Do you think video game subscription services are worthwhile?

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A console generation or two ago, gaming subscription services might have been met with complete ire and disdain, perhaps indifference, at best. PlayStation Plus, in the time of the PlayStation 3, wasn’t even required in order to play games online. And yet, nowadays, there are so many subscriptions and monthly payments that you could easily spend more than the cost of a AAA game a month just to have access to all of them. Whether it’s the randomized collection of games you keep forever in each month of Humble Choice, subscriptions to access certain studio’s libraries on a month-by-month basis like Ubisoft Plus or EA Play, or rotating troves of games through Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now, there’s an almost endless amount of choice when it comes to monthly services for video games.

Some of them, such as Google Stadia or GeForce Now let you stream games, rather than play them on your own hardware. It lets gamers with lower-end hardware have the ability to still play major releases without feeling left out. For some, it’s a fantastic way to open the door to more casual gamers, but others see it as more tenuous; input lag can affect your perception of the game, and some countries still lack the internet infrastructure to handle, let alone the service itself entirely.

PlayStation Now initially operated on the same streaming-only basis, but quickly pivoted to also allow local downloads. The option of choice is always a good one to have, and perhaps best of all, you don’t even need a PlayStation system to stream them. Just having a PC and DualShock 4 is enough to access a library full of “PS4 exclusive” titles. On the other hand, having it separate from PlayStation Plus means those subscribed to both services at once, especially if they’re paying on a month-to-month basis, can see things get expensive very quickly.

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You’ve also got Nintendo Switch Online, which even compared to lesser-discussed services like EA Play, gives you perhaps the least overall features--just selective cloud saving, online access, and a handful of retro titles. Fortunately, it’s the least expensive option, but even still, it leaves many wanting more from Nintendo, especially with their history and backlog of amazing retro titles going to relative waste on the Switch.

And of course, there’s Xbox Game Pass, the most heavy-hitting subscription of them all. Bundling not only every Xbox first party game, but every first party game on launch, as well as random other games, Game Pass offers an incredible value. Plus, you can upgrade to Game Pass Ultimate for a little bit more, and have access to Xbox Live Gold. Given just how many free trials or $1/month promotions Microsoft has offered, plenty of gamers are locked into years of the service, especially after they were allowed to convert leftover Xbox Gold into Game Pass Ultimate for next to nothing.

Given all those options, which one is your favorite? And if it’s not Xbox Game Pass, why is that? Or are you the kind of person who prefers their games physically, opting for subscription services only because you need them to play online, if at all?
 

Darkshadow1997

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For me, they are worthwhile. As long as you use the LAN cable and have a great Internet device then you can play a vast library of games just for 60 Dollars (Depending on the type of subscription you are planning to by) along with smooth gameplay (Well most of them as there are a few games that may or may not work well).
 
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CeeDee

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Game Pass is a hell of a deal, honestly - I understand the allure of permanently owning a game, and if you have any particular favorites, buying them outright is preferable just in case a game leaves the service- but it's a good deal if you buy a bunch of Gold and then upgrade it with one month of Ultimate.

Switch Online is $20 a year, it's worth it based on that alone, the NES/SNES games and Tetris / Pac-Man offerings are fun times.
 

Foxi4

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I think they're detrimental to gaming overall, and also simultaneously I can't stop myself from using them - they're too good of a value. Xbox Gamepass is great if you play the games that are available in Microsoft's library. Despite managing to score a PS5, I've spent most of my time on the Xbox One X since I still had unused Gamepass codes that usually come with Microsoft's accessories. I don't know if I would've bought it myself, but if Xbox was my primary machine, grabbing Ultimate would be a no-brained. On the PS side, Plus basically equals at least 24 games every year for the price of one - not bad, I know for a fact that at least a couple of them will be bangers. I'd *prefer* free multiplayer, even if it came at a cost of slightly more expensive hardware, but this model is clearly more lucrative to the console makers, and quite good for gamers too. I just hope that it won't lead to the extinction of physical media in the long run, although realistically, that's unavoidable.
 

hamohamo

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Game pass is straight unbeatable and nothing even comes close. Some would say they'd want to own their games forever and to that I say. No you don't wanna own that shitty ass dissapointing game forever. You only want to own the good games which is why game pass is so perfect. If you like one of the games and want to further support the devs you can pay for it after trying it along with 10s of insanely good games for a really good price.
 
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x65943

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Nothing digital is worth while, you own nothing thats worth anything.
But you play a game for the experience right?

Sure if you buy physical you can potentially resell later. But how much money are you really gonna make on that?

Let's say you bought at $60 and way down the road (maybe 5-10 years), it's now worth $20 on ebay

So you could say overall you still paid $40 for the game. Now imagine you had a subscription, played the game, then put it down. Maybe you paid $10/month. If you only beat one of those games per month it's still quite a bit cheaper. In this example 1/4 of the price.

There are people for whom it makes sense.
 

MaxToTheMax

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But you play a game for the experience right?

Sure if you buy physical you can potentially resell later. But how much money are you really gonna make on that?

Let's say you bought at $60 and way down the road (maybe 5-10 years), it's now worth $20 on ebay

So you could say overall you still paid $40 for the game. Now imagine you had a subscription, played the game, then put it down. Maybe you paid $10/month. If you only beat one of those games per month it's still quite a bit cheaper. In this example 1/4 of the price.

There are people for whom it makes sense.

I feel better for paying for a digital license for some game then I do for pirating everything. Plus, paying $60 makes me want to get my money’s worth even if I’m not paying for each game individually.
 

Uiaad

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I subscribe to both GamePass Ultimate and PS+. For full disclosure, I got 3 years of GP for a bug bounty about a year ago.
IF you made me choose I would drop PS+ there is a lot on there but it's mostly very bleh. With GPU not only do you get a quite extensive collection of pretty newish games but also access to EA Play while being EA (Evil Arseholes as my wife calls them ) you definitely get a lot of value on there. I'm really struggling to justify continuing with PS+ as renewal is just around the corner and to be honest, I could do with the money else whereas I really don't use it nearly as much as GP.

The PS+ pc application is an abomination and you can tell its more of an afterthought on sony's behalf but I would wholely recommend GPU to anyone looking to get a few extra games on their pc, plus you also get access to their Cloud service if you have an android phone which I have used a couple of times and definitely seems pretty solid
 

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