Subscription services are becoming the standard for all forms of entertainment. Streaming content (movies, TV shows, comics, and games) to your devices is a great alternative to buying and storing files, especially in the days of Covid-19. While having multiple subscriptions can be expensive, it offers a unique benefit to those who cannot leave their homes. And for people with disabilities, subscriptions, especially for gaming services, offer a relatively unknown way to enjoy the latest titles.
On June 1, 2017, Microsoft launched Xbox Game Pass on the Xbox One. This service, now available for Xbox Series X / S, PC and Android devices, distributes a rotating catalog of old and new games that players can try until they are replaced with another title. Likewise, Sony offers a program called Playstation now. After launching on September 6, 2017, PS Now allows subscribers to download approximately 800 games from the PS4, PS3, and PS2 libraries. This service is available on PS5, PS4 and PC.
From the point of view of able-bodied people, Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now provide a convenient way to stream fan favorite games. For players with disabilities, these services create a sense of physical and financial independence as they attempt to enjoy the fruits of this industry. Rather than risking wasting money on a potentially inaccessible game, whether it’s a lack of customization of controller buttons, subtitles, or color blind options, or waiting for days or even days. Weeks to be notified of available accessibility fixes or updates, people with disabilities can instantly try out a game if they have an active subscription.
Sue Johansen tends to spend most of her gaming time on PC, with Steam being their main showcase. As a newcomer to subscription services, they say a recent Xbox Game Pass trial has proven to be beneficial for their needs.
“As an example, I wanted to try Ori and the will of the wisps, but my experience with the original was very frustrating, I wasn’t sure when or if I would have the energy to overcome repeated failures in platform gameplay, ”they say. “I was now able to install it, try it and uninstall it, without buying it first or having to feel guilty for asking for a refund. It gave me a chance to try out a bunch of games that I would otherwise keep putting off, without feeling like, ‘I bought this, I have to play it.’ “
Besides being able to try anything, game subscription services allow individuals to spend indefinite time playing without fear of losing money. According to Steam Official Refunds Page, players can only request a refund within two weeks of purchasing a specific game or if they accumulate less than two hours of play. Some games may not be inaccessible during this first two-hour period. hours, making the decision to buy a security a bet for people with disabilities. With subscription services, you can install or remove games at any time at no additional cost. For Ruth Cassidy, this feature is particularly interesting.
“It’s rare for a game to immediately present itself as unreachable to me, because it takes a little while for the side effects to build up, and the insurmountable difficulty spikes usually come later,” they say. “Since most digital retailers have an hour-based return policy, usually once I buy a game I’m stuck with it. I can only think of one instance where I returned an unreachable game, and had to go through the Steam return process, which involves writing an explanation of why you need a return. I didn’t like explaining that I couldn’t interact with the game, not because of a bug, but because my memory was not good enough for the basic mechanics of the game.
Despite the lack of time-based return policies, we should note that annual subscriptions can be expensive. According to Xbox, an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription costs $ 1 for the first month, and then the price increases to $ 14.99 per month. PlayStation Now annual subscription is significantly cheaper, at just $ 59.99 per year, but that only includes backward compatible titles. Despite the higher initial cost, the vast libraries of subscription services and the ability to switch between devices may be of greater benefit to people with chronic health conditions.