Hours before Apple is likely to announce pricing and availability details of Apple Arcade, Google has confirmed the existence of its own game and app subscription service, aka Google Play Pass. Without divulging much details, Google has confirmed that Google Play Pass is coming soon – a tentative timeline of launch hasn’t been revealed either.
Reports that Google is prepping Google Play Pass have been doing the rounds since last year, but only recently the chit-chatter started getting louder when screenshots of the service allegedly in beta surfaced online. As per the leaked screenshots, Google’s Play Pass service would apparently cost $4.99 giving users unlimited access to both premium apps as well as games without any ads or in-app purchases.
It’s almost time ⏲️ Google Play Pass is coming soon. pic.twitter.com/vTbNmRehLm— Google Play (@GooglePlay) September 9, 2019
There seems to be a slight difference between what Google’s trying to do here and Apple Arcade. Apple’s Arcade will offer a collection of 100+ new and exclusive games that will be playable across Apple devices. Google’s Play Pass seems to be offering already existing games, plus apps – it’s still early to say if Google would be looking to offer any exclusives down the line as and when Google Play Pass goes live.
Considering how app piracy runs rampant on Android and how iPhone owners tend to spend far more money on apps than their Android counterparts, it would be interesting to see how users react to Google Play Pass.
Subscription services are all the rage these days and Google itself has been investing heavily on them. Only recently, it announced Stadia – a game streaming service that will allow gamers to play high-end AAA games across devices over the cloud. Google is promising console-quality gaming (4K at 60fps at launch, and 8K 120fps later) sans an actual console - Google is really touting Stadia as a gaming platform for everyone. With Android being the largest mobile operating system, it was only about time that Google launched something like Play Pass.
As for Apple Arcade, Apple is expected to announce pricing and availability details of its game subscription service at its iPhone 11 keynote event later tonight.
(Photo by Saurabh Singh)