Apple Arcade vs. Google Play Pass

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With the launch of iOS 13, Apple released Apple Arcade, a new $4.99 per month gaming service that provides unlimited access to new and exclusive games.

Less than two weeks later, Google announced its own gaming service called Play Pass, which also offers unlimited access to games. In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with both services to compare them.


Both Apple Arcade and Play Pass are priced at $4.99 per month. Apple offers a one-month free trial while Google offers a 10-day free trial, but for the first year, Google is offering a deal that drops the price of Play Pass to $1.99 per month.

Though the prices are similar, the two services are quite different. Apple Arcade features new and exclusive games, some of which were funded by Apple, while Google's Play Pass offers up older games.

Play Pass includes some super popular titles like Stardew Valley, Reigns, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Terraria, and more, but the problem with older games is that many people may have already played them.

Play Pass is also not limited to games -- Google is including apps too. AccuWeather, Pic Stitch, ISS HD, and Tunable are some of the apps offered.

Apple Arcade only offers gaming titles, but all of the games are fresh, new, and exclusive to Apple Arcade. In some cases, though, some of the games are also available on consoles, but on mobile platforms, Apple Arcade gets exclusive access. That means no Android equivalent.

It's not clear if apps can leave Apple Arcade, but Google warns that apps can leave Play Pass. If that happens, users will need to buy the game to continue to use it if it's a paid game, and for free titles, ads and in-app purchases may show up.

Google says there are hundreds of apps and games included with more being added every month. Apple Arcade launched with right around 60 games, and Apple has also promised new content on a monthly basis. Both services offer offline gaming, so no internet connection is required.

With both services, content is ad free and features no in-app purchases. Apple titles were designed from the ground up with no additional purchases, but for Play Pass, these gaming elements have been removed from titles that previously offered them.

Apple allows up to six family members to share games through a single Apple Arcade subscription using Family Sharing, and Google allows for up to five family members to share content through its Google Play Family Library.

Apple Arcade has launched in multiple countries around the world, while Play Pass is limited to the United States at the current time. Google does plan to expand, however.

One other aspect worth noting is privacy. Apple specifically mentions privacy protections and says that users are able to choose to share data, while Google's Play Pass materials don't mention privacy or data sharing. "Every game must meet Apple's high privacy standards," reads Apple's press release for Apple Arcade.

Most people are locked in to either Android or iOS and few have both, so most people won't need to choose between services.

Apple users who have a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV can access Apple Arcade on those devices, while Google Play Pass requires a smartphone, laptop, or tablet with Android 4.4 or above and Play Store version 16.6.25. Google Play Pass games can't be played on the larger screen of a television, which gives Apple Arcade a bit of an edge when it comes to non-mobile gaming.

Do you prefer Apple Arcade with its fresh selection of titles, or Google Play Pass with its larger library of already available games? Let us know in the comments.

Article Link: Apple Arcade vs. Google Play Pass
 
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cardfan

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2012
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None of the above? I’ll stick with KingdomRush and some other old ones. Nothing on arcade seemed appealing. Had a bunch of 32 bit games I liked but no longer work like missile command, karate champ, etc. Shame.
 
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GeneralChang

macrumors 68000
Dec 2, 2013
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It's really the fact that I can go from my phone to my tablet to my tv to my computer and have the same saved game the whole time that really sells Arcade for me. And sure, a bunch of fresh games are nice, but I'm sure I'd find games I liked on Play Pass too, it's just... I'd be stuck on my phone. And even with a controller that's only gonna be good for a few minutes of play here and there.
 

Duane Martin

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2004
315
557
Calgary, Alberta
Cancelled Arcade today. Was hyped for it, but I guess the current gen of touch games just don't hold my attention long. Capcom I found had the was the most immersive title though.
Well, I canceled arcade after three days. I decided it just wasn’t for me at all. I think I’d prefer Google’s offering, as the games mentioned in the article are ones I would play.
To be absolutely clear I am not accusing anyone here of trolling but if I were a troll I would almost certainly post comments like "I cancelled after 3 days because..." It's free for 1 month! Why would anyone cancel after just a few days when it's free for a month. With 60 games can you expect anyone to seriously believe you took time to evaluate the product and all its offerings and decided it was so unusable that it was worth taking the time to cancel it after only 3 days?

