Handbags:ˈhan(d)bags. Noun, plural
- Small bags used to carry everyday personal items.
- a confrontation or squabble, typically involving videogame publishers, hardware manufacturers and fanboys
EA recently revealed the All Access Pass, an Xbox One-exclusive initiative that lets Xbox One owners pay £3.99 per month to freely access a selection of major titles. It's an interesting idea that will require some fine-tuning, not to mention a beefier collection of games, but could well become the norm when other publishers jump on the bandwagon (as we saw with Online Passes). We reckon that it's an early, potentially flawed yet intriguing glimpse at the future.
Sony, predictably, are having absolutely none of it.
"We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect," a Sony spokesperson told Game Informer. The key being that PlayStation Plus already includes access to the Instant Game Collection as part of a subscription.
"PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200 per cent since the launch of PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price.
"We don't think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer."
Handbags aside, there is arguably a point worth making here. PlayStation Plus' Instant Game Collection provides subscribers with a variety of downloadable titles from various publishers (first-and-third-parties alike), making the EA Access scheme much less relevant when compared to Microsoft's somewhat underwhelming Games With Gold promotion. Whether we'll see more third party publishers pull out of PS Plus to start up their own similar schemes on both consoles remains to be seen; how long before Ubisoft adds something similar to their Uplay platform?
Is £3.99 a month or £18.99 annually poor value or a worthwhile extra? Let us know how much you'd pay, and more importantly, what for!