This morning, Phil Spencer Head of Xbox, announced a new video game service coming to Xbox later this spring. This new service, similar to EA Access but with more than twice the games spanning multiple publishers, will cost $9.99 per month.
So, what will we get for $120 per year? Xbox Game Pass will offer subscribers unlimited access to a huge library of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games for as long as they are subscribed to the service. At launch, the service will include more than 100 games from publishers such as 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK CORPORATION, THQ Nordic GmbH, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Microsoft Studios.
So far, we know very few of the titles that will be included, but the post did confirm that Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16, & SoulCalibur II will be part of the service. In addition to the games launching on Xbox Game Pass, additional games will cycle in while others cycle out each month. This will help to keep a fresh library of games for subscribers to experience. With over 100 games in the complete library, and updates every month, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
Playing For Keeps
Wait, so if some games will cycle out of the service each month, does that mean I lose them? Yes and no. Xbox Game Pass will offer an exclusive discount to subscribers. If you find a game you really like and want to add it to your permanent library, you can purchase it along with all of its DLC at a discounted price. The actual discount % has yet to be released, but expect more to come on this soon.
Subscribers will be able to download any game from the library to their hard drive and play anytime they want. This is an important aspect of the service because it sets it apart from Sony’s Playstation Now. One of the biggest knocks on Sony’s service, other than its far heftier price tag of $19.99 per month, is that the games are streamed over the internet causing connectivity issues at times. Those Xbox Game Pass subscribers with slower internet speeds can rest assured that they’ll be able to play their games even at peak times of day.
We only know a few details about Xbox Game Pass so far, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate more about it. As I mentioned earlier, the service is priced at $9.99 per month. Discounts on committing to a full year haven’t been mentioned as of yet, but with the success of EA Access using this pricing model, it is possible we could see Xbox Game Pass do the same. Additional discounts for bundling Xbox Live Gold with Xbox Game Pass could also come about after its release.
Is Xbox Game Pass a must for all Xbox One owners? That remains to be seen, but it will definitely be a great way for new Xbox One owners to quickly build a library of games to play. Whether or not I subscribe to it myself will depend upon what additional details are released over the next few weeks. If Xbox plays their cards right, they have an opportunity with Xbox Game Pass to create a premium service that not only provides gamers with great games to play, but additional benefits like exclusive content, discounts, and more.