Xbox Game Pass, the new gaming subscription service that select Xbox Insiders had the chance to test earlier this year will officially launch on June 1. For now, the EA Access-like service is available in early access for Xbox Live Gold subscribers, who can try it for free for 14 days before having to pay the monthly $9.99/£7.99 subscription (via GamesRadar).
For those unfamiliar, Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get access to a rotating catalog of more than 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 backward compatible games, including great AAA titles such as Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, NBA 2K16, Mad Max and more. “When you see the full list of over a 100 you’ll see there’s really something for everybody to play,” said Xbox CMO Mike Nichols to GamesRadar. “So if you’re a family and you have different people with different tastes this is going to be a really effective way to always have something to play at home.”
Unlike Sony’s Playstation Now game streaming service, Xbox Game Pass subscribers will be able to download all games from the calatog on their Xbox One. “There’s no limit to the number of games you can download,” explained Nichols, so those of you who have good bandwith and lots of storage space will have a frictionless experience. More importantly, there is no “always-online” requirement to play games from the catalog on your console.
Now, the rotating catalog of games may be an issue for gamers who like to play the same games for several months. However, subscribers will be able to save 20% on Xbox One game purchases and 10% on all related DLCs while games are in the catalog, which is better than nothing.
The Xbox team will bring new games to the catalog every month, though Nichols admitted that it won’t be possible to bring all publishers on board. “We realize we won’t be able to include every game from every publisher, but we’re always listening to fan feedback when we consider what titles to add to our Xbox Game Pass library,” he explained.
Last but not least, Xbox Games Pass won’t replace the Xbox Live Gold subscription: the new game subscription service is a complement for people who like to discover new games every month, but Xbox Live Gold will still be necessary to play multiplayer in Xbox Games Pass titles (Deals with Gold and Games with Gold are here to stay, too).
Xbox Game Pass will launch in 30 Xbox markets at launch, and Microsoft plans to add new markets “as catalog availability permits.” You can learn more detail about the service on the Xbox website.Further reading: Live Gold, Microsoft, Xbox Game Pass