Sony's Jim Ryan says PS5 will not put "$100 million" games on subscription services, referring to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass

Horizon Forbidden West Aloy Bow
Horizon Forbidden West Aloy Bow (Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

What you need to know

  • PS5 preorders went live yesterday and it was a mess.
  • Sony's Jim Ryan has said that the company isn't looking to put $100 games into subscription services.
  • This is in direct contrast to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass ideology.

After the inexcusable mess that followed PS5 preorders last night, Sony apparently decided that wasn't enough. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has now said that the company isn't planning to release "$100 million" games into subscription services, exactly what Microsoft does with Xbox Game Pass.

Ryan told that PlayStation does not plan to follow Xbox's approach with a similar offering. Xbox Game Studios games currently release into Xbox Game Pass the day they launch at retailers.

For us, having a catalogue of games is not something that defines a platform. 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.

Part of what makes Xbox Game Pass so appealing is that you can play games like Gears 5, Halo Infinite, and more the minute they release for everyone else. It's an outstanding amount of value for a service that costs just $10/month. Sony's PlayStation Now just can't compete with that, and it looks like it unfortunately doesn't want to. Imagine Horizon Forbidden West and Spier-Man: Miles Morales coming to PS Now at launch. That's a pipe dream that sadly won't become reality.

The PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition will release on November 12 for $499 and $399. Though it's only coming to seven countries on that day — United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea — it will release worldwide the following week on November 19. Just don't plan on playing any AAA PS5 exclusives in a subscription service anytime soon.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.

  • I'm not surprised. I mean, those will be the big money makers (obviously) and they are the sole reason many people go with playstation so why would they ruin their profits by putting them on ps now? If I was in their shoes I would do the exact same thing. Let us not forget, at the end of the day these people do this to make money (which is something we all want).
  • This guy is such an absolute moron. It's mind-boggling how he got promoted to be CEO after the disrespectful things he said about backwards compatibility, dissing customers and developers and their work all in the same sentence. I see he's here, again, talking about things he literally doesn't understand. "For us, having a catalogue of games is not something that defines a platform." Really? Because to literally every gamer except a small group of casuals, that's what defines a platform, above usability, above price. Not to mention he basically pulled out the elitist "Good sir our BLOCKBUSTER games take millions to make. We can't just give them away for $10 a month." Blockbuster means that something was a huge commercial success. It's a movie term. You can't call a game a blockbuster when it isn't out for at least 2 more months and, judging by the facts that prove the complete opposite for most PS4 exclusives - which weren't huge commercial successes like Uncharted 4 and Last of Us 2 - it's wishful thinking to think PS5 exclusives are going to be any different. Especially when even fewer of them will actually be exclusives or even first party games. Complete idiot. Microsoft has always and will always continue to destroy Sony when it comes to usability, accessibility, features, transparency, and value and with this buffoon at the helm, that won't change any time soon.
  • Sigh. Microsoft, Google, Nvidia and Sony are very different. Microsoft market cap: 1.5 trillion
    Google market cap: 1 trillion
    Nvidia market cap: 300 billion
    Sony market cap: 95 billion One of these is not like the other. Also, Microsoft, Google and Nvidia make very little on consumer hardware sold to end users. No one would be shocked if the 3 of them actually sell consumer end user hardware at a loss in order to serve as commercials for the software/platform products that do make money. (For example: the Surface and Pixel lines "influence" the hardware decisions of the likes of Samsung and Lenovo, which sells Windows licenses for Microsoft and gets more Android/ChromeOS devices in the hands of users to boost Google's ads business). What does make money for Microsoft, Google and Nvidia is cloud. So, these 3 companies are willing to lose billions on cloud gaming for years because they know that proving that cloud gaming on their platforms as successful will attract other consumers to Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Nvidia's edge computing platform etc. That is why next year Amazon is going to get in on the deal with a cloud version of Prime gaming so they can promote AWS with it too. Google, Amazon and Nvidia do not have competing consoles to begin with. (In fact, cloud gaming may increase the sales of the Android phones, streaming devices and Chromebook hardware that they do sell.) Microsoft is willing to give up hundreds of millions in XBox sales in order to gain tens of billions in AWS contracts. But Sony? No. First off, they don't have billions to lose for the 3-5 years that it would take to turn profitable.
    Second, they don't have their own cloud infrastructure to use to put in something like this. Google, Microsoft, Nvidia and Amazon all have their own cloud platforms. Sony would have to pay one of them lots and lots of money, increasing the amount of time that it takes to turn a profit.
    Third, cloud gaming doesn't serve as a commercial for their own cloud business, which again is the primary avenue that Nvidia, Microsoft, Amazon and especially Google are hoping to reap.
    Fourth, cloud gaming would just reduce the sales of PlayStations. Sony is primarily a hardware company and they NEED revenue from Playstations, PlayStation accessories and AAA PlayStation game purchases to make up a huge portion of their profits. A $10-$15 subscription service isn't going to replace 100 million $500 console sales and it especially isn't going to replace all those $60 copies of Spiderman and Uncharted. I expect EA, Sega, Ubisoft, Steam and a bunch of other software companies to shop their versions of cloud gaming to Google, Nvidia, Microsoft and AWS. But expecting Sony - or Nintendo - to lose billions on cloud gaming while taking away billions in hardware sales and video game sales at the same time? (Nintendo's current market cap thanks to the Switch is $67 billion but a few years ago with the Wii U it was only $15 billion, which shows the importance that hardware has to these companies.) Not going to happen.
  • Couldn't you at least spellcheck this mess before posting? $100 games, Spier-man?