Having announced it in February, Microsoft has launched the Xbox Games Pass, with Xbox Live Gold members granted early access from today. On June 1, the service will be made available to everyone with Xbox Live. In one fell swoop, Microsoft will usher in a new era of gaming.
People are increasingly rejecting the idea of ownership. They’re happy to rent houses or cars, and pay for short-term access to content. Think of Netflix for movies and TV shows, and Spotify for music. And now Microsoft is doing the same for games with the Xbox Games Pass.
100 Games for $10-Per-Month
Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass offers subscribers 100 games to play at a time. This will be a mix of Xbox One titles and backwards-compatible Xbox 360 titles. Unlike PlayStation Now, which requires subscribers to stream games, the Xbox Games Pass lets you download and play games in full.
The Xbox Games Pass will set you back $9.99-per-month, with a 14-day free trial available to anyone who wants to try before they buy. Xbox Live Gold members (who own an Xbox One) can begin their free trial today, with Xbox Live members in 31 markets gaining access on June 1st.
The initial batch of games include Halo 5: Guardians, NBA 2K16, Payday 2, LEGO Batman, Banjo-Kazooie, Viva Pinata, Streets of Rage, Pac-Man Championship Edition, Gears of War 1-3, Perfect Dark Zero, and Borderlands. The complete list of games is available on the Xbox Game Pass page.
Even if none of the initial offerings appeal — which, let’s face it, is extremely unlikely given the sheer number on offer — Microsoft will be chopping and changing the lineup every month. Essentially, there will always be 100 games to play, but the titles on offer will evolve.
A Hard Sell for Microsoft
This could be a hard sell for Microsoft, especially as most Xbox One owners are already forking out $60 every year for an Xbox Live Gold membership. The key will be offering games people actually want to play, which means less indie titles and more triple-AAA titles. Fingers crossed.
Do you own an Xbox One? Will you be signing up to the Xbox Games Pass? Are you happy to pay $10-a-month for the privilege? Or would you prefer to buy games that you then own forever? Is the Xbox Games Pass a good idea? Please let us know in the comments below!