Arcade is not for everyone. It probably isn't really for me. But if I were a gamer I would certainly take more than a few days to evaluate it thoroughly given that it is free for a month. Otherwise I would expect people to accuse me of trolling. Which, to be clear, I am not.
 

decypher44

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2007
665
714
Orange County, CA
To be absolutely clear I am not accusing anyone here of trolling but if I were a troll I would almost certainly post comments like "I cancelled after 3 days because..." It's free for 1 month! Why would anyone cancel after just a few days when it's free for a month. With 60 games can you expect anyone to seriously believe you took time to evaluate the product and all its offerings and decided it was so unusable that it was worth taking the time to cancel it after only 3 days?

Arcade is not for everyone. It probably isn't really for me. But if I were a gamer I would certainly take more than a few days to evaluate it thoroughly given that it is free for a month. Otherwise I would expect people to accuse me of trolling. Which, to be clear, I am not.
I understand why you’d see it that way, but I’m being completely honest. I’m not “gamer”, but I do enjoy some older games. I played the one where you collect things to music (dude, it was confusing - but pretty!).
I just cancelled because I knew I wasn’t going to continue using it, and didn’t want to forget before the renewal charge hit.
 

meetsam23

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2014
264
63
One more tool for Google to spy on its users' information and enhance their shoddy business model. Privacy - gone to hell, experience - gone to hell. User Data - keep it coming, aggregate and sell.
 
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Will.O.Bie

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2016
404
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So far Arcade hasn't impressed me but it's early. I'd actually pay for it for a few months and give it an absolute shot before deciding if it's worth it or not. . So far, my kids like it so that's another thing for me to consider. If this was upwards $10-$15/month, I wouldn't even consider it. The fact that it can be continued onto another device after a save is a big deal for me. I'll give it a chance to earn my subscription.
 

mondaiguy

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2010
24
55
I think it's good Apple Arcade is focused on games only, and the price is right, but I'm disappointed in the sluggishness of the games on even the latest Apple TV 4K (even worse on older Apple TVs). I wish a new Apple TV came out to coincide with this release. That would have been smart.

Imagine 5-10 years from now - Apple Arcade will be VR, and you walk into an actual arcade and play your games there maybe, seeing your friends "in person" walk around and play games with you :) Paying with virtual currency of course... not VISA. Lots of room for growth.
 

roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
6,538
1,452
I signed up for Arcade today. Didn’t play anything. Didn’t see much. Certainly not anything worth installing. Will cancel before I get billed.
 
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coolfactor

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2002
4,353
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Curious why you referred to these services as "streaming"? What is streaming about them?
- - Post merged: - -

Freemium practically ruined iOS gaming and I wonder how this will help/hurt. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I like buying complete games and paying the devs who made them.
Yah, my favourite game... a Word game, displays 30 second ads between every single gameplay, and they also recently raised the "price" (number of points) needed to start a new game. It's like a double-edge sword that is very anti-consumer.

I'm curious what the operating costs are like for multiplayer games? What kind of server rigs do they need to support a global audience? Are they working hard to make those systems as efficient as possible, or are they just passing increasing costs along to customers/users?
 

sidewinder3000

macrumors 6502a
Jan 29, 2010
910
981
Chicagoland
Google’s PlayPass seems so diffuse and unfocused i can not possibly imagine it will interest many people or make a dime for developers or the company. The ultimate “me too” offering.
 
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bn-7bc

macrumors regular
May 30, 2008
133
29
Arendal, Norway
Freemium practically ruined iOS gaming and I wonder how this will help/hurt. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I like buying complete games and paying the devs who made them.
Yea freemium tens to leav a nicle and dimed aftertaste with to much naging about boist this and thst etc, I allso prefere to oay for a game at purcase and just be done with it, if I realy like the fame I migt even get a oayed dlc or tow