Microsoft is launching a new subscription gaming service for Xbox gamers. Pay $9.99 per month for an Xbox Game Pass subscription and you get access to 100 games.
Titles include Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2 and NBA 2K16 and Microsoft says content will include Xbox One games and some Xbox 360 games that are available on Xbox One thanks to backward compatibility. New titles will be added every month (which I suspect means some old titles will also be pulled monthly).
Xbox Game Pass will be available this spring.
This isn’t a game streaming service: instead of playing over the internet, titles are downloaded to your console so you can play without worrying about connectivity. That helps set the service apart from some other subscription gaming platforms like Gamefly Streaming and NVIDIA GeForce Now… and, of course, Sony’s PlayStation Now game streaming platform.
On the other hand, PlayStation Now offers a library of 450 titles. While quality probably matters more than quantity to gamers, there’s an interesting tradeoff here: the likelihood that you’ll find enough games you want to play vs the likelihood that you’ll have to put up with lag or graphics quality issues because of streaming.
This isn’t Microsoft’s first foray into subscription-based digital media. The company also offers a Groove Music Pass music subscription that competes with Spotify, Apple Music, and others. But this is the first time Microsoft has done anything like this with Xbox games.
via Xbox Wire
Interesting trade-off of it not being streamed against how many games, but the other trade-off is how long does it take to download Halo 5 Guardians or any other game? What is the time from saying you “want to play” to “playing”? Anything over four minutes is an ever increasing trade-off in my book.
Four minutes is a bit ridiculous. If the selection includes enough AAA titles, subscribers will have no problem kicking off a download and coming back to it later. We’re not talking mobile-type games here, but full-blown titles with that take 30-40+ hours to complete. Those who want to play these games are playing them for more than just a quick evening session.
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