Xbox today announced that their new game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will come out of beta and be publicly available next week, on June 1st. The service, which will cost $9.99/£7.99 a month, will allow subscribers to gain access to a long list of both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games available to download and play for free so long as the subscription is kept up.
At launch, there will be 111 games available, ranging from bigger titles such as Halo 5: Guardians and Mad Max, to the smaller titles, like Dark Void (ugh) and The Golf Club. In terms of the future, games will be rotated out after awhile, in a Netflix-style model, with subscribers losing access to the games that have been removed. However, they will get a 20% discount to the titles on the surface if they want full-time access to the title.
For those who want to try the service before committing to another subscription service, a 14 day free trial will be available, so that players can gauge the utility of the service for them. If you want access to this trial even earlier, Xbox Live Gold members can now access it to see what it’s like.
Will this be a success for Xbox? We might be able to see on June 1st.
Hot Take: This seems to be a very smart move from Microsoft. A Netflix style model for games, if done well, could become a very lucrative idea, and become very popular for gamers who perhaps don’t have the money to shell out on a new full-priced game too often. Its success is dependent on its catalogue, and its opening salvo is certainly extensive enough to get people’s attention. They may not be the biggest games, but a lot of them are quite well-known, with the inclusion of Halo 5 being quite striking. Will it succeed? I think it has a fairly strong chance to, so long as the catalogue is regularly updated with high quality titles.