This week, Microsoft announced an aggressive expansion of its Xbox Game Pass subscription service.
This includes what subscribers will be able to download for free on their Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles.
And the sheer number of new titles could be enough to overshadow whatever Sony has planned for PS Plus April 2021.
It’s always risky to try and pre-determine who will win a monthly bout of free games, with both Sony and Microsoft offering up tantalising deals.
On Xbox Game Pass, there will soon be a mix of old and new games that are bound to please subscribers.
In the final week of March, Xbox Game Pass will receive Octopath Traveler and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, among a number of other titles.
And before this, Nier: Automata and Star Wars: Squadrons will be offering another great range of games to play.
All of these games will help keep Xbox Game Pass competitive, and Microsoft even has a big surprise planned for April.
Outriders will be available to play for free via Xbox Game Pass when it releases next month.
While perhaps not the same as making Final Fantasy 7 Remake free to download via PS Plus, it’s a great start to the month.
And based on how gamers have been enjoying the demo, Outriders could become a big hit among Xbox One and Xbox Series X console owners.
A message covering the Outriders announcement adds: “Starting April 1 (not an April Fool’s joke, I assure you), Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can jump into this true genre-hybrid from Square Enix, which combines brutal combat with deep RPG systems.
“Outriders is set in the distant future where players attempt to colonize a planet that they believe to be a new home for humanity.
“Turns out, the planet doesn’t want them there. Oops. A mysterious storm called the Anomaly burnt out all the tech that’s more advanced than a lightbulb, hyper-evolved the wildlife into ferocious monsters, and colonization efforts broke down into a bitter war of attrition for the last remaining resources available to humanity.”
It certainly makes the Xbox Game Pass a stronger contender against PS Plus, which has been offering some cracking games in 2021.
But will the sheer number of new arrivals push Xbox Game Pass to the front, overtaking the success of PlayStation Plus?
Both services will be offering new games in April, with Outriders and Oddworld: Soulstorm offering some interesting choices.
The one element that could tip the scales is whether a new PS5 or Xbox Series X exclusive is announced in the coming weeks.
Oddworld: Soulstorm is launching across a number of platforms, but with PS Plus in April, you’ll be able to download and play the PS5 version at no extra cost.
That’s a big boost for subscribers, with Outriders another game that has been optimised for the Xbox Series X.
So if another PS5 or Xbox Series X exclusive game is announced for either service, it could be the deciding factor for which offers the best combo of titles.
But whatever service you are signed up to, you’re scoring big in the games department on both the PlayStation and Xbox platforms right now.