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Every Gaming Subscription Out There, and How Much They Cost

GameRant logo GameRant 8/6/2022 Benjamin Jones
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What began as a novel idea with Xbox Game Pass has evolved into a necessity for any serious game developer. Microsoft changed the gaming landscape as it has continued to enhance the offerings on Xbox Game Pass with more exclusive and premium titles. Other developers have sensed the shifting tides and tried to adapt, but it has led to a flooded marketplace with too many options to grasp.

With Sony recently launching its Game Pass Ultimate competitor in PS Plus Premium, there are even more games available for a low monthly cost. The needs of each individual gamer are unique, so there's never one best subscription service, but it's important to evaluate the options available before getting locked in. For every gaming subscription available, gamers need to consider what it offers, and most importantly, the cost.

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Console Subscriptions

Xbox Game Pass is the original gaming subscription that everyone is trying to keep up with. Game Pass has a plethora of games across genres that give players a full gaming experience, from small indie games to AAA moneymakers. However, there are a few different tiers that Xbox offers.

Xbox Live Gold costs $10 per month, or $25 for three months, and allows subscribers to play games online with friends. Players also get two free games each month via Games with Gold. Also for $10 per month is Xbox Game Pass for console or PC. These subscriptions provide over 100 games, with titles rotating in and out, and deliver Microsoft-owned titles on launch day. The PC version also has access to EA Play games.

Microsoft’s final, and best, tier is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. For $15 per month, Ultimate subscribers get access to all the benefits of both the console and PC versions of Game Pass, Xbox Live Gold, EA Play, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and exclusive deals in the Microsoft Store. If players want the full Microsoft gaming suite, Ultimate is the way to go.

On the Sony side, PlayStation just released its new PS Plus tiers: Essential, Extra, and Premium. For $10 a month (or $60 for a year), PS Plus Essential allows users to play online multiplayer and gives users two free games per month. PS5 owners also get access to the PS Plus collection which adds 20 of the best PS4 games at no additional charge. The next tier up is PS Plus Extra, which provides all the benefits of Essential and a catalog of over 400 of the best PS4 and PS5 games for $15 per month or $100 for a year. Finally, there’s PS Plus Premium at $18 per month or $120 per year. Premium provides the features of Extra, Essential, and over 340 additional games from PS3, PS2, PSP, and the original PlayStation. These titles are available via cloud streaming or downloading on a PS5, PS5, or PC. Most games from the PS Now service have also been added to PS Plus Premium via cloud streaming.

Nintendo also has its own subscription service for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo Switch Online costs $4 per month, $8 for three months, or $20 for a year, and provides subscribers with access to Nintendo’s online multiplayer service, cloud saving, and voice chat. Players can also choose from a library of more than 100 classic NES and SNES games. On top of the normal Switch Online offerings, users can also subscribe to the Nintendo Switch Expansion Pack for $50 per year, which provides all the benefits above, plus a library of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games, alongside other bonuses like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Booster Course Pass.

Developer Subscriptions

Certain developers also provide gaming subscriptions. EA Play is the most popular, mostly due to its association with Xbox Game Pass, but gamers can also subscribe to EA Play on its own. For $5 per month or $30 per year, the base version provides access to a collection of premium EA games, exclusive EA Play member-only rewards and content, 10% off other EA games, and 10 hours of access to EA games 10 days before launch. Players who are looking for more can subscribe to EA Play Pro which provides the benefits of the base version, 50 additional EA titles, and unlimited access to pre-launch and new games. EA Play Pro costs $15 per month or $100 per year. Both versions are available on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.

For fans of Ubisoft titles, Ubisoft recently rebranded UPlay Plus to Ubisoft Plus and is an excellent option. For $15 per month, subscribers receive 100+ premium editions of Ubisoft titles, including new releases available on day one. If any games have DLCs or season passes, Ubisoft Plus subscribers get access to all the top-tier editions of the games. Ubisoft Plus is only available on PC currently, but for $18 per month, users can also receive cloud streaming access via Luna or Stadia.

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Cloud Gaming Subscriptions

For gamers with high-speed internet access and no console, cloud gaming has emerged as a low-cost option. Google’s Stadia was one of the first major players in the cloud streaming market and has a good subscription service as well. For just $10 per month, Stadia Pro subscribers get access to over 30 titles with more being added each month, and exclusive discounts on other games. Additionally, Stadia Pro users receive access to 4K and 5.1 surround sound streaming, compared to the standard 1080p and stereo sound at the base level.

Amazon also has a cloud gaming service called Luna. Luna is a little different from other cloud gaming services, as Luna allows users to subscribe to “channels” such as Ubisoft Plus or Jackbox TV within its platform. Luna offers its own subscription channel, Luna Plus, for $9.99 per month and gives users access to a variety of games. Amazon Prime members also have access to the Prime Gaming Channel on Luna and its collection of games such as Devil May Cry 5 and Observer: System Redux.

Mobile Subscriptions

Mobile gaming has come a long way since the days of Flappy Bird. iPhone and iPad users can get access to Apple Arcade for $5 per month or $50 per year. Apple’s mobile gaming subscription gives users access to over 200 exclusive titles and strips games of any ads or in-app purchases. Players can also use Apple’s family sharing feature to provide access to Apple Arcade to five family members. While it's not known as a game developer, Apple has quickly established itself as a gaming leader.

For those that own Android or Google phones and tablets, Google Play Pass costs $5 per month or $30 per year. Google Play Pass provides access to over 800 games and, like Apple Arcade, is free of ads or in-app purchases and can be shared with up to five family members. Unlike Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass does not have any exclusives on its platform; it just offers access to games that users typically have to pay for individually.

MORE: PS Plus Premium vs. Xbox Game Pass: A Complete Comparison


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