Microsoft has released its Xbox Game Pass service to all Xbox One owners.
With it, you can experience an array of exclusive and non-exclusive Xbox One and Xbox 360 games for a flat monthly fee. Consider it a Netflix of gaming for Microsoft.
The current notable sports titles for the service are:
- Blood Bowl 2
- The Golf Club
- GRID 2
- MX vs ATV Reflex
- NBA 2K16
- Pumped BMX +
- Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings
- WWE 2k16
If you’re interested but not convinced the new service is worth the $9.99 a month price tag, Microsoft is offering a free 14 day trial.
While playing a title on Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft states you will be able to play it online or offline. That means you can play multiplayer games online with people who own the title or enjoy no internet required single player or couch co-op.
Microsoft also states that you will save 20% on games you want to purchase that are in the catalog. Strangely, Microsoft states you’ll save 10% on DLC and add-ons for games you’re playing on Xbox Game Pass, so it is unclear if the DLC for some games is only available through purchasing it even when using the streaming service (https://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/xbox-game-pass).
A subscription service like this, especially one with the ability to instantly return a title you don’t enjoy, is the perfect gateway for trying games you might never buy. Maybe you thought Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara and its retro, arcade-style beat ‘em up gameplay looked fun, but you never wanted to buy it in case it wasn’t as fun as you hoped. But as a game on the service, which it is, you can try it for no extra cost. And you have the ability to stop playing it and start downloading another game the minute you grow bored or finish it. That ability to sample new games and expand your gaming experience might be worth a few months of service alone.
At $9.99 a month, Xbox Game Pass is a cheaper game rental option than GameFly.com. At time of writing, GameFly’s prices are $15.95 a month to rent one game at a time, though the first 3 months are $9.99 a month. However, Xbox Game Pass lets you download titles instantly, eliminating the downtime as you wait for a new game to come in the mail.
The downside is that Xbox Game Pass currently offers fewer titles than GameFly.com. However, that will change as the service grows. Microsoft promises that, “Each month, Xbox Game Pass will add new games to the catalog, so there’s always something new to check out and enjoy.”