Xbox Game Pass hits major subscriber milestone as Sony readies its competitor

Xbox Game Pass
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The same day Microsoft unveiled its planned takeover of Activision-Blizzard, it also announced that over 25 million people have subscribed to Xbox Game Pass.

Microsoft's game subscription service is expected to entice even more players in the near future, too, with a surge likely to happen in anticipation of Activision-Blizzard’s catalog of games becoming part of the service once the deal is finalized - just like players saw when Bethesda joined Microsoft last year.

Given the success of Xbox Game Pass, then, it’s no wonder that Sony is rumored to be creating a rival version of the service for its own PlayStation platform.

However, with Microsoft continuing to improve upon its already fantastic offering, can Sony’s project really hope to claw back a victory in the game subscription space?

Analysis: Can Sony claim a piece of Microsoft's pie? 

Supposedly codenamed Spartacus, it's been reported that Sony’s game subscription service will launch in Spring 2022 (either March, April or May) and provide subscribers with access to a slew of new and classic titles for a monthly fee, just like Game Pass.

This copycat strategy would likely do very well on PlayStation consoles; the PS5 and PS4 are believed to have wildly outsold their respective Xbox rivals, so with a much larger player base to entice, Sony could see subscription counts soar.

However, that all depends on how exciting it can make the deal for players. While it's believed Spartacus will combine PlayStation Now and PS Plus into a single service - kinda like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate - what else will players get for their money?

It’s so far unclear if Spartacus will include day-and-date releases for new first-party games, and with Activision-Blizzard soon to become a part of Microsoft, it’s unlikely that many classic titles associated with PlayStation - like Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, and Call of Duty - would be a part of the service for long, if at all. 

Sony will have to pull something big out of the bag if it wants to take a slice out of Microsoft’s game subscription pie - if it can’t offer players the same kind of value, it may find itself alienating them rather than impressing them.

For now, we’ll have to wait and see what Sony announces, but with a launch expected to happen in the not-too-distant future, it’s only a matter of time before we hear some official confirmation of what Spartacus is - and whether or not we’ll want in on its services.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.