Mike Ybarra knew he was weak and they actually cracked open a bottle of scotch and shared a drink celebrating Jimmie's new position as they felt he would run Playstation in the ground eventually.
 

kingfey

Banned
I think Phil is talking like this because they want to be seen as the better service which has been a thing since 2018. If Sony comes out swinging with a dope service that has great appeal and more people at a faster rate sign up and they still sell bank on software, then I think Microsoft will look like they have mud on their faces.

I think thats why PR wise Phil is so open on this. Xbox needs Gamepass to succeed for the brand, Sony has such WW appeal and brand recognition with their first party, their just like PS NOW not amounting to anything they could have this fall somewhat flat and still sell boat loads of games.
I understand you have your bias. But there is no way, Sony can offer a value that is bigger than gamepass.

Gamepass has ultimate, which includes xcloud. Which you can play it anywhere you want to.

We know Sony 1st party games are fantastic. Everyone here agrees with that. But software wise, Sony has been bad at it. They wont be able to compete with gamepass at all. They will need Apple/google/amazon support to do that.
 

Airbus Jr

Litigate my emotions, daddy!
Xbox and Playstation are so busy making subscription service while nintendo just dont give a shit and their first party title keep breaking sales record
 
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Papacheeks

Banned
If that’s the case, MS would have insider knowledge of what Sony is planning AND they would profit from Sony’s service.

LOL no they would not. It's like you dont know how contracts work? We use a lot of companies hardware and software, they in no way know what we as a station/Company are planning.

Xbox and Playstation are so busy making subscription service meanwhile nintendo first party title keep breaking sales record

So isn't Sony on steam With God of war the fact its neck and neck with Monster hunter Rise is impressive.
 
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GHG

Member
I think Phil is talking like this because they want to be seen as the better service which has been a thing since 2018. If Sony comes out swinging with a dope service that has great appeal and more people at a faster rate sign up and they still sell bank on software, then I think Microsoft will look like they have mud on their faces.

I think thats why PR wise Phil is so open on this. Xbox needs Gamepass to succeed for the brand, Sony has such WW appeal and brand recognition with their first party, their just like PS NOW not amounting to anything they could have this fall somewhat flat and still sell boat loads of games.

Subscription services are a race to the bottom and have capital intensive requirements.

He would love nothing more than for every other console manufacturer to get fully invested in this subscription "race" since it would mean they could extinguish them through financial means alone.

They are the only ones who can afford to embark on this endeavor with the level of aggression they are at the moment and he knows it. People laughed when he mentioned the likes of Amazon and Google as their competitors but when you look at it from that context it fully makes sense.
 
LOL no they would not. It's like you dont know how contracts work? We use a lot of companies hardware and software, they in no way know what we as a station/Company are planning.
I think you don’t understand how cloud infrastructure works. It would be inevitable that MS could see exactly what Sony has in development on their own infrastructure. Get real.
 
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