As Xbox Week draws to a close here at PSVG, it only makes sense to have an article from, you know, me. The guy who only plays PlayStation. The self-proclaimed (and moderately tolerated by the other PSVG folk) Lorde of the Isle. While I am exclusively a PlayStation gamer, it is not because I hate Xbox (the Nintendo Shack is a different story, but only the Shack, not Nintendo) but because by focusing on one ecosystem (and my preferred gaming ecosystem) I can talk more in-depth and intelligently about it. Xbox (and Microsoft as a whole) has done some interesting things as of late, and I hope that Sony is paying attention. Here are the ideas/products/concepts I hope PlayStation is considering adding to enhance the gamer experience.
EA Access is the easy answer, and while I do think Sony passing on this partnership was a mistake, I am not sure it is for me. Despite that, I would love to see it on the console. As someone who already has way too many games to play, I am not sure how often I would use the vault. I am much more interested in the early-access, 10% discount…but is that worth $5 a month? For me, I do not think so. However, it is an excellent service for folks looking to build a gaming library, or trying to game if you have significant budget constraints. It might be the best deal in gaming, and it is a shame it is not available on PlayStation.
Xbox Game Pass
Similar to EA Access, Xbox Game Pass is another opportunity to capitalize on old games that might not otherwise generate revenue. If you are looking to build a library on a budget, or are new to gaming, this is an excellent opportunity. When looking at the list of games, I have already played everything I want to on there other than Halo 5, so I am not sure how committed I would be to this service. However, because of the value, it probably is worth it to review month-to-month since the lineup will change and just a game or two you are interested in may be worth the price of admission.
PlayStation does have PlayStation Now, but unlike Xbox Game Pass, you cannot download games, you can only stream them. As a result, the service just is not doable for those without excellent internet connections, which is a lot of people. The service is also quite spendy compared to Game Pass, but the service does have almost 500 games compared to the just over 100 on Game Pass. My hope is that Xbox Game Pass helps push Sony to allow downloads in addition to streaming, and they revisit the price structure.
While I prefer trophies to achievements (it is ok if you prefer achievements, I am not offended or am going to try to convince you otherwise), I do like achievement progress as a mechanic in the system. If there is a trophy for getting 100 eliminations with “X” weapon, I have no idea whether I have one left or one-hundred left. I am not certain if achievement progress is a requirement of developers, but either way, it is an impressive feature I wish existed for trophies.
Xbox Insider Program
I sign-up for a lot of betas and early access program on PSN, but I like the fact there is one place to find that information on Xbox. When it comes to PSN betas, closed alphas, firmware testing, etc. you have to go search it out. If you regularly visit the PlayStation Blog you will find out about a lot of things, but still not even everything. Having most of these items in one place would be nice. There is a section on the PlayStation Store where betas are listed, but I have no idea how that section is curated as it is never complete. I know not everyone gets to do everything by being an Insider, but I would appreciate a simplified system for registering for these opportunities.
An important clarification on this: I want something similar to Halo. To me, that means an epic sci-fi story with fantastic multiplayer. PlayStation has had contenders in this area (namely Killzone and Resistance), but none of them could compete with the juggernaut that is Halo. Nathan Hale does not carry the same weight as Master Chief. The Covenant are likely a more recognizable foe than the Helghast. To be clear, this does not mean the Killzone series and Resistance series are bad games, far from it in fact. But when looking at the future of Sony first-party games (and those developed with third-party partnerships), there seems to be a clear direction of focusing more on open-world, action-adventure games. With E3 right around the corner, there could be a surprise, and I am hoping there is, but it does not seem any of Sony’s first parties are looking at jumping back into space anytime soon.
So there you have it, a list of things that exist on Xbox that I would love to see come to PlayStation. Am I misguided? Did I miss something obvious? Comment below and keep the conversation going!