Microsoft Announces Xbox Game Pass Subscription Service, Will Cost $9.99 Per Month

Microsoft is throwing its hat into the ring when it comes to subscription services as the company as announced Xbox Game Pass, which will be launching this Spring. The service will cost $9.99 per month and will allow subscribers to access Xbox One and backwards compatible Xbox 360 titles. Unlike PlayStation Now the Xbox Game Pass will not be a streaming service but instead allow people to download games to their consoles.

Game Pass subscribers will also get access to exclusive discounts to the games available on the service. However games won’t stay in the catalog forever, with new games being added each month while some are removed. Those who are part of the Xbox Insider Program will receive access first so Microsoft can work out any issues with the service before rolling out to everyone.

Source: Major Nelson Blog

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From the heady days of the Mega Drive up until the modern day gaming has been my main hobby. I'll give almost any game a go.


  1. An intriguing move forward. Essentially amounts to the video game version of netflix minus the streaming factor.

    Should be hot stuff for anyone wanting to dig into certain games, and it mirrors EA Access which is an amazing subscription service. They’ll just need to keep the content relevant. The price whilst competitive next to video streaming subscriptions is rather rough at 2x the cost of Access monthly. A yearly sub similar to Amazon’s Prime price seems to be in order.

    • Well it doesn’t mirror EA as Access gives you the games all the time. This service will have a selection, and after a while games will be removed. It’s a rental service, but MS get to choose what games you rent rather than you, and for how long.

      • I’ve seen no indication that it’ll be rental so far, in the sense that you can’t keep downloaded games whilst you have the pass.

        iirc netflix chooses what content I rent and how long for, but I just call it a streaming service. The whole world refers to it as a renting service though.

      • Oh somehow I misread it and assumed you would lose the licensing to play it after they removed it. My bad.

        Makes a bit more sense now. It’s basically Boomerang rentals without the pesky postage.

  2. Seems pretty good value if you’re looking to play older titles that you missed for whatever reason, not really for me though, my collection of started-but-never-finished games doesn’t need adding to!

  3. Wait! So you don’t get to rent what you want, when you want. And if you do get a game you want, they can take it back at any time?

    Am I missing something here? This sounds terrible.

    • Ignore this, seems I may be jumping to conclusions.

    • Nope, they can and will swap games in and out over time. We don’t know how frequently that will be, but you can always just cancel the sub and buy in when there’s something that interests you. There will surely be advanced warning of how the catalogue is going to change.

      It’s worth noting that what you’re suggesting is akin to PS Now, which is much, much, much less economical than £8 for a month with 100 games.

      • Something like PS Now is what MS are offering though, isn’t it? Except you download the games “without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues”. Which is something most people these days don’t really need to worry about anyway.

        The discount to make the games “part of your permanent library to play whenever you want” seems to suggest if a game gets removed (to make way for the monthly updates) you lose access to it.

        So £10 a month for 100+ games, or 300+ games for £13 a month, assuming you’re not in one of a small percentage of places that can’t get a decent internet connection.

      • Ooo, even with a lovely connection here, I’d hate to play a game over the wire, as such. It’s a niggle and I know I could put up with it but I’d always be happier paying extra to have it “local”.

        Then again, I’m not interested in either service. I basically want Sony to work out how we can achieve true backwards compatibility now that the architecture is closer to a PC than the old PS3. I also appreciate this assumes that the PS5 won’t be made from rainbows and ground-up angel wings as I’d obviously want to “take” my library of games with me onto that one day.

        Basically, same as Steam. Nearly every game comes with me to the new PC I buy every now and again.

      • Sorry, I meant the direct rentals of PS Now.

        And sure £13 on PS Now for 300 games… but they’re all PS3 games, where Xbox Game Pass includes Xbox One games. Oh, and while unlimited broadband is fairly standard in the UK, bandwidth caps do still feature a lot in the US. Even then, I’d rather play something natively on my console than have minor added latency, worse picture quality and soak up a lot of my available bandwidth, which isn’t that great.

      • MrYd, I think a lot of people still struggle with their connection speeds, I’ve now got 35 megawhatevers but still because it dips every few seconds I can’t stream HD Netflix. BT admit its their shitty cabling, which I guess exists all over the place.

  4. Interesting idea. I currently pay £15/month for unlimited rentals (including new releases) and have done since the PS4 launch. I’ve saved so much money and games are always dispatched and received next day. Horizon ZD dispatched this morning :D

    The only games I buy now are digital only titles on the PSN. Then there are the PS Plus games on the odd chance that there is something playable in the lineup. I haven’t had to buy a game in 3 years.

    • Nice one,who’s that from bud?

      • Don’t know about JR but I used to use Boomerang rental. Very reliable and usually a good selection of games. Biggest issue came with me not having enough time to play them all.

        That and they have a terrible website.

      • Yeah, it’s Boomerang. It was great when I had my XB1 because you can rent games for a number of different consoles. They have all the PSVR games on their too. But like kjkg said, finding the time to play them is pretty hard so I just don’t sleep anymore.

        Never had any issues with their website although I do tend to stick to the desktop version as the mobile version isn’t great.

  5. Sounds like a good deal, especially if it doesn’t also require a XBL Gold sub. Presumably you still have to be signed-in to play the games so that they can make sure you’re not grabbing all the content whilst just paying for one month.

    • But they say you don’t have to worry about connectivity issues, so surely that means you don’t have to be online to play the games? ;)

    • Oh? I guess the games must still be time-coded and only playable while you have a current sub though.

      • Ok, a bit more rooting around the web and it looks like there is a 30 day limit to playing games offline, which makes sense.
        Although i guess you could pay for a month, play while connected and then stay offline for the second month.

      • What are the chances of those 30 days being up the very same day your internet connection dies?

        Very, very small, I guess. And presumably they’re not stupid enough to just check you’re still allowed to access it when the 30 days runs out?

        And I doubt you could get them for a second month for free. It’d mark the games as expiring at the end of whatever period you’re subscribed for (a month or any other longer options). If you haven’t been online, it’s still going to expire at the end of that period. Going online would surely just update the expiry date? It’s not just going to check you’re subscribed and then say “you can play them for 30 days from now, even if your subscription ends tomorrow”.

        Of course, there could be a rare case where you subscribe, download the games, and your subscription gets cancelled for whatever reason before the month is up. But that’s not going to be common, is it? Unless MS have a terrifying problem with credit card fraud or hacking?

      • Couldn’t people just change the date/time on their console if it’s tied to the subscription date?
        I think actually it might still require an online verification but allows for 30 days without a connection. And presumably if you subscribe for a year you can still only play offline for a period of 30 days without having to perform the online verification to continue playing.
        I guess these are details that will be clarified soon.

  6. So I have to fully download any game I want to play? And if they remove it from the service, even if it’s on my HDD I can no longer play it? Even if I’ve put a hundred hours into it and haven’t yet finished it, it gets taken away from me?
    Interesting concept!

    • I’m thinking games leaving the service will be the newer titles that they’d rather you buy, but there will be a decent notice period I’m sure. Maybe they could even complicate things and let you play it a certain amount of time after it leaves the service?

    • Yes Tony, that’s how a subscription service works, fella. :P

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