In a surprise announcement, Microsoft has revealed plans for a new subscription service called “Xbox Game Pass.” For $9.99 a month, subscribers will be able to access “over 100 Xbox One and backward compatible games,” and usage will be unlimited.
Better yet, all the games can be downloaded, unlike Sony’s PS Now service, which only lets subscribers stream games in its catalog. The service will also include discounts on certain games and add-ons.
Xbox Game Pass is set to launch later this spring (although select Xbox Inside Program members can access it today), with the following titles confirmed so far: Halo 5: Guardians, Mega Man Anniversary Collection, NBA 2K16, Mad Max, Saint’s Row IV, LEGO Batman, Terraria, Payday 2, Gears of War, Fable III, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. The takeaway here is that the service is not just limited to first-party games, as Microsoft has secured a number of publishing partners, including: 2K, 505 Games, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK Corporation, THQ Nordic, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
In many ways, Xbox Game Pass is very similar to the existing EA Access program, but without being limited to just games published by Electronic Arts. It will be interesting to see how the service pans out and what kind of titles Microsoft will offer in its promise of having over 100 games available.