Google is testing Google Play Pass, a new subscription that gives users access to a curated collection of hundreds of premium apps and games for $4.99 a month. The subscription is ad-free and it helps subscribers avoid in-app purchases and download fees, says Variety. The subscription comes with a 10-day free trial and is commitment-free. Subscribers can cancel at any time. Android Police said Google Play Pass will have a family plan, but pricing is not known.
Google confirmed the subscription is being tested but did not confirm or provide details. Android Police said Google is touting the subscription as all play, no interruptions. Screenshots provided by an Android Police reader show Google Play Pass will offer puzzles, games, music and premium apps. Some of the games include Marvel Pinball, Stardew Valley, Monument Valley, Threes, Star Wars: Kotor and Ticket to Ride, as well as kids games like Elmo Loves 123s.
Google Play Pass might sound familiar. It is similar to Apple Arcade, scheduled to launch this fall. While Apple hasnt released pricing or other specifics just yet, we do know it will have more than 100 new and exclusive games as well as the ability to play offline. The service will be available in more than 150 countries and regions, reports Tech.co. The key difference between Google Play Pass and Apple Arcade is that the latter will be focused solely on games.
Simultaneously, Google is readying cloud-based gaming service Stadia for a November 2019 launch. Because the platform is based in the cloud, subscribers dont need to purchase a console to play Stadia, just a controller that connects to the game via Wi-Fi. Stadia users will be able to play games in 4K on their smart TVs or on laptops, desktops, and Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a phones without having to download games.
Stadia subscribers can play what they want, when they want, by purchasing their favorite games including Destiny 2: The Collection, Football Manager 2020, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Baldurs Gate III, Mortal Kombat 11 and Final Fantasy XV. Right now, Stadia is available for pre-order.
Apple and Google are competing for eyeballs, attention and revenue, so Googles launching of a competing product is not really a surprise. Apple Arcade will appeal to iOS users, and now Android users will have their own option. It will be interesting to see how each of the tech companies differentiates their products – whether it will be through pricing, content or features. We think pricing of Google Play Pass and Apple Arcade will be competitive, but content and features could vary widely. Well report back when we have more details.