Microsoft has announced Xbox Game Pass, a subscription-based service that delivers unlimited access to a host of games for US$10 a month.
Set to launch “later this spring”, according to the official Xbox website, Xbox Game Pass has over 100 Xbox 360 and Xbox One games in its library.
“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,” Microsoft’s Phil Spencer explained.
By contrast, Sony’s PlayStation Now subscription service is a streaming service, reliant on servers being close to the consumer, for starters.
Microsoft is also offering 20% discounts to all titles in its Game Pass catalogue to Game Pass subscribers, in case they’d like to permanently own them. But these titles are only available for a discount while they’re in the Game Pass catalogue. Oh yeah, about that…
Xbox Game Pass is an all-you-can-eat gaming service, delivering Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles
Don’t hold your breath for titles to stay in Xbox Game Pass though.
“Every month new games will cycle into the subscription with some cycling out, giving you a constantly-updating library of games,” Spencer elaborated.
“Before the program rolls out to the broader community later this spring, we’ll be testing Xbox Game Pass with select members of the Xbox Insider Program in the Alpha Preview ring starting today with a very limited number of titles,” Spencer went on to say.
While gamers won’t need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to get Xbox Game Pass, Gold members do get first dibs on new titles. Additionally, Microsoft has said that, while Xbox 360 games are included, Xbox 360 owners can’t take advantage of the service on their old console.
Titles spotted in the banner or on the website for Xbox Game Pass include Halo 5: Guardians, Megaman Legacy Collection, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Saints Row IV, Mad Max, NBA 2K16, Terraria and Payday 2.
We’ve contacted Xbox South Africa regarding local availability and will update the article when we receive a response. In saying so, Microsoft says that they expect the service to launch in just over two dozen markets.
“Xbox Game Pass will be available in at least 27 Xbox markets at launch, quickly growing to as many new markets as catalogue availability permits.”
Update: South Africa isn’t part of the initial rollout, it has been confirmed. Check the full story here.