Gaming subscriptions - the benefits and why you should consider them

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Posted 27th Sep
I appreciate that the vast majority are aware of the requirements of online multiplayer, what we gain by purchasing gaming subscriptions and where the cheapest place to buy them is, but I thought I'd put together this little guide together for the available subscriptions in gaming for those not quite in the know. I've tried to cover as much as I can, ranging from PlayStation Plus to Xbox Game Pass. There's a lot of words in here, but if you feel I've missed any important details, please do feel free to let me know in the comments below



PlayStation Plus
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If you have a PlayStation 4 and you're wanting to play online, PlayStation Plus is a mandatory requirement. However, PS+ Isn't required for single player games or media apps such as YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Twitch.

Various subscription offers are available to purchase and are available in one month (RRP £6.99), 3 month (RRP £19.99) or 12 month (RRP £49.99) subscription blocks.

What are the benefits of PS+?

  • Two free games a month (see below)
  • Weekly PlayStation store discounts (see below)
  • Early access to upcoming games
  • Beta trials
  • 100 GB of internet storage space

Two free games a month

Each month (usually available on the first Tuesday of the month) two new games are announced for the Instant Game Collection that are available to download at no extra cost to PS+ members. The offered game are playable on the PlayStation 4 console.

For October's month's games, please see [PlayStation Plus for October (The Last of Us Remastered / MLB 19)]

Games currently available for September:


Weekly PlayStation Store discounts

The PlayStation Store updates weekly in the UK with their latest discounts on a Wednesday. Some of the discounts offered on the store are only applicable to PlayStation Plus members (see image below), whilst some are discounted to everybody but may hold a bigger discount to PS+ subscribers

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RRP looks a bit expensive, can I get this cheaper?

Fortunately the answer to that question is - yes. PlayStation Plus can be obtained at a discounted price from resellers such as CDKeys, Instant Gaming, Gamivo or other retailers. Always make sure to have a hunt around first before buying your PlayStation Plus membership, and remember - a yearly purchase will always work out better financially than the smaller subscription offers.


If you have more than one console in the house, please make sure to check out How to game share on PlayStation 4 between two consoles



Xbox Live Gold
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In similar fashion to the PlayStation Plus subscription, the Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles both require a paid membership to Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold service to enable online multiplayer. The subscription isn't required to play single player games.

Xbox Live Gold also isn't required for media applications such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and so on.

The membership is available in 3 subscription options - 1 month (RRP - £6.99), 3 months (RRP - £17.99) and 12 months (RRP - £49.99).

What are the benefits of Xbox Live Gold?

  • Free games each month with Games with Gold
  • Weekly digital discounts (Deals with Gold) on the Xbox Store
  • Access to online multiplayer
  • Free weekly trials*

Free games each month with Games with Gold

A Xbox Live Gold membership offers subscribers 4 free games each month which are available to download free with your active subscription. Two of the games are Xbox One titles and two Xbox 360 games. All four are fully playable on an Xbox One console thanks to the Xbox Backwards Compatibility Programme.

Although Games with Gold titles are only playable with an active Xbox Live Gold subscription, it is worth noting that once the Xbox 360 titles are claimed, they're yours to keep forever, regardless of membership status.

For Octobers Games with Gold, please see [Games with Gold October - Friday the 13th: The Game, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, Disney Bolt , Tembo the Badass Elephant]

Games currently available for September:


Weekly digital discounts (Deals with Gold) on the Xbox Store

The Xbox Store weekly sales go live on a Tuesday around 1am. The Deals with Gold update offers reductions on digital titles for all members. However some are restricted to Xbox Live Gold subscribers and sometimes offer deeper discounts when available.

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Please see [Xbox Store UK Deals with Gold and Spotlight Sales 24/09/2019]

Can I purchase Xbox Live Gold for cheaper than the RRP?

Again, of course. Many subscriptions for gaming can be found cheaper on the internet, so I'd fully suggest having a quick look on the site to see what the best options available to you are.


If you have more than one console in the house, please make sure to check out How to game share on Xbox One between two consoles



Nintendo Switch Online
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Nintendo introduced their first ever online subscription service in September of 2018, Nintendo Switch Online. Which, as the name suggests is needed to get your Nintendo Switch, online (unless of course you're playing Fortnite - that doesn't require and active sub).

The subscription is available in two models. There's the individual subscription that will cover one user, or there's the family subscription that grants up to eight users access to Nintendo's online benefits.

Subscription options:

(Individual membership)
  • 1 month - £3.49
  • 3 months - £6.99
  • 12 months - £17.99

(Family membership)
  • 12 months - £31.49

What are the benefits of Nintendo Switch Online?

  • Online multiplayer
  • Access to NES and SNES classic games
  • Weekly eShop sales
  • Voice communication
  • Cloud saves

Access to NES and SNES classic games

Included with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription is a growing library of both NES and SNES titles. The games do, by default, require an online connection to play but can all be downloaded for offline play for a duration of 7 days at a time.

