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How the new PlayStation Plus stacks up against Xbox Game Pass

Engadget

More than a month after revealing the revamped version of PlayStation Plus, Sony has shared the initial lineup of games heading to its new service, covering everything from original PlayStation classics and PlayStation Portable titles to modern hits. The new PlayStation Plus has three tiers, each at a discrete price point and offering varying levels of goodies, and it's all set to go live on June 13th in the Americas. Now that we know which games will be included in each tier -- PlayStation Plus Essential, Extra and Premium -- it's easier to directly compare Sony's service with that of its biggest competitor, Xbox Game Pass from Microsoft. Sony's subscription service is segmented into three parts, with different games and features available depending on how much you pay. PS Plus Essential costs $10 a month or $60 a year, and it's basically the Plus we know now, offering two games to download each month, access to online multiplayer features, cloud storage and discounts.


Video game developers set for cash influx as tech firms compete for deals

The Guardian

Video game developers are champing at the bit ahead of an influx of money from some of the biggest technology companies in the world as they compete to build a "Netflix for games". At the centre of the contest are Microsoft and Sony, followed by less gaming-centric companies such as Apple, Amazon and Netflix who have all launched subscription services in an attempt to entice gamers on to their platforms. Microsoft has spent four years building up its flagship subscription, Xbox Game Pass, which offers unlimited access to more than 100 games for its Xbox family of consoles for a £10.99 monthly fee. In March, Sony announced plans to compete directly with Game Pass with a raft of changes to its PlayStation Plus service, which will eventually launch with 700 titles for £13.49 a month (or £99.99 a year), though largely focused on older titles. Alongside the two console manufacturers, a host of companies have launched similar services.


Pushing Buttons: Is the PlayStation Plus revamp actually good for gamers?

The Guardian

Welcome to Pushing Buttons, the Guardian's gaming newsletter. If you'd like to receive it in your inbox every week, just pop your email in below – and check your inbox (and spam) for the confirmation email. It is now becoming a running joke that massive games-industry news keeps dropping in the hours after this newsletter gets sent out on a Tuesday. A few months back it was Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard; then the New York Times bought Wordle. Last week it was Sony's rumoured revamp of the PlayStation Plus subscription service, and then the not entirely unexpected news that E3 – the annual games industry showcase in LA – has been completely cancelled, having previously shifted to a digital-only event.


PlayStation Plus rolling out new plans in June to compete with Xbox's Game Pass

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Sony is beefing up its PlayStation Plus subscription service with new plans and a wider selection of games for players to stream or download. On Tuesday, Sony confirmed it will combine the current PlayStation Plus service with PlayStation Now, where players can stream a variety of games for a monthly price, into one larger platform. Starting this June, PlayStation Plus will offer video game console owners three options: an entry-level Essential plan, along with Extra and Premium plans. The Essential plan will cost $59.99 a year or $9.99 a month. The Extra plan will cost $14.99 a month ($99.99 annually), while the Premium plan costs $17.99 a month ($119.99 a year).


How Xbox could finally win a console war without even selling consoles

Mashable

Gaming used to be simple. Not long ago, a few major companies would have competing consoles on the market at the same time and, by and large, the biggest selling point for each was a roster of exclusive games. But with Microsoft's shocking acquisition of Activision Blizzard, that might not be the case anymore. Truth be told, it still feels like total nonsense to even type those words, but there's no use in avoiding reality. The folks who run Xbox spent $68.7 billion to acquire the company that, among other things, publishes Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.


Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Deal and the Post-Console World

WIRED

Microsoft's war chest is a dynamo. With revenues that rival the GDP of a small nation, it's got enough cash on hand to buy whatever it wants. When it does, it just acquires another money-making machine. Video game company Activision Blizzard, which Microsoft announced yesterday it was buying for a staggering $68.7 billion--more than the $26.2 billion it paid for LinkedIn in 2016, almost 10 times the $7.5 billion it paid for Bethesda's parent ZeniMax Media last year. Microsoft now owns Call of Duty and Halo; it owns The Elder Scrolls and World of Warcraft.


Microsoft set to acquire Activision Blizzard in a blockbuster $68.7 billion deal

Mashable

You probably didn't see this one coming. Microsoft is poised to acquire video game mega-publisher Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion deal. The Wall Street Journal reported this today, and the Xbox maker itself confirmed on Tuesday. While the deal isn't yet finished and is still subject to a regulatory process that could derail it, the move could potentially mark a seismic shift in the way competition plays out between gaming's three biggest hardware makers: Microsoft, Nintendo, and PlayStation. Activision is perhaps best known for its stewardship of the Call of Duty franchise, a blockbuster first-person shooter series that regularly leads the year's top sellers with its annual November releases.


Why gaming's Netflix moment could finally arrive in 2022

Mashable

With flashy new game consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X (still) aggravatingly hard to come by, the dream of gaming without dedicated hardware has never been more appealing. At CES 2022, the tech industry's largest annual showcase, big tech companies showed that they agree. There's just one problem: Game streaming has yet to fully pan out. Microsoft, Amazon, PlayStation, and Google have all tried, but none have completely nailed cloud gaming just yet. Streaming apps like Google Stadia have impressive tech, to be sure, but none of these services have fully stuck the landing and become mainstays in the gaming space. Between technical troubles, lackluster libraries, and busted business models, the majority of cloud gaming apps have left us scratching our heads instead of having fun playing video games.


We're a year into the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X generation. How are they doing?

Mashable

Hard to believe it's been an entire year since a whole new hardware generation for video game consoles got its proper kickoff. Microsoft's Xbox Series X (and its cheaper, storage-deprived Series S sibling) launched on Nov. 10, 2020. Sony went right after, setting both the disc-based and all-digital (but otherwise identical) PlayStation 5 consoles free on Nov. 12. It was a busy week, to say the least. The arrival of a new console generation is historically one of the biggest hype moments in gaming.


Xbox will host another indie games showcase on August 10th

Engadget

Microsoft will host its second ID@Xbox indie game showcase of the year on Twitch next week. The stream starts at 12pm ET on August 10th. You'll be able to watch it on the Twitch Gaming and Xbox channels. Xbox will show off "tons" of games during the showcase, which will involve developers and publishers including Rebellion and Chump Squad. Along with updates on games such as OlliOlli World and The Artful Escape, new titles will be announced.