It’s a thought that’s passed through many a gamer’s mind: “What if there was a service that was like Netflix, but with games?”
Granted, to that end, there is the GameFly service in the States, but that only serves the physical side of the medium. But when people say it, they’re more likely thinking on the digital side of things.
Today, so is Microsoft as they’ve announced their upcoming Xbox Game Pass. Launching in 30 countries this spring, you’ll have unlimited access to over 100 Xbox One and backwards compatible Xbox 360 games for $11.99 CAD ($9.99 USD) each month. Among the titles to be a part of the service are: 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.
From Xbox Wire:
One of the best things about Xbox Game Pass is that you can discover and download the full titles directly on your Xbox One. That means continuous, full-fidelity gameplay without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues. In addition, all Xbox One games in the catalog – and related add-ons – will be available to purchase at an exclusive discount for Xbox Game Pass members, so you can make the games you love part of your permanent library to play whenever you want. Every month new games will cycle into the subscription with some cycling out, giving you a constantly-updating library of games. Xbox Game Pass is your ticket to endless play.
Basically, it’s the ultimate “try before you buy” program, with the aforementioned discount being 20 percent off a game that’s in the catalog at the time, and 10 percent off of related add-ons and consumables for that same duration.
Xbox Game Pass won’t go live until later this Spring, but until then, select members of the Xbox Insider program have early access to the service as we speak. At the moment, those able to participate will be able to try out a pared-down version of what will be the final experience, including a more limited catalog of around 20 games, “many of them arcade” and not including the above-mentioned titles. The main purpose, of course, is to test for and report bugs in the service before they move on to a wider roll-out. Incidentally, the preview will also be without localization, i.e. it’s English-only for the moment, but will be appropriately localized when the program goes live to the wider Xbox community.
For more information, including a handy FAQ, head on over to the official Xbox Game Pass website.
David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.