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Microsoft Announces Game Subscription Service "Xbox Game Pass"

Have you ever been browsing Netflix and thought to yourself "Man, I wish there was something like this for games"? Have you ever wanted access to an expansive library of titles for just a flat fee per month? I know I've wanted a service for a while that combines the huge library of a service like GameFly with the convenience of Netflix, but I haven't heard of anything of the sort. Until recently, of course, when Microsoft announced that it was going to be releasing something of this exact description, called Xbox Game Pass. With this new option, Xbox One owners will be able to play over 100 games - both new releases and backwards compatible ones - for a flat fee of $9.99 per month.

Much like Netflix, where you have access to the platform's library for the time of your subscription, Xbox Game Pass will work the same way, only in a way to accommodate for games. Instead of streaming to your Xbox, like how Netflix or PlayStation Now works, games downloaded with Xbox Game Pass will remain in your gaming library for the duration of your subscription. Obviously the games will not remain in your library permanently, because there are lots of people who would exploit that kind of system (you know, people like us!). The games available on Xbox Game Pass will be able for permanent purchase at a 20% off discount, similar to how GameFly functions.

Also similar to Netflix, games will be added and removed from the service on a monthly basis. Whichever ones are removed and added are at Microsoft's discretion, but the idea is to provide as versatile an experience as possible. Games that will appear on the service seem like they're going to range quite a bit, as the header image suggestions that both Lego Batman and Saints Row IV will both be featured, and last time I checked those two games a pretty different from one another. Whenever games are removed from the service, they will presumably also be removed from your gaming library, but this isn't a statement that has been confirmed by Microsoft yet.

The service will officially roll out later this Spring to Xbox One users everywhere, and is being tested by those in the Xbox Insider Program and Alpha Preview programs. A very limited amount of games are available on the service right now for those who are testing it, and when the program is stable, many more will be added when it goes public.

Xbox Game Pass will not affect Games with Gold.

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