A number of interviews with Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s president, ran following the PlayStation 5 release date and price announcement. One of them was a response to Microsoft and its Xbox Game Pass and if Sony could or would create an Xbox Game Pass PS4 or PS5 equivalent. Ryan said the company would not, suggesting that the idea would not be one that is “sustainable” to GamesIndustry.biz.
Ryan’s comments made it seems as though it all comes down to money and growth. He suggested that the cost of development wouldn’t make an Xbox Game Pass PS4 or PS5 equivalent worth it.
Here’s the full statement Ryan gave to GamesIndustry.biz.
Our pitch, as you’ve heard, is ‘new games, great games.’ We have had this conversation before–we are not going to go down the road of putting new releases titles into a subscription model. These games cost many millions of dollars, well over $100 million, to develop. We just don’t see that as sustainable.
We want to make the games bigger and better, and hopefully at some stage more persistent. So putting those into a subscription model on day one, for us, just doesn’t make any sense. For others in a different situation, it might well make sense, but for us it doesn’t. We want to expand and grow our existing ecosystem, and putting new games into a subscription model just doesn’t sit with that.
While there won’t be an Xbox Game Pass PS4 or PS5 equivalent, there will be something for new PS5 owners at launch. During the September 2020 showcase, the PlayStation Plus Collection appeared. It gives subscribers access to some PS4 games people can play on their PS5. 99% total PS4 games will even be playable on the new system at launch. (Though, Ryan did confirm again that there won’t be PS3 compatibility.)
The PlayStation 5 will come to Australia, Japan, North America, and South Korea on November 12, 2020. The rest of the world will get it on November 19, 2020.