Overnight the Xbox team announced a new gaming subscription service called ‘Xbox Game Pass’. This will cost Aussies A$10.95 per month, similar to the cost of music and video subscriptions like Spotify and Netflix. Xbox Game Pass will be available later in Spring, however some Xbox Insider’s are able to access it now after a new update to the console.
Right now the service is not feature complete and previewers should take that into consideration. The most important question about the new service is – is this how we want to buy games now?
Gamers are very familiar with buying the latest and greatest games on release day, pouring 30, 40, 50 hours into them, then selling them to help pay for the next one. More recently as digital downloads have become a viable option for many with decent internet connections (looking at you NBN), selling games is no longer an option. With console hard drive storage sizes increasing to 1-2TB, its possible we need to rethink game ownership completely.
The big question will be the games available. If they’re all games from 6-12 months ago, it may still be seen as a good opportunity to play a bunch of games you meant to buy, but never got around to it. Alternatively you could argue the subscription would add to your gaming costs, rather than replacing your need to buy the latest titles.
Xbox have confirmed at least some of the titles coming to Xbox Game Pass:
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Saints Row IV Re-Elected
- NBA 2K16
- Mad Max
- LEGO Batman
- Mega Man Legacy Collection
- Payday 2
- Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
- SoulCalibur II
- Tekken Tag 2.
2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK CORPORATION, THQ Nordic GmbH, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and (naturally) Microsoft Studios are all on board.
Xbox Insider Program will be limited to a catalogue or around 20 games (many of them arcade). The majority of AAA titles in the Xbox Game Pass catalogue will begin appearing in general availability of the servcice later this spring. The main focus of the Preview program is to test features and report bugs so the team can refine the experience before it launches broadly.