Opinion: Sony’s Instant Games Collection will always trump Games with Gold
I’m not here to discuss this month’s selection of games on either Sony's Instant Games Collection or Games with Gold. That’s a separate argument for a separate day, though I must say that Super Time Force and Halo Reach are pretty nice offerings. Plus I’ve been looking forward to picking up Sportsfriends for quite some time now.
No. I won’t go down this rabbit hole.
Instead, I’m going to focus on something that Games with Gold just flat out can’t offer: being able to pick these games up on multiple platforms.
Not only is it something Microsoft isn’t offering on the same scale as Sony, but Sony also has the advantage of offering games on both the home console platform and portable hardware. The ability for Sony to say “hey, have this free game and play it wherever you want” is something that Microsoft just cannot match. Period. And even though that Microsoft may be finding ways to close the gap in terms of the quality of each service, Sony always has that trump card waiting.
It’s a trump card that got better with the launch of the PlayStation 4. Even if a game isn’t available on both the Vita and PS4, there’s still the Vita’s Remote Play feature. Again, the ability to play the newest free PS4 game on the go (provided you have a WiFi connection, that is) just can’t be matched by Microsoft.
Why does this matter? Because in a world where competition is being described as finding out who has the deepest pockets to grab exclusive third-party games, innovation and accessibility is becoming rarer by the day. This is one aspect where that innovation and accessibility is being put to use. Sony is making the competition adjust to them instead of the other way around, something that’s incredibly vital for long term success.
Of course, one of the keys to Instant Games Collection’ advantage in this regard is actually owning a Vita. Sony hasn’t exactly been doing the best job recently of convincing people that they should buy a Vita. Maybe they could take a cue from Nintendo and remake some beloved PS1 and PS2 classics for the system. Remember how excited we were to get unique Grand Theft Auto games for the PSP? How about more of that, please.