Yesterday Microsoft announced a new Xbox Game Pass ‘Standard’ Tier with no day one releases, and it sounds a lot like PS Plus Extra. It will essentially cost the same. When it rolls out, Game Pass Standard will cost $14.99 per month, promising “hundreds of high-quality games on console.” It will replace the current “Game Pass for Console” tier, which includes day one games.

Launching games on services like PS Plus and Game Pass is expensive

We’ve ruffled some feathers before by pointing out that Sony has the right approach when it comes to day-one subscription releases. The company, particularly former PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, has pointed out on numerous occasions that the Game Pass model – as it stood – is unsustainable due to the cost of video game development, among other factors. Time and time again, they’ve been proven right.

To be clear, Microsoft has continued to offer games on Game Pass since day one via its Ultimate tier, which has now received a price increase. In an effort to expand its audience rather than squeeze money out of existing members, the company is advertising that an Xbox isn’t required to play its games. Just subscribe.

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Microsoft is advertising its new Game Pass Standard subscription with much the same promise Sony makes for its PS Plus Extra: “hundreds” of games, access to online multiplayer, and exclusive discounts and deals. The “Game Pass for Console” tier is being phased out, and members will either have to upgrade to get day-one games or lose them.

It goes without saying that this had to happen.