Xbox One Gets A Gaming Subscription

Looks similar to EA Access

It appears that Xbox One is getting something new this spring meant to counter the PlayStation Now service, called the Xbox Game Pass. As it stands in its current form, Microsoft’s Xbox division is rolling out the service for testing to Xbox Insiders and will consist of roughly 100 titles at launch, and it’s looking like it appears to be very similar to EA Access in design.

It appears that Microsoft has secured participation from multiple publishers such as 2K, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Deep Silver, Warner Bros, and Microsoft Studios; according to Microsoft (good they secured themselves as a publisher!). It looks like there will be quite the variety of titles as well, ranging from Saints Row IV Re-elected to Gears Of War Ultimate Edition. The catalog will also consist of games from both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One game libraries.

Here’s the kicker though, and it’s a bit of a shot across the bow to Sony’s PS Now service:

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…

That’s right. No streaming gameplay over an internet connection. Just download, and play. What if you want to keep the game and cancel your subscription? You get to buy the game at a 20% discount, and any DLC for it for 10% off. And what’s the price of admission, you may ask? $9.99 a month.

Xbox Game Pass will also work on Windows 10 devices, though it isn’t clear if that means that you’ll be able to play via streaming from an Xbox One or if you are able to download it directly onto a PC.

Sources: Xbox Wire and

What are your thoughts on this news? Let me know in the comments!


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27 thoughts on “Xbox One Gets A Gaming Subscription

      1. It is inevitable that we are heading to an all digital future and with this the consumers will concede much more control to the publishers of games. I cannot stand the thought of having to limit my options to whatever they decide I can play. A gaming version of Netflix or Spotify is a startling prospective.

        Liked by 1 person

              1. A good point but with a console I can play a physical game (single player) without fear of server issues, data corruption, hacker tampering or any outside interference. For me, this choice offers more control though I am not blind to some of the additional benefits of PC gaming with mods being the obvious example.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. The console vs PC differences is similar to iPhones vs Android. PC is very much the Wild West, where consoles are the oft derided ‘walled-garden’ experience. There’s far more control on consoles, but that control gives publishers and platform owners just that; more control.

                  I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love my consoles, and I own a capable PC only because certain experiences are exclusive to that platform, but I know that the compromise for having a more controlled experience is handing that control to the platform holder and publishers. Security vs freedom and all.

                  Perhaps I’m just a little too optimistic, but I prefer the thought that not everyone is out to get me. Maybe that’s naive, but the alternative sounds exhausting.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Haha, fair enough. For me though, there is no versus. Just advantages and disadvantages on both platforms. Competition and variety are beneficial to the industry. What bothers me the most is that we gamers have never had it better and yet some folks are too busy bitching and moaning to realise this.

                    Liked by 2 people

  1. Color me intrigued. I’ve been interested in PSNow but with it being streaming, I’ve been a bit skeptical. This sounds more functional/reliable to me. I’ll certainly give it a chance when it launches.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. subscription in gaming also doesn’t appeal to me, but I’m not against them doing it, I’m sure there are many that will love using this. I do like that they are opting for downloading games instead of streaming them. Streaming for games makes me nervous, I know there is success with it for PSNow, but overall I can see there being huge problems especially since most of gaming requirements precise input

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It definitely sounds interesting. If the library is good, I’d consider this, though I’m guessing it’s going to be mostly older games available which is cool… except that my gaming backlog is already pretty hefty! I think it just depends on the lineup of games and how much time I have to play them. But it’s a great idea for those who game a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like a good idea. I worry about games coming in and out of the service over time. I’d hate to be playing one only to find I can’t finish it because it’s been rotated out. Unless the downloading prevents that issue…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh boy. Yeah- not a fan of the trend this “games as a service” concept is setting. It’s cheapening games just like with what happens to music and movies. Next thing you know, you will have exclusivity deals between Microsoft and publishers, and no more “buyable” copies will exist.

    If you think that won’t happen, look at Netflix. HBO Go, Hulu, and Amazon Prime video all have their own locked in deals. Next thing you know, we’ll all be paying $50/month through various services to play “any game” (until it expires, of course!) and owning games will go the way of the compact disc.

    Imagine the walled gardens. EA partners with Microsoft. BioWare games are now a Sony Playstation Plus exclusive. You all think it won’t happen but it’s the next logical step once they see how quickly gamers will subscribe to $10/month. They’ve crunched the numbers and know how much it’ll take to break even. These companies haven’t signed on randomly.

    Any does anyone really want access to 100+ games? It’s the illusion of a deal, people. It’s the same as paying $12 for an unlimited buffet, or $10 for a single dish meal. You’re going to eat the same amount and probably same type of food, but you’ll pay more for the illusion of having more options available to you. Not to mention, everyone I know who plays games complains more about their backlog more than anything else. Now you want hundreds of games? You can’t burn through a 1,000 hour backlog right now, how is that going to change making it 10,000 hours?

    Very surprised none of the other commenters have mentioned any of this. This network seems to be gamers in their late-20s to mid-30s and seeing the hobby I love be turned into a marketing ploy to trap me into paying 19 monthly subscriptions fills me with rage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This turned into a rant quickly, but this modern game-rental system is exactly what I predicted years ago when I saw digital distribution blowing up, so it hits a chord with me.


    2. I can understand your reservations, but as you said, it looks like the trend is heading in the games-as-a-service model, with Sony’s pioneering of PS+ and Steam’s domination of the PC gaming market.

      From what I can see, this is another example of console manufacturers trying to compete with the PC market’s strengths. Considering how EA Access is pretty decent for those that feel that it’s a good deal for them, I can’t say it’s terrible to have the option available.

      We saw what attempts to lock down the market look like, and how gamers respond. Xbox One’s reveal and launch are a reflection of that, as well as Steam’s unveiling and UWP as a concept. Most gamers are very conservative, requiring subtle change and time to get used to new ideas.

      All of this is basically to say that I appreciate the option, as long as it’s an option. It’s a little early to assume that this is going to rapidly spiral into a locking down of the marketplace.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fair reply! I don’t mind options but, and this is where I consider myself a huge pessimist, I don’t trust positive thoughts like that. There’s always an end game with huge corporations, and that end game is always maxed profits. If they’re doing something that seems more affordable, it’s not because they like you – they’re trying to change how you consume content, or at least do a test run to gauge reactions. That is what gets to me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Totally understandable, and it’s good to be skeptical of the intentions of companies. As long as people are able to benefit from it though, without having unnecessary restrictions placed on it, I’m actually okay with this.

          However, if Microsoft turns around and makes the Game Pass the only way to reasonably play games on Xbox, that’d be a completely different story.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. So this is like a rental service? Pay or your access to the games goes away (barring purchasing them)? As long as things like that are optional, it doesn’t really bother me. Like you mentioned, making the subscription mandatory for all gameplay would be a different story.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve actually heard about the Xbox Game Pass and I’m most likely going to try it out. It will give me a chance to play more games without having to buy every single one. Hopefully it functions a little better than PlayStation Now as I hated not being able to use my regular dashboard for PS3 games (maybe that’s been fixed lol). Thank you for the post!

    -Luna 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I would love to pay a monthly fee that gives you access to an entire catalog worth of games. Given that older titles drop in value dramatically and get given away I don’t see why we can’t see more schemes like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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