best games for the ipad

2021-06-08

Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC from Microsoft offers the best value for money to South African gamers when you compare the raw size of its library relative to the monthly price.

Services like PlayStation Plus and Humble Choice can offer comparable or greater value over time as subscribers unlock more games every month, but it would take several years of unlocking three to twelve games per month to reach that point.

Of course, the size of the library is not the only factor potential buyers consider before selecting a game subscription service and fortunately you can choose from a range of such services in South Africa.

Similar to what has happened in the movie, television, and music industries, game publishers are moving to subscription-based models focused?which provide access to numerous titles at a fraction of the cost of buying physical or digital copies of games.

This move was supported by increased broadband access that allowed more customers to download their games over the Internet.

The shift means players can now pay much less to have access to multiple newly-released AAA games ! a much cheaper options than buying a licence for each game at well over R1,000 per title nowadays.

Microsoft has been a big proponent of this business model with its Xbox Game Pass service, which launched in 2017.

Available on PC (since 2019) and Xbox, the service boasts games from Microsoft¨s own Xbox Game Studios, as well as third-party publishers and independent developers.

Xbox Game Pass picked up pace in recent months, such as through the addition of titles from EA Play, Electronic Arts¨ own subscription service.

The partnership allows?Game Pass for PC and Game Pass Ultimate members to play many games from EA¨s most popular franchises ! including Battlefield, FIFA, Mass Effect, Star Wars, and Need for Speed.

Following Microsoft¨s acquisition of ZeniMax Media, parent company of the studio Bethesda, Game Pass also started offering games from the Doom, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Wolfenstein franchises.

At R99 per month for Game Pass for PC with 261 games, or R149 for Game Pass Ultimate for 578 titles across both PC and Xbox, its value proposition is substantial.

On Game Pass for PC you are effectively paying an access fee of just 38 cents per game, while Game Pass Ultimate works out to around 26 cents per game.

Those primarily interested in EA titles can save money and just purchase an EA Play membership at R48.50 per month, or R299 per year.

EA Play on PC offers 159 titles, while Xbox and PlayStation players get 79 and 43 games, respectively.

Its higher tier EA Play Pro package at R199.95 per month or R1,199.99 per year provides access to more exclusive content and the latest games, often on the same day of release.

For example, it currently offers Mass Effect Legendary Edition and NFS: Hot Pursuit Remastered, neither of which are on the standard packagers.

PC players who enjoy Ubisoft games can also sign up for Ubisoft+, which boasts a library comprising Assassin¨s Creed, Far Cry, Watchdogs, and Tom Clancy titles.

At ≪14.99 (R247) per month, however, it is the most expensive of the popular gaming subscriptions available.

Sony¨s PlayStation Plus, which has been around for longer than this new wave of game subscription platforms, functions differently from these other services.

While its primary purpose is to provide access to online multiplayer, Sony also offers a few new titles to claim for free each month.

Subscribers are then be able to play any of the games they have claimed for as long as they are a PlayStation Plus member.

However, you can only start claiming games from the moment you start subscribing. You don¨t get access to a back-catalogue of PlayStation Plus titles when you sign up for the first time.

Another option for PC gamers is Humble Choice, which has adopted a best of both worlds kind of model to game subscriptions.

For $19.99 per month (R271) you get access to over 80 games called the Humble Trove, many of which are Humble Originals and exclusive to the Humble platform.

In addition, Humble Choice subscribers receive around twelve games every month. Unlike PlayStation Plus, though, these games are yours to keep forever even if you cancel your subscription.

Lastly, gamers on Apple¨s platforms ! including iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV ! can opt for Apple Arcade at R84.99 per month.

This service is oriented towards casual players and arcade fans, offering more than 180 games.

The table below compares the platforms, libraries, and major titles available on gaming subscription services in South Africa.

Gaming subscription services

Service

Platforms(s)

Library size

Major titles/franchises

Price

Apple Arcade

iPhone

iPad

Mac

Apple TV

180

Lego Brawls

NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition

Samurai Jack

Star Trek: Legends

Sonic Racing

Sneaky Sasquatch

R84.99 per month

EA Play

PC

159

Battlefield

Crysis

Dead Space

Dragon Age

FIFA

Need for Speed

Mass Effect Trilogy and Andromeda

Rocket Arena

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

Star Wars: Battlefront I & II

Titanfall I & II

Unravel I & II

R48.50 per month

R299 per year

PlayStation

43

Xbox

79

EA Play Pro

PC

193

All of the above plus:

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

NFS: Hot Pursuit Remastered

Madden NFL 21

Star Wars: Squadrons

R199.95 per month

R1,199.99 per year

Humble Choice

PC

80+ Humble Trove titles

\12 Games per month

Civlisation VI

Metro Exodus

Darksiders

Control

$19.99 per month (R271)

$179.99 per year (R2,441)

PlayStation Plus

PlayStation

Download-dependent

(up to 700)

Control: Ultimate Edition

Maneater

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Greedfall

Remnant: From the Ashes

Days Gone

Battlefield V

Star Wars: Squadrons

R119.00 per month

R561.00 (Normal price R749.00 per year)

Ubisoft+

PC

127

Anno

Assassin¨s Creed

Far Cry

Ghost Recon

Rainbow Six

Watchdogs

≪14.99 (R293) per month

Xbox Game Pass

Xbox

358

All EA Play titles

Age of Empires

Doom

Dishonored

Elder Scrolls

Forza

Fallout

Gears of War

Halo

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Wolfenstein

R99.00 per month

Xbox Game Pass for PC

PC

261

R99.00 per month

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

PC

Xbox

578 (combined)

R149.00 per month

It should be noted that these subscriptions are different from game streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, PlayStation Now, GeForce Now, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna.

These services offer users the ability to stream games to various devices, which often includes smartphones or tablets.

Instead of running on local hardware, they use cloud computing infrastructure of providers to power these games.

While this is great for playing on less powerful devices, game streaming services require servers that are closely located to the user to minimise latency for an optimal gameplay experience.

As a result, they are not yet available in South Africa.

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