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You’re leading the console sales race by a decent margin, but your closest competitor is improving and just partnered with one of the biggest publishers on the planet for a subscription service. What do you do? Insult it, of course! That’s the unsurprising route Sony took when dealing with the news that Microsoft had partnered with EA on a new service for the Xbox One called EA Access.

ea-accessEA Access, which we reported on yesterday, is a subscription service that can be paid for monthly ($4.99/mo.) or yearly ($29.99/yr.). Subscribing gets you access to quite a few perks, including access to a “Vault” of games that be downloaded and played, a 10% discount on digital purchases of EA games, and early demo access to games 5 days before they hit stores.

Sony has no such deal with EA, and it’s unclear if Sony had a shot at such a deal or if the company declined to work with EA on EA Access or something similar for the PlayStation 4. But Sony wasted no time in brushing off the service as something gamers shouldn’t want, stating to Eurogamer, “We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect.”

The company seems more interested in pushing PlayStation Plus as the service that gamers should be paying for, and it makes sense that the company would rather have games flow through that service than some other hub. Sony added, “We don’t think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer,” which seems to say that, if gamers are already paying $50 a year for PlayStation Plus, they shouldn’t have to pay extra for a certain publisher.

And price makes the Microsoft/EA partnership all the more interesting. Microsoft’s Xbox Live service is actually $10 more expensive per year than Sony’s PlayStation Plus service, and to date, it hasn’t been as good a value in terms of the free games available. With that in mind, will Xbox gamers be okay with paying at least $30 more per year to supplement Games With Gold titles with EA Access games? Or is Sony absolutely right in saying that EA Access isn’t a good value to gamers?

If you ask me, it’s a bit early to judge. EA Access is two days old. We’re still unsure which games will land on the service and how long it’ll take for them to get there. Until we know that, it’s tough to give EA Access a pass or a fail. Our knowledge of the service at this point is like the beta it’s currently in: limited. Maybe we’ll know more in a month, or two months, or whenever EA decides to officially launch the thing. But for now, it’s best to take Sony’s criticism of EA Access as little more than industry smack talk.

What do you think? Is Sony simply trying to talk down Microsoft and EA’s new service, or is EA Access really not sounding like that great a deal? Leave your thoughts below.


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