Xbox Game Pass, the subscription service Microsoft announced earlier this year, is now available for Xbox Live Gold members. The service will be available to all Xbox One owners from June 1, and there’s a free two-week trial being offered up to sweeten the deal.
Over a hundred games are available as part of the launch line-up, and there are some major titles included in the selection, with both the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 well represented. It’s noted that Microsoft doesn’t want to rotate games out on a monthly basis, but new titles will be added every month, and some might be removed.
Highlights from the initial selection of Xbox One games available include Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Sunset Overdrive, Mad Max, and Resident Evil 0. The current Xbox 360 library is peppered with top-tier titles including BioShock Infinite, XCOM: Enemy Within, Fable III, Banjo-Kazooie, and Borderlands.
The service is clearly an attempt by Microsoft to offer a Netflix-like service that gives access to a broad, diverse library of older titles. It’s easy to see how someone who has just bought an Xbox One would get a great deal of enjoyment out of the selection of games that are available.
Indeed, just about everyone that owns an Xbox One will find something to entertain themselves with as they take advantage of their free trial. The question is whether or not Microsoft will be able to to keep its library engaging enough to warrant the monthly subscription fee on an ongoing basis. The price point of $9.99 is appealing enough, but it all depends on how the service evolves over time.
Microsoft confirmed in official materials that Xbox Game Pass software will be downloaded to the user’s console, rather than streamed, in light of feedback from fans and analysis of streaming issues that have affected competing services. This seems like a pretty clear shot at Sony’s PlayStation Now service.
Time will tell whether Xbox Game Pass can truly outshine PlayStation Now. However, it certainly seems that given the success of subscription services providing TV shows, movies, and music, this is the wave of the future.
Xbox Game Pass is available now for Xbox Live Gold members, and will roll out to all Xbox One owners on June 1, 2017.