On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that its new Xbox One game subscription service Game Pass will launch in 31 markets on June 1. Xbox Live Gold subscribers received early access as of May 24. Subscribers will get unlimited downloads and play of more than 100 Xbox One and 360 backward compatible games, including Halo 5 Guardians, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition, BioShock Infinite, Fable III and NBA 2K16, for $9.99 a month, following a 14-day free trial. Xbox will add new games to the catalog monthly.
Subscribers can go to the Game Pass lounge to view all of the games and channels in the catalog. The featured channel, for example, shows the most popular games. Here’s an introduction to Game Pass from Xbox Live’s Major Nelson.
“When Xbox Game Pass launches, you can download and play a broad range of games in full fidelity on your Xbox One or Xbox One S console, including blockbusters like Halo 5: Guardians, NBA 2K16 and Payday 2; fun for the whole family in LEGO Batman, Banjo-Kazooie and Viva Pinata; retro and classic games like Mega Man Legacy Collection, Streets of Rage and Pac-Man Championship Edition; and of course, Xbox Game Pass has a number of great first-person and third-person shooter games, including all three titles in the amazing Bioshock franchise, Gears of War 1-3, Gears Ultimate, Perfect Dark Zero, Borderlands and more,” says Major Nelson.
“Our commitment to an exciting catalog goes well beyond launch – each month, Xbox Game Pass will add a new set of games to the catalog so there is always something new to play across a diversity of experiences, genres, ratings and more. For gamers, this means endless play of full-fidelity gaming experiences without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues,” he adds.
In addition to being able to download and play games, subscribers have the option to add games permanently to their library by purchasing any of the games in the catalog and related add-ons at a discount.
There is one major drawback to Game Pass, which we noted in our March 2017 article. Games cycle in and out every month, so gamers who love a particular game will want to consider buying it before it goes out of rotation.
Gaming companies are leveraging the popularity of the subscription economy to attract gamers, whether they are die-hard players or novices who play casually. At an affordable price point, Game Pass subscribers can get access to more than 100 games in a variety of categories including role playing games, family-friendly games, sports and racing and more. There is a range of games to suit every taste.
The key for the subscription’s success will be in providing an attractive mix of games and being transparent about their policies and terms. Microsoft has done a good job of that, particularly in the video posted above. Major Nelson explains how it works, where subscribers can read terms, what they’ll need to sign up and more. We expect Game Pass to do well from the get go.