Xbox Game Pass Offers 'Netflix for Gaming'

Instantly expand your Xbox One game library without leaving your couch.

Many services have tried to replicate Netflix for gamers, but for most of them, you still had to crawl off the couch and make your way to a kiosk or mailbox. Well, don't move a muscle because Microsoft is now bringing a catalog of “rental” games straight to your console. Will this be the new and affordable way for you to play all your favorite games or simply another subscription service that fails to grab big titles? We dive into the details to help you find out.

 

What is Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass is a new subscription service coming to the Xbox One in Spring 2017. It will cost users $9.99/month and include access to a library of over 100 Xbox One and backward compatible Xbox 360 games. Unlike Netflix, the games won’t stream and will need to be downloaded directly to your Xbox One in order to play — it's the better method to enjoy games anyways since the streaming experience can suffer from input lag, depending on your Internet connection. Game Pass doesn’t require you to have an Xbox Live Gold account, and includes a 20% discount when purchasing titles and 10% discount for in-game purchases (only valid on games while they are included in the Xbox Game Pass library).

If you purchased an Xbox One S from one of the many recent sales, this could be an economical way to sample what the console has to offer.

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Games Included with Xbox Game Pass

Like many similar services, Xbox Game Pass will live or die based on the library of content. Xbox has not yet released the full list of available games, and the inventory of games will change from time to time based on licensing agreements with publishers. Microsoft did mention several games in their initial announcement, which included Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16, and LEGO Batman. Game publishers that will have titles included at launch 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. That is a fairly wide range of games and sounds like a promising start for those looking for variety.

 

The Fine Print

There doesn't seem to be any major catch with Xbox Game Pass, but there are some things that you’ll want to be aware of. Microsoft mentioned that users will have the “ability to play downloaded games offline for up to 30 days.” This means that you will have to connect your Xbox One to the Internet every 30 days to verify a current Game Pass subscription or the games will be disabled for play. Also similar to Netflix, it seems the library will be ever-changing. We imagine that the folks at Microsoft will give fair warning, but a game you are playing through could be removed from the library at any time. File storage could also become a problem for users with 500GB systems. Larger games, such as NBA 2K16, clock in around 40GB when downloaded, and you may have to limit your downloads to a few games at a time to avoid filling up your storage.

 

Who Is Xbox Game Pass Right For?

If you're the type of gamer that never seems to play through a game completely or just wants to sample a bunch of different genres, this may be perfect for you. I know that I always hated dropping $60 on a game that I only spent 5 hours with, and the Xbox Game Pass would be a perfect solution. It will allow casual gamers and families with various gameplay preferences to save money and get the most use out of their Xbox One system. If you always play a game from start-to-finish, Xbox Game Pass may also be an easy way to demo a game before committing to a full purchase.

Those who frequent GameStop to trade-in or purchase pre-owned games could be in for a real treat. If the Xbox Game Pass library is as good as Microsoft promises, swapping physical game discs might be a thing of the past. The stock market tends to think so as well, evidenced by GameStop's stock price dropping almost 8 percent after the announcement of Xbox Game Pass.

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Don't have an Xbox One? Read our hands-on review of the Xbox One S and see if Xbox Game Pass can sweeten your purchasing decision.

 



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Nolan is an avid automotive, electronic, and gadget enthusiast. If it has an engine or a processor, he can't keep his hands off it. He was introduced to Windows 3.1 in the early '90s and has been hooked ever since. Deal alerts include "mechanical keyboard," "smart watch," and "bulk candy."


7 Comments

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Joined Nov 2014
Because I'm Batman!
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#2
Doesn't PlayStation already offer this kind of service? I think it is called "Now".

And that has been out for a few years now.
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#3
Quote from Mr_Bob_of_Bobs View Post :
Doesn't PlayStation already offer this kind of service? I think it is called "Now".

And that has been out for a few years now.
I signed up for a streaming service called PlayStation now. It was 20 a month and glitchy. I beat the Last Of Us and cancelled my subscription. The games were not directly downloaded to anything. I'm not saying that they might not be a part of the package... I was only using that which I could access via PC, so it may well be that I missed that feature.

This is essentially MS' version of EA Access. Sounds great to me. This far I've gotten great value for my gaming buck via subscription. GeForce Now and Origin Access are two of the best gaming values ever. I'm going to cancel Origin Access, however... I've played through all the titles I wanted to play.
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#4
Quote from Mr_Bob_of_Bobs View Post :
Doesn't PlayStation already offer this kind of service? I think it is called "Now".

And that has been out for a few years now.
PS Now lets you play PS3 games. The expectation is that they will start offering some PS4 soon, but that would be the key difference.

XBox Game Pass is going to offer X1 and 360 games when it launches.
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Joined May 2007
Don't Fight the Funk
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#5
You better have a massive data limit or unlimited for this kind of nonsense.
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#6
Quote from Mr_Bob_of_Bobs View Post :
Doesn't PlayStation already offer this kind of service? I think it is called "Now".

And that has been out for a few years now.
It's streaming and $20 / month and only ps3 games. Very different.

Quote from MIX MASTER ICE View Post :
You better have a massive data limit or unlimited for this kind of nonsense.
I do! Actually, no data limit at all.
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Last edited by theegooch March 26, 2017 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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#7
I might get this if I can finish a multi-month game. What I hopes is that if you already have the game, you can finish it, but you can't start playing it with they remove it from the list of currently available games.

It just like games with Gold, if you down the free games for the month, you always have access to them, even when the GwG selection changes the next month.
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#8
If Microsoft wants me to do this, they will has to make Comcast dump the monthly cap! 40 GB a game...LOL, I would exceed my cap in 2 weeks! Phuck U comcast.
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