With $70 becoming the new normal for major video game releases, more and more gamers are turning to subscription services, offering hundreds of titles, monthly bonus games, and online multiplayer access. Although Nintendo and Microsoft have both made significant moves to improve their gaming subscription services, the Japanese gaming giant Sony is still the biggest player in this market.
According to data presented by SportsLens.com, PlayStation Plus is the most popular gaming subscription service worldwide with 47.4 million subscribers, or 11.4 million more than Nintendo Switch Online.
PS Plus Has more Subscribers than Xbox Game Pass and GeForce NOW Combined
Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscription game service, initially created to sell online gaming access, underwent a significant change in June last year. Still called PS Plus, it has now become Sony’s version of Xbox Game Pass, offering three subscription models. The existing service became PlayStation Plus Essential, while higher-priced tiers, PlayStation Plus Extra and PlayStation Plus Premium, add access to downloadable and streamable titles previously available under PlayStation Now.
According to Statista data, PlayStation Plus hit 47.5 million subscribers in March, more than Xbox Game Pass and GeForce NOW combined. Most of its users named online multiplayer and monthly free games gifted to subscribers as the key reasons for using the service, which doesn’t surprise considering the retail value of free games offered to PS Plus Essential subscribers amounted to over $1,300 last year.
Nintendo Switch Online ranked as the second most popular gaming subscription service, with around 36 million subscribers. Microsoft Game Pass reported 25 million subscribers and ranked third on this list. NVIDIA GeForce NOW and EA Play followed with 20 million and 13 million subscribers, respectively.
PS Plus Gained 2 million new Subscribers in Six Months
The latest subscriber count comes after a challenging year for PlayStation Plus service. Despite its new features and subscription tiers, PS Plus lost 2.6 million subscribers in the nine months of 2022, showing the first big drop since its launch.
Statistics show between December 2021 and September 2022, the number of subscribers fell from an all-time high of 48 million to 45.4 million, or back to 2020 levels.
However, the following months brought an opposite trend, with the PS Plus subscriber count recovering to 46.4 million by the end of the year. This figure jumped to 47.4 million in the three months of 2023, showing a 2 million increase in just six months.