Apple Arcade vs. Google Play Pass
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.