PlayStation Plus Premium Vs Xbox Game Pass: Which Is The Better Deal?

Sony's PlayStation Plus and Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass don't exactly put the same deal on the table, as both gaming subscription services come with their own exclusive perks that the competing service may not include. For instance, PlayStation Plus Premium offers members more than 700 games to stream or download, cloud streaming for older-era PlayStation console titles, and playable timed game trials, according to Sony

In comparison, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate's library of more than 100 games doesn't quite have the same amount of titles as Sony's offering, though it does come with playable day-one Xbox Game Studio releases, including Xbox/PC exclusives and additional perks from its included Xbox Gold and EA Play memberships (via Xbox).

With that said, the number of games and exclusives is just one aspect of Sony and Microsoft's top-tier gaming subscriptions, as each also has its own set of advantages, ones where their overall value will vary depending on the user's personal preferences. Before trying to determine which of the two gives the better deal, users must first know what each subscription service brings to the table.

What is PlayStation Plus Premium?

For years, PlayStation Plus was Sony's sole paid gaming subscription service, offering subscribers multiple free games per month, early access to certain titles, exclusive game store discounts, cloud storage for game saves, access to online multiplayer in games that required the plan, and non-gaming PS Plus bonuses, just to name a few. However, in March 2022, Sony announced a major revamp for the subscription service scheduled to go live in June 2022. The new version of PlayStation Plus includes multiple service tiers called Essential, Extra, and Premium. 

The base-tier PlayStation Plus Essential plan is basically the same as the PlayStation Plus membership gamers have subscribed to for years, and it retains the same $9.99 per month price. In comparison, the PlayStation Plus Extra plan, which is more expensive at $14.99 per month,  includes access to a library of 400 downloadable PS4 and PS5 titles. 

PlayStation Plus Premium, the highest-end plan offered by the revamped PS Plus service, includes all of the perks found on both the Essential and Extra tiers, but with the inclusion of timed game trials and cloud streaming for older PS3, PS2, PS1, and PSP titles, bumping the total number of playable games to 740. Subscribers can also stream these games through PlayStation Now using a PS4, PS5, or a Windows PC, which is now bundled as part of PS Plus rather than existing as a standalone service. As expected, the Premium plan is also the most expensive at $17.99 per month.

What is Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass?

Microsoft also offers its customers a subscription service that provides access to games and more, and it's called Xbox Game Pass. As with Sony's PS Plus, the Xbox Game Pass service is split into different tiers: Xbox Game Pass for consoles, Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Both the console and PC versions of the basic Xbox Game pass subscription plan are priced at $9.99 per month, offering players access to more than 100 games, same-day access to Xbox Game Studios titles, exclusive deals and discounts, and — when it comes to the PC plan — access to EA Play.

The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate plan, on the other hand, offers the most features, but with a higher starting price of $14.99 per month. This tier includes all of the features offered on the basic PC and console Xbox Game Pass plans, as well as an Xbox Gold membership, which offers subscribers two free games monthly. This plan also makes it possible to access Microsoft's cloud gaming feature so that subscribers can stream and play console games using a Windows computer and mobile phone.


At $14.99 per month, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate may seem like the more budget-friendly option, but keep in mind that's only true if you plan to pay for the subscription on a monthly basis. Though PlayStation Plus Premium costs $17.99 per month, Sony also offers its subscription with annual plan options that bring down the overall per-month cost (via Sony). Premium's 3-month subscription option is priced at $49.99, for example, which brings the monthly cost down to a little under $17 per month. 

While that's not a huge discount compared to paying monthly, the real savings start with the $119.99 annual subscription plan, which brings Premium's monthly rate down to about $10 per month; that's the same you'd pay for the Essential plan on a monthly basis, and less than the monthly price for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. In comparison, Microsoft does not offer an annual pricing option for its subscription service.

With that said, Xbox owners have access to some perks of their own. Under a promotional offer, Microsoft allows subscribers to convert their existing Xbox Live Gold membership into Ultimate for $1 initially, after which point it will revert to the regular $14.99 per month rate. 

Gamers who have already bought Xbox Live Gold, EA Play, and/or Xbox Game Pass can redeem those codes and have them converted to specific durations of Ultimate, though it's not a 1:1 conversion. Microsoft explains on its Xbox FAQ website that one month of Xbox Live Gold converts to 20 days of Ultimate, as does a single month of Xbox Game Pass (console and PC). A month of EA Play, meanwhile, will only get you 10 days of Ultimate. Keep in mind that Microsoft caps the maximum Ultimate duration that can be converted from other plans at 36 months.

