Xbox Head Phil Spencer Announces Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Head Phil Spencer Announces Xbox Game Pass

Get ready, Xbox players. According to a blog post by Phil Spencer on Xbox Wire, a new service called Xbox Game Pass will be releasing later this spring. The service will cost $9.99 USD per month, and will allow subscribers to download and play a variety of backward-compatible Xbox 360 and Xbox One games, with over 100 titles promised at launch.

Unlike Sony’s counterpart service, PlayStation Now, subscribers will have access to download full titles to their hard drives, rather than streaming them via the Internet. Think of it as a second Games with Gold service—you own the titles for as long as you are a subscriber. Additionally, all subscribers will be able to purchase any game in the catalog—along with any related add-on content or DLC—at an “exclusive discount” for Game Pass subscribers.

In his post, Spencer names such studios as 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO, Capcom, Deep Silver, and others as being on board to offer games for the service. Spencer also specifically mentions Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16, and SoulCalibur II as being available at launch. If marketing images are any indication, we may see games such as Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Fable III, Mad Max, Mega Man Legacy Collection, and more come to the service.

One caveat to note is that some games will cycle out each month, with new titles cycling in. There’s no word on whether or not one would lose access if a cycled-out title had previously been downloaded, but we’ll update this if we receive clarification.

Select members of the Xbox Insider Program will be the first to test out Xbox Game Pass, with those in the Alpha Preview ring being invited as early as today. Xbox Live Gold members will also get a chance to try the service before it launches to the community at large.

I think this is a fantastic service, and one that blows PS Now out of the water. Not only are full game downloads on offer here, but the chance to purchase the full title at an additional discount is great. As a member of the Xbox Insider Program, I’m eager to check the service out and will report back with my thoughts when I get the chance to test it out.

Look out for the full service roll-out of Xbox Game Pass later this spring.

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