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?
 

HarvHouHacker

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I don't think we should rely solely on video game subscriptions; there is a benefit in them, but by subscribing to something, unless they explicitly include stuff that you can keep, more often than not you don't own anything within the subscription. As soon as you stop paying, you are blocked access.

For subscriptions that include games, I would actually prefer buying them outright to own forever than paying a monthly fee to play a whole bunch - overall, you pay more for the games over time than you would by getting them to own. Plus, you can better manipulate a game that you own than if it is tied to a subscription service. This is one of my gripes with Nintendo Switch Online - you lose access to the NES and SNES games if you stop paying the Online service. I liked it better when they were offering them via Virtual Console; you pay once, then you have it always. There was also more of a variety, but even if the Switch Online service had all the ones available via Virtual Console, I still prefer buying them to own than buying them for the rest of my life!

That said, I don't think subscription services should go away altogether. There are perks that you can get via such services, as well as features and services that do well behind a monthly (or yearly) paywall. I just think they should be managed better, that's all.
 

sonicrings

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Switch Online seems to be a step backwards in some respects.
So are the online modes in the games. Take Smash for example.

In Sm4sh, you could have up to 3 people on a single console while playing with another friend online. In Smash Ultimate, the ONLY way you can have more than 1 person per console is in the designated doubles mode, which is only vs. randos. If you want to play with friends, you can only have 1 person per console, requiring each person to have a Switch ($450), the game ($90), a controller ($110), DLC ($80), and an online subscription ($25).

That's fucking $755 here (including tax, rounded down to the nearest whole number, so in fact it costs MORE than the prices I listed) plus the cost of an additional TV (assuming we're trying to have these multiple people who would otherwise have played on the same console all in the same room). And this is without a LAN adapter.
 
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64bitmodels

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some like game pass offer a good deal but generally speaking there's no need if you're on PC. Steam sales happen often and cut the prices a lot. you wouldn't need streaming services if games went on sale a lot more often

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Well lets just say i own a fair few games that i could easily sell for £300+.

And yes i BUY games for the experience and something to own, collect and some titles become rare and can earn a nice return in years to come.

Example, i own a sealed copy of twilight princess on gamecube, fetches a nice price.

Conkers bad fur day n64, another one that fetches a nice price.

Zelda collectors edition gamecube sealed, nice price.

I put these into storage as my collection, just added mario 3d all stars switch, sealed and locked away with nintendo pulling it digitally and physically in time it might become rare and be worth something.

none of this will happen anymore, its like the console companies slowly brain washed kids into thinking digital is good, the only ones its good for is them and the devs as it saves them money, and you get something worth nothing.

Even if you dont collect games and consoles, when it comes to trading or selling your console.... good luck getting anything of value because you dont own anything physical.
digital is good when the DRM is minimal or nonexistent like in the case of GOG and piracy
 
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Nope. I think because it's not worth to me. Want to know why companies would kill online stores and digital games.

I never trust digital anymore when I saw news about Nintendo end support to Wii shop, PlayStation end support PS store, etc. :(

That's make us sad and how digital things are hurt our feelings. Don't buy digital. Always buy physical over digital like old school is much better than worst digital stores.
 
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Spider_Man

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some like game pass offer a good deal but generally speaking there's no need if you're on PC. Steam sales happen often and cut the prices a lot. you wouldn't need streaming services if games went on sale a lot more often

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------


digital is good when the DRM is minimal or nonexistent like in the case of GOG and piracy
i have no issues with drm as its there for a purpose, but i have an issue with how it seems theyre pushing more torwards digital to cut their costs, 10 years time all these people with digital only consoles and they try trade it in towards the next console..... enjoy as youll get sweet fuck all for it.

then what happens if lets say they pull the plug and stop making consoles, if the unfortunate event that happened to sega, all your games will be gone.

all i know is, the only way ill ever play games is physical copies, i can return in another 30 years time and still able to play them or trade/sell them.
 

nikeymikey

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all i know is, the only way ill ever play games is physical copies, i can return in another 30 years time and still able to play them or trade/sell them.

In 30 years imagine all the useless hardware there will be sitting around thats digital only, yet i bet ill still be able to get the trusty NES out and play that in 30 years :)
 

64bitmodels

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i have no issues with drm as its there for a purpose, but i have an issue with how it seems theyre pushing more torwards digital to cut their costs, 10 years time all these people with digital only consoles and they try trade it in towards the next console..... enjoy as youll get sweet fuck all for it.

then what happens if lets say they pull the plug and stop making consoles, if the unfortunate event that happened to sega, all your games will be gone.

all i know is, the only way ill ever play games is physical copies, i can return in another 30 years time and still able to play them or trade/sell them.
not really, for one thing sega consoles never really had digital games, they died before they could reach that point.
also i don't think you will easily be able to revisit old games in 30 years time when the disc or cart might have rotted by then
 

pedro702

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not really, for one thing sega consoles never really had digital games, they died before they could reach that point.
also i don't think you will easily be able to revisit old games in 30 years time when the disc or cart might have rotted by then
you can play nes games just fine ... and nes came out in 85 its 36 years old now...

disc rot and cartridge rot only happen when they are very badly stored with lots of moist and temperature changes, if you keep them inside a regular house or protected in a box they will still work.

heck atari games work just fine and they are even older, like always the consoles die faster than the games lol.
 

naughty_cat

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These so called "gaming services" make online gaming platforms feel more like a "toll bridge". I personally have ran into a handful of people on GTA Online PC who have migrated from PS4 SPECIFICALLY because they don't want to pay the toll bridge fee. These services, if anything, are reducing gamers into cash cows.
 
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Spider_Man

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not really, for one thing sega consoles never really had digital games, they died before they could reach that point.
also i don't think you will easily be able to revisit old games in 30 years time when the disc or cart might have rotted by then
Missed the point, reference to sega was them going bust and shutting down.... apply to today if sony or ms or nintendo decided to pull the plug.

All those digital games are gone.

Actually again your wrong, as a collector i have c64 tapes, nes carts ect that still work perfectly, mint condition still.

If you look after your stuff it will be good as new.

But missed the point again, if you own physical copy of a game, you can play it at any given time regardless what happens, you could even sell it

Digital you cant, you do not physically own it, you cant play it again if they decide to shut doors, or sell it.

Also consoles with game bundles tend to fetch more money if you wanted to trade towards the next gen.

A digital only, enjoy getting only current rate for the console which will be less than resell value in order for them to recover profit.
 

ntcc45

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As a poor kid, no. I would rather get things on sale, used, dump a friends copy or resort to... other means. While the money to games for gamepass make it a good deal, i dont have the money in the first place, and i doubt that EB games would like to trade a GBA for a month of gamepass :)
 

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From a personal experience, very worthwhile. I have had extremely bad luck with PS3 over the years. One got the ylod one day and another one somehow the hdmi port shorted out (someone prob yanked a cord). So its pretty handy to be able to play some sony exclusives I have missed out on via PC, with the PS Now.
 
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