Earlier today, the Xbox team announced the Xbox Game Pass, a gaming subscription service for Xbox One owners that will give them access to over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 games for $9.99 a month. Additionally, as the game selection will rotate every month, subscribers will be able to save 20% on Xbox One games while they're in the in the catalog plus 10% on related add-ons, which is nothing to sneeze at.
In the announcement, the Xbox team said that select Xbox Insiders would be invited to test the service before its roll out later this spring, and that Xbox Live Gold subscribers will also have early access to Xbox Game Pass in the near future.
However, if you were wondering if the Xbox team would push Xbox Live Gold members to subscribe to the Xbox Game Pass going forward, Xbox exec Mike Ybarra has just tweeted that this won't be the case. More precisely, the exec shared that the free Games with Gold will definitely remain.
Games with Gold continues. Xbox Game Pass is not a replacement for that. Great games and benefits with Gold continue. #Xbox
— Mike Ybarra (@Qwik) February 28, 2017
Microsoft is not the first company to offer a gaming subscription service on the Xbox One (see EA Access or Playstation Now) though it's worth reminding that the Games with Gold program is actually not that different. Every month, Xbox Live Gold subscribers can download two Xbox One games and two Xbox 360 games for free, but the Xbox One games are actually just rented: you'll no longer be able to play them if you cancel your subscription (the Xbox 360 games will be yours to keep though).
However, the difference is if consumers decide to renew their Xbox Live Gold subscription at any time, they will regain access to all their previously redeemed Games with Gold titles. For Xbox Game Pass subscribers that renew their subscription after a while though, the rotating list of games means that they can't be sure to always have access to a game they previously played months or years ago.
We're looking forward to learn more about the Xbox Game Pass, and it's definitely an interesting thing for Microsoft to try. Does it still makes sense to pay for all of your games if you're not sure to keep playing them after a while? Could the subscription program help Xbox One gamers discover new games at an affordable price? Let us know what you think in the comments below.