Xbox head Phil Spencer announced today that later this spring, Microsoft plans to introduce a gaming subscription service for Xbox One players called Xbox Game Pass. The Xbox Game Pass will give gamers “unlimited access to over 100 Xbox One and backward compatible Xbox 360 games” for $9.99 a month.
Spencer refrained from listing the full set of games that will be available when the Xbox Game Pass goes live, but did mention in his post on Microsoft's site that it will include fan favorites like 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, SoulCalibur II, and Tekken Tag 2. He also revealed that the available games will come from a plethora of industry publishers, including 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, SEGA, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Microsoft Studios, among many others.
Spencer was quick to note that this will not be a cloud-based streaming service. Rather, like the EA Access subscription service already available on Xbox One, gamers will be able to download full titles to their consoles and play like any other title they own. Xbox Game Pass members will also receive exclusive discounts for add-ons and DLCs that accompany the games available with the service.
The Xbox boss didn’t provide a specific launch date for the Xbox Game Pass, but did say that Microsoft will be testing the service with select members of the Xbox Insider Program starting today. That said, only a handful of titles – approximately 20, mostly arcade games – will be available for those doing the testing.
Considering the low monthly cost of the Xbox Game Pass service, and the large number of games available, gamers can expect most, if not all, of the titles to be somewhat dated. There likely won’t be any recent games available with the service. That said, 100 titles is an impressive starting-off point, and will likely grow over time like Xbox’s backward compatibility list. It’ll be interesting to see how well the Xbox Game Pass does and if its success leads to similar services with Sony and other game publishers.