One of the great things about the latest installment of Call Of Duty is that there really aren’t very many PlayStation exclusives tied to the game.
In Modern Warfare, when there’s new content, most of it is available for everybody all at once. All new maps release on PS4, Xbox One and PC at the same time and they’re always free for all players. It’s a great new system that differs in two big ways from previous Call of Duty games, especially those released this console generation prior to Black Ops 4 (though even that game had more PlayStation exclusive content than Modern Warfare).
First off, having maps released for free to all players is just good business sense and good for the game’s community and longevity. It’s been a long time coming and I’m thrilled that Activision finally wised up.
Second, it’s great that there isn’t one piece of the Modern Warfare community that’s getting access to all these maps a month or more before everybody else. True, there are still a couple of things PS4 gamers get first, like access to Survival co-op mode. But it’s small potatoes compared to years past.
Still, there’s one advantage that Sony players have over Microsoft gamers that’s out of Activision and Infinity Ward’s hands: Xbox One gamers will need to subscribe to Xbox Live With Gold or Game Pass Ultimate in order to play the new Call of Duty: Warzone battle royale game that launched this Tuesday. If you’re a PS4 gamer, you don’t need PlayStation Plus. The game is completely free. (If you do have PS Plus you get free goodies, however).
Warzone is a free-to-play game that you can download and play whether or not you own Modern Warfare, even though it shares progression, the Battle Pass and an Item Shop with that game. It is, essentially, the Modern Warfare battle royale we’ve been hoping for, it just doesn’t require that you own that game in order to play it.
This is not, by any means, the first time PS4 gamers have been able to play a game completely for free while Xbox One gamers have had to pay a subscription fee. All Xbox One multiplayer games require Xbox Live With Gold in order to play online—it doesn’t matter if it’s free or paid.
Meanwhile, those same games on PS4 can be played for free without any sort of subscription other than whatever you pay your ISP. Fortnite, Apex Legends, Warframe, etc. are all completely free-to-play on PS4, but you’ll need a monthly subscription on Xbox One.
This is just one more advantage Sony holds as we head into the (possibly delayed by COVID-19/Coronavirus) next-gen console fight. Microsoft has its own advantages, the most important of which I’ve already written about in detail. But Sony definitely adds value to its systems by allowing players to play free games, watch Netflix and so forth without having to subscribe to PS Plus.
For gamers who may not want to play online that much, or the budget-conscious, or the many gamers out there without great internet connections who may just want to dabble with online games from time to time, Sony offers a better value than Microsoft.
If you’re a PS4 owner, you can hop into Warzone right now (after the massive download, of course). Same with PC gamers. But Xbox One gamers will need to cough up some cash. It’s not terribly expensive, of course, but it’s something. Something to consider anyways.
It’s absolutely possible that Sony will change its policy with regards to PS Plus when the PS5 launches, or Microsoft will change its policy when the Xbox Series X comes out. But I suspect neither will budge. Microsoft has already put too many eggs into the “console-as-service” basket, and Sony needs the edge.