Microsoft led the way for years when it came to solid, interlinked online functionality for consoles and for years it was quite obvious why Microsoft insisted on charging for this access. The service it provided was far superior to what was being offered for free by their competitors.
However as time went on the PlayStation Network consistently improved but it only really became an equal when they also started charging for certain sections of their service which went a long way in proving that you simply cannot expect a first class system for free.
So when EA announced they will be adding a new service to the Xbox One in the form of EA Access I simply presumed it would be one of the services that is ring fenced behind that Xbox Live Gold pay wall. However EA has confirmed to Polygon that this is actually not the case and that you will be able to subscribe to the EA Access service even if you are not an Xbox Live Gold member.
Obviously the multiplayer portion of the games will still require that Gold access but if you are more interested in playing some Peggle or Dragon Age then you can do so without sending any extra money into Microsoft’s coffer.
Personally I’m a huge fan of the idea of EA Access, for around R350 ($29.99) a year we are going to get unlimited access to a bunch of EA games starting with FIFA 14, Battlefield 4, Madden NFL 25 and Peggle 2. What I’m most excited for though is the fact that EA has promised they will keep adding titles to the vault so that the offering becomes more and more enticing as time goes on.
Basically they are offering a PSN+ service without the titles expiring.
I wouldn’t expect all EA titles to land on the service though with a money spinner like TitanFall unlikely to make an entrance until the sequel is released.
As for Sony, well they’ve already stated that they are not impressed with the idea and weren’t open to partnering with EA with this as they didn’t feel it brought the kind of value that PSN+ subscribers were used to. Honestly I think that’s just PR spin from Sony to deflect away from a great capture by Microsoft and with the EA Sports titles regularly being the most popular titles on the planet I can’t see how this service isn’t going to succeed.
Last Updated: August 5, 2014