When I saw the news this morning, I thought I perhaps had slept in until E3 — which (unfortunately) is still a few months away. But no, it’s still only February, and Phil Spencer (Head of Xbox) has announced a new service in an E3-worthy announcement: the Xbox Game Pass. And it’s exactly what it sounds like, a monthly subscription which gives you access to hundreds of Xbox One and backward compatible Xbox 360 games each month.
So just how does Xbox Game Pass work? The service will be available on Xbox One and Windows 10 devices and give you access to a catalog of over 100 games at launch. While you are a member, you can download full versions of any of the available games to your Xbox One to play. There are no limits to the number of games you can have downloaded at any given time, and games will be added and removed from the catalog each month. In addition, an Xbox Live Gold membership is not required to sign up for and use Xbox Game Pass, but it will be required to play the multiplayer component of any games in the service.
Some of the publishers that have signed on to Xbox Game Pass include 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK CORPORATION, THQ Nordic GmbH, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft Studios. Some games mentioned include Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16, LEGO Batman, and Soul Calibur II. EA is obviously missing from the list as they have their own EA Access service which is currently exclusive to the Xbox One so it makes sense they wouldn’t sign on for part of the new service.
And no, Games with Gold aren’t going anywhere.
Games with Gold continues. Xbox Game Pass is not a replacement for that. Great games and benefits with Gold continue. #Xbox
— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) February 28, 2017
In addition to being able to choose and play from a large catalog of games, if you like a game enough to buy it, you can save 20% on the game and 10% on all add-ons — but only while it’s in the Xbox Game Pass catalog.
The service is launching later this spring for $9.99USD/month, pricing for other regions has yet to be announced but it will be available in 27 markets at launch with Xbox Live Gold members getting the first crack at it. If you’re part of the Xbox Insider Program Alpha Ring, Xbox will be testing the new service starting today with a very limited number of titles.
What do you think about the Xbox Game Pass? Will you be subscribing when it launches later this spring? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.