The SNES catalogue was recently added by Nintendo and includes 20 available games with more coming in the future. Please see [SNES Games for Nintendo Switch Free with Nintendo Switch Online ( Mario Kart, Zelda, Metroid, F-Zero, Yoshi etc)]

Weekly eShop sales

Unlike Sony and Microsoft, there are no set dates for a Nintendo title to hit a sale price, although majority of drops do go live on a Thursday. Discounts are widely available to all, irrelevant of a subscription service.

Please see, [Nintendo Switch eShop sale - up to 60% off]

Can I purchase Nintendo Switch Online for cheaper than the RRP?

ABSOLUTELY! Nintendo Switch Online is no different to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live. As I've suggested above, always make sure to check the Nintendo Switch page on the site to make sure you're aware of the best price offering currently available for the Online subscription.




All the above subscriptions are needed to play multiplayer games on your consoles, as well as reaping the benefits each service has to offer.

Many other subscription services are available for your consoles including EA Access, Xbox Game Pass and the fantastic PlayStation Now. I'll now detail each service below and where the best current price is available.

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The EA Access subscription allows subscribers access to a vault of EA Games. The subscription is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, however the games available to each gaming platform differ due to availability of older titles on PS4.

Your EA Access subscription also offers a 10% discount on all EA games purchased via the PlayStation and Xbox stores, plus gives 10 hour trials for new and upcoming games (known as a Play First Trial).

EA Access is available in monthly (£3.99) or yearly (£19.99) subscriptions and can be purchased directly from the consoles store.


Can I buy EA Access cheaper?

Sadly, EA Access is currently only available to purchase outside of the store for Xbox One.




Xbox Game Pass
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Xbox Game Pass, the GRAND DADDY of them all (in my opinion). This Microsoft gaming subscription offers console gamers OVER 200 games available to play for just £7.99 a month (console), £3.99 (PC) or £10.99 for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Xbox Game Pass members save 20% on purchases of games in the Game Pass catalogue on the Xbox Store, plus 10% off DLC and content.


Can I buy Xbox Game Pass cheaper?

Yes, yes you can buy Xbox Game Pass cheaper. In fact, there are numerous ways to get Xbox Game Pass on the cheap. Firstly there's the 3 Month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offer from CDKeys for £12.99, which I must mention can only be used on an account once, so don't get tricked into buying more that the limit!

But we shouldn't really be talking about that now. We really need to discuss how anybody without Xbox Game Pass can currently obtain 3 years (THREE YEARS!) of Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC for an absolutely astonishing £107.97!

Here's how to do that.

  • Purchase 3 years of Xbox Live Gold from CDKeys at £35.99 each
  • Apply the subscriptions to your account to give you 3 years Xbox Live Gold
  • Now head to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate site where you are given the opportunity to convert every month of Xbox Live Gold you have into a month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate!

It's as simple as that, you've now just signed up for 36 months of Xbox Live Gold (including the 4 games a month offered with Games with Gold), Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (over 200 games available to play) and Xbox Game Pass for PC!



Still to come...

PlayStation Now.
Origin Access.
uPlay+
Community Updates
Misc

Groups

12 Comments
What we all want to know about is... Apple Arcade Vs. Google Play Pass
Thanks for info.
.Yoshi.27/09/2019 10:19

What we all want to know about is... Apple Arcade Vs. Google Play Pass …What we all want to know about is... Apple Arcade Vs. Google Play Pass


I forsee a dedicated post being constructed
You can only buy a 3 month Xbox ultimate pass once? Never knew that. So after that initial 3 month purchase, you're left you buy only 6 and 12 months ultimate passes?
STRICKIBHOY27/09/2019 10:58

You can only buy a 3 month Xbox ultimate pass once? Never knew that. So …You can only buy a 3 month Xbox ultimate pass once? Never knew that. So after that initial 3 month purchase, you're left you buy only 6 and 12 months ultimate passes?


This only applies to the one that CDKeys are selling. It's a promotional item and happens to be stuck on a one per account restriction.
BuzzDuraband27/09/2019 10:59

This only applies to the one that CDKeys are selling. It's a promotional …This only applies to the one that CDKeys are selling. It's a promotional item and happens to be stuck on a one per account restriction.


That's very handy to know, when i buy one I'll need to remember and not get another
Would just like to highlight when you mention for PS4 Game share

If you have more than one console in the house, please make sure to check out "How to game share on PlayStation 4 between two consoles"


That the consoles do not have to be in the same house
Avenger27/09/2019 11:32

Would just like to highlight when you mention for PS4 Game shareIf you …Would just like to highlight when you mention for PS4 Game shareIf you have more than one console in the house, please make sure to check out "How to game share on PlayStation 4 between two consoles"That the consoles do not have to be in the same house


Covering my back as per the Code of Conduct, what you do with the information is up to you
BuzzDuraband27/09/2019 11:32

Covering my back as per the Code of Conduct, what you do with the …Covering my back as per the Code of Conduct, what you do with the information is up to you



Fair one bud
Cuphead is never a good example of Gold discounting, when will that game drop to sub £10!!!
I’m eating my breakfast
Excellent post Buzz, can see this being really helpful for people especially as Christmas is coming soon.

By far I think Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the best subscription service so far, Sony need to follow suit, hopefully next gen we'll have just one sub per platform to cover everything
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