Xbox Changes the Game with Subscription Service for Xbox One
Today Xbox has quite literally changed the game by revealing on Xbox Wire the videogame equivalent of Netflix with the Xbox Game Pass subscription service for Xbox One.
Set to launch in late Autumn in New Zealand (late Spring for the US), Xbox Game Pass will see over 100 games be available to play for a monthly fee of $10.95NZD ($9.99 in the US). That’s right folks you’ll be able to play over 100 games at no cost other than your monthly subscription fee. Xbox plans to continue to grow the library of games in the subscription each month and will include both Xbox One titles and Xbox 360 games that are part of the backward compatibility program.
Unlike Netflix in the movie space, Xbox has recognised that internet connectivity can be an issue so any game you want to play that is part of the subscription will be downloaded directly onto your Xbox One rather than streamed via the internet. Better yet an Xbox Live Gold membership is not required to access the service unless of course you want to play multiplayer online then of course you still need Xbox Live Gold.
It is worth noting that Xbox Game Pass will be a subscription service so like Netflix does with movies, games will be added to the service but will also be removed as well. Once a game is in the service you can play it and once it is removed you will need to buy it but Xbox will offer a 20% discount off the price of a game should you want to keep it permanently. There is no word yet on how Xbox will notify gamers of a pending game removal from the service. We’d like to see Xbox have a notification come up when you log in to your Xbox One with a warning so that gamers don’t get a hurry up to finish the game and don’t wake up one morning and have that surprise of finding the game they were playing is no longer available to them.
Currently the titles Xbox are touting as coming in the launch month are Halo 5: Guardians, Saints Row IV: Re-elected, NBA 2K16, Mad Max, LEGO: Batman, Mega Man Legacy Collection, Terraria, Payday 2, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Fable III, Fable II, Soul Calibur II and Tekken Tag 2. Not a bad list of games there and it will be intriguing to see what else comes at launch and beyond. We’d expect quite a lot of indie games to be added to the service and more Microsoft Studios titles. The program should be well placed for future support with games set to come from 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. There is one glaring omission there of course, EA are no where to be seen which isn’t surprising since they already have a subscription service for Xbox One with EA Acess.
For anyone that can’t wait to get heir hands on the service there is some good news (if you are a member of the Xbox Insider Program). Xbox Insiders will be getting access to Xbox Game Pass from today! Once it is available users should see Xbox Game Pass appear on their dashboard, albeit with a much more limited catalogue of 20 games comprising mostly of Arcade titles. As with any early access remember that their are likely to be bugs so hang in there and enjoy the taste of what’s to come.