All in all, Sony's PS Plus Premium plan offers subscribers the best cost-to-benefits ratio, but that assumes, again, that you're willing to pay for an annual plan. That said, the comparison doesn't end at cost, and there are other things to consider before deciding which is the best deal.

Game selection

Sony offers a large selection of more than 700 games for PlayStation Plus Premium members, including PlayStation exclusives like "Marvel's Spider-Man," its sequel "Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales," and rogue-like shooter "Returnal." Other titles include multi-platform games like "God Of War," "Death Stranding," and "Mortal Kombat 11." Premium subscribers will also have access to a catalog of more than 300 games comprised of PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP titles.

In comparison, Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass boasts more than 100 high-end games spanning both console and PC titles (via Microsoft). The lineup includes exclusives like action-shooter games "Crackdown 3" and "Halo: Reach," racing game staple "Forza Horizon 5," and survival horror title "State Of Decay 2," among others. This service also includes multi-platform titles like "Back 4 Blood," "Outriders," and "The Outer Worlds," as well as day-one access to games like "A Plague Tale: Requiem," and "Atomic Heart," just to name a few.

Supported devices

PlayStation Plus mostly requires subscribers to have either a PS4, PS5, or PC to fully utilize its features. The plan's playable games library can only be accessed directly through a PS4 or PS5 console, both of which can also be used to play additional multi-console games via cloud streaming. Keep in mind, however, that PC users can only play these games through cloud streaming. Sony's PlayStation app also allows users to play games on mobile phones without the need of an external controller via its Remote Play feature, but this requires an active PS4 or PS5 console (via Sony).

Xbox Game Pass, on the other hand, allows for more gaming flexibility with its respective PC and mobile apps, including full-on console gaming on desktop, tablet, and smartphone set-ups. The Xbox Game Pass app lets Ultimate subscribers play its free-games library on mobile phones or PCs without an active console nearby using the integrated Xbox Cloud Gaming platform. However, in order to play certain games, users may need to connect a compatible external controller to their devices and will need internet speeds capable of reaching at least 10Mbps, according to Microsoft. Most Xbox Game Pass Ultimate features are supported for subscribers with Xbox consoles, compatible Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, and Windows PCs.

Exclusive features

PlayStation Plus Premium integrates Sony's cloud gaming platform PlayStation Now. This means the plan's subscribers have access to an already comprehensive roster of games only found on Sony's top-tier subscription, ranging from old-school titles like "Virtua Fighter 2" to more modern PlayStation hits like "The Last Of Us" (via PS Now). This subscription also comes with two free games per month, as well as exclusive PS Store deals and limited-time game trials. Of course, its library of more than 700 games spanning multiple PS console generations remains among its biggest exclusive features.

Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes two free games per month, but the titles will always differ from Sony's monthly freebie offering. This plan also includes the additional benefit of an included EA Play membership, which is typically a $4.99 per month subscription on its own (via EA). 

This is a good thing for fans of EA games, as it regularly dishes out exclusive in-game content for titles like "Apex Legends," "FIFA 22," and "Battlefield 2042," along with free access to yet another library of EA games on top of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate's own over-100-games roster, adding titles like "Mass Effect," "NFS Heat," and "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" into the mix. While Ultimate doesn't offer as many games as Sony's Premium subscription, it does have its own distinct perks that cater to EA Sports and PC fans.

Which is the better deal?

Choosing which subscription service suits you best will come down to your preferences and which devices you already own. For retro gamers, Sony's PS Plus Premium is the more enticing option given its massive library of games brought over from the PlayStation Now service. In addition, the plan's library of 400 modern titles makes for a huge number of games for avid gamers hoping to get the most out of their playtime. The expansion library alone may warrant its $17.99 monthly price tag. 

However, subscribers who want to use Sony's cloud streaming service on their phones won't be able to do so, as the company is yet to add mobile support for it. On the other hand, Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass app allows Ultimate subscribers to stream games on their phones via the cloud at a cheaper $14.99 per month rate. 

In addition, while PS Plus members won't be able to play their claimed free monthly titles once their subscription ends, Xbox Game Pass Premium's free Gold membership allows users to keep any Xbox 360 game they've claimed as freebies, according to Microsoft – though, keep in mind that Xbox One titles disappear if the subscription is canceled. Of course, there's also the case of game exclusives, and while Sony's gaming library is undoubtedly bigger, Microsoft's includes PC titles and exclusive first-day releases. 

Overall, PlayStation Plus Premium's sheer number of games may make its pricier subscription worthwhile, not to mention the annual discount option, but gamers who are looking for more flexibility will likely find the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate's package more appealing, even if it does lack a cheaper yearly plan.