Xbox launches program that mixes the best of EA Access and PlayStation Now.
Out of left field, Xbox announced a new subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, was coming to the platform later this spring. In the program, which costs $9.99 USD per month, Xbox One and backwards compatible Xbox 360 games from various first and third party developers will be available for download and play anytime.
In the press release, Xbox said publishers like 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK CORPORATION, THQ Nordic GmbH, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have already began work with the platform to participate in Game Pass.
Like EA Access, gamers will be able to play games as long as they’re subscribed. Unlike Access, though, games will rotate in and out of the service over time. Xbox hopes to remedy that by offering exclusive savings on games in the Game Pass so gamers who want to own a game permanently can do so at a reduced cost.
In a slight dig at Game Pass’ PlayStation equivalent, PS Now, Xbox boss Phil Spencer noted that every game in the program will be downloadable and won’t be streamed. This, according to Spencer, will be a boon to users with data caps and slow internet speeds. Of course, it’s not mentioned that one of the games in Game Pass, Halo 5: Guardians is around 100 GB to download now after a full year of updates. Still, being able to download games will mean gamers won’t endure the sometimes infuriating input lag that came from PS Now streamed games.
The obvious downside to this program, of course, is that if a new consumer only subscribes to this service and never buys games outright, he/she won’t have any games or game licenses permanently. Additionally, while it may be announced well in advanced by the Xbox team, the fact that games rotate out of the service from time-to-time is a bit of weakness compared to EA Access or PS Now.
Xbox Game Pass will launch at an unannounced time later this spring. Those who are in the Alpha Ring of Xbox Insiders will be able to subscribe starting today, but the catalog of games is just a sample of what’s available at launch. Additionally, Xbox Live Gold subscribers will gain early access to the program before it’s widely available in the coming months.
For the complete press release, visit news.xbox.com.