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Sony says PS Plus Day One Uploads for PS5 Games Would “Degrade” Their Quality

Sony’s CFO Hikori Totoki explained during a recent Q&A that releasing PS5 exclusive games on PS Plus Day One would result in a degradation of quality.

 

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest selling points of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription is the first-day games. Getting Starfield (despite its recent delay) on day one with a subscription alone, for example, is a tempting prospect. However, many have also questioned why other publishers don’t do this, such as Sony not doing so for PS5 titles on PS Plus day one.

With PS Plus Premium also coming out in June, many may feel that this is a missed opportunity on Sony’s part, but that may not be entirely the case. Recently, several companies have released financial announcements and confirmed their fiscal year spending, and Sony CFO Hikori Totoki spoke at a Q&A session after Sony’s results.

Totoki declined to comment on the competitors’ approach, but he did talk about why Sony can’t put PS5 games on one-day PS Plus. According to a VGC transcript, “With AAA titles on PS5, if we distribute them on this subscription service, we may have to reduce the investment required to do so. This will degrade the quality of first-party titles, and that is our concern. Therefore, we want to ensure that we are spending adequate development costs to ensure that solid products and titles are rolled out correctly”.

No doubt, with big PlayStation games like God of War: Ragnarok, Spider-Man 2 and so on, no one wants to see a drop in game quality. There have been some bad-faith ‘takes’ on this comment, with online users suggesting that Sony is confusing quality with money, but this is a business report. Games cost a lot of money to make and develop, especially at Sony level.

While Totoki doesn’t go into this, it’s worth adding that Microsoft and Sony are essentially an apples and oranges comparison. Microsoft is a huge company compared to Sony – Microsoft’s market capitalisation is in the trillions, while Sony’s is in the billions. This is a huge difference, and the exact profitability of Xbox Game Pass is unknown. In the “user acquisition” phase, Microsoft can afford/can afford to lose a lot of money on Game Pass, while Sony does not have pockets as deep as Microsoft.

This comment suggests that for Sony to do this without serious strategic or financial loss, it would have to lower the quality of its games. So, although fans won’t get PS5-exclusive games on the first day of PS Plus, it’s encouraging to know that Sony is putting quality first. It’s a pretty decent compromise when people consider Horizon Forbidden West, Returnal, Demon’s Souls Remake and the rest while also knowing that there’s more on the horizon.

PS Plus subscribers get a handful of free games every month, the quality of which varies – most recently, they got FIFA 22, among others.

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