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Apple Arcade vs. Google Play Pass: Is there any difference?

The Google Play Pass and Apple Arcade feel like two sides of the same coin. Is there any real difference aside from the phone brand?

The screenshot displays a video game.

Quick Answer: If you have an Apple device, get Arcade. If you have an Android device, get Play Pass. Google has way more content, but Apple has more quality games by comparison.

Some people are console gamers. Others may prefer to game on their PC. But, there’s an entire demographic that prefers to play on their phone or tablet. Sure, you can play free games to your heart’s content. But, what about the games with a little more meat on their bones? That’s where subscription services like the Google Play Pass and Apple Arcade really shine.

What exactly are Google Play Pass and Apple Arcade?

These subscription services offer people a wide array of games, for a monthly fee, without the need to continue to pay for them each. Generally, that would remove all advertisements and in-app purchases from the game. This allow players to enjoy the game without being bombarded over and over.

Apple Arcade, as the name entails, is for Apple products, such as your iPhone or iPad. It also works on your Mac or Apple TV.

This subscription service focuses on the value of higher end games, boasting over 200 games total. The base price is $4.99 per month, after a 1-month free trial.

The user interacts with the graphical user interface and application.

Google Play Pass, on the other hand, is for Android devices. This brand can range from Samsung to HTC to Google’s very own Pixel line. Google Play Pass seems to take a more carpet bomb approach in terms of content.

They offer “unlimited access to 1,000+ apps & games”, according to the Google Play version of the page. However, the browser-based website claims that it “includes hundreds of games and apps, with new additions every month”.

Where Apple only has games on the Arcade platform, Google offers apps as well. These vary from things like premium versions of photo-editing software, white noise generators, and PDF scanners.

The base price for Google Play Pass is, like Apple, $4.99 per month. This also gives your a free month to try it out first.

Quality or quantity?

Developers and games looking to get in on Apple Arcade are likely scrutinized quite a bit, just like any other aspect of Apple. This becomes obvious when comparing to the higher level of slosh that Google offers.

They may offer apps and a larger variety, but Google’s quality control sucks when it comes to the Play Pass, among other things.

The video game is captured in a screenshot.

The pricing, on the surface, is pretty identical. However, additional options may be where things really diverge. Google Play Pass offers a yearly subscription, which halves the price for a full year. This places a full year at only $29.99, a fantastic deal.

Apple takes a different approach, wanting users to eventually be a part of their bigger fan club. They don’t offer as good of a deal on a yearly subscription, only offering $10 off at $49.99.

However, you can get Arcade through a paid Apple One membership. The lowest pricing for this offers iCloud+ 50GB, tv+, Music, and Arcade for $16.95, monthly.

The highest tier jumps to $32.95, monthly, but offers much more to it, including up to 2TB of storage with iCloud+.

If you want to soak up 3-months of free Apple Arcade, you can always purchase a brand new Apple device to save you that $14.97. But, obviously, that’s just a throw in.

As for the verdict, they both have their pros and cons. Apple users will obviously say that Apple Arcade is way more worth the price in terms of quality headliners.

But, as for the bang for the buck, Google Play Pass has the most content per dollar utilizing the yearly subscription, even if you have to wade through a lot of junk to get to it.

If all else fails, give them both a try, if you have the right devices. It’s not like you don’t get a free month trial. Apple Arcade can be found here and Google Play Pass can be found here. Just make sure to cancel your sub before it starts charging you.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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After over a decade and a half of writing and journalism in games and multimedia, Arthur loves to talk tech, geek, and gaming, anytime, anywhere. He's the entire package: a gamer, a collector, and he knows how to build a computer. When he isn't writing, he also owns a local game shop, dealing in all various geeky antiquities.

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