New Microsoft Service Will Give Subscribers Access to Over 100 Video Games

Microsoft has just announced that they’re working on launching a new subscription-based service that will work in a way similar to Netflix, but instead of bringing movies and TV series, it will deliver more than 100 video game titles when launched this spring.

 

According to a press release from Microsoft, the new service will be called Xbox Game Pass and rotate through a variety of games for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PCs running Windows 10. The monthly fee will be $9.99. Obviously, gamers can’t expect to get instant access to the latest releases that go for as much as $80 in stores. However, information provided by Microsoft shows that it will include many of the major titles that were recently released, such as Halo 5: Guardians and NBA 2K16.

 

The games offered through the service remain accessible to members for as long as they keep renewing their monthly subscription. Microsoft is planning to allow players who cancel their subscription to permanently buy some of their favorite games at a 20 percent discount.

 

While a similar service called PlayStation Now is offered by Sony, Microsoft’s main competitor in the gaming console industry, Xbox Game Pass has some elements that give it a clear advantage. Sony’s service may offer a slightly bigger selection of game, but it comes at a higher price tag of $19.99 per month.

 

Unlike PlayStation Now, Xbox Game Pass will let players download full games to their consoles, thus eliminating any worries about Internet speeds and connectivity issues affecting the gaming experience. Even though the service hasn’t been made available to the public yet, a select few gamers have the chance to try it out right away. They’re members of Xbox Insider, a program letting gamers try out new titles or gaming services before their official launch dates. The pre-release version isn’t guaranteed to be fully functional and only features a limited number of titles. Comments from those who tried it have been quite positive so far, with many showing optimism that Xbox Game Pass will offer an interesting selection of games when launched.

 

Can The Xbox One S Finally Win Gamers Back For Microsoft?

The Xbox One has been dominated by the Playstation 4 ever since the two heavyweight consoles launched one week apart from each other in November 2013. Microsoft wasted all of the goodwill they had gained with the success of the Xbox 360 by alienating fans with asinine DRM restrictions and an emphasis on television, not games, with the Xbox One. With sales in a free fall, Microsoft has tried to right the ship with the Xbox One S, a superbly designed box that still doesn’t fix the main problem consumers have with the Xbox brand.

It doesn’t matter how small, sleek and sexy your new console looks if it doesn’t have a library full of games people actually want to play. With the Xbox One S, Microsoft seems to have fixed the problem of multi-platform games performing better on the Playstation 4, so they appear to have an advantage on that front. Unfortunately, they still don’t have the first party exclusive games that can help them make up ground against Sony. The Gears of War and Halo franchises just aren’t what they used to be, due to franchise fatigue and competing games like Uncharted 4 and Overwatch taking their established formulas and doing it all better.

Microsoft is in an odd position; they have the Xbox One S on shelves, while their next console, code-named Scorpio, waits in the wings. The S seems like a half measure, one that I can’t see working out for them in this market.