Microsoft launched the subscription service Xbox Game Pass for PC officially during its press event at the E3 2019 conference. Head of Xbox and gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, revealed the new service on May 30, 2019 for the first time but did not reveal information about pricing, availability of the service or included games at the time.
Xbox Game Pass for PC is a subscription-based service that brings Microsoft's successful Xbox Game Pass subscription-service to PC.
Customers pay a monthly subscription fee to gain unlimited access to a library of games. Microsoft promises that over 100 games will be available at launch; gamers interested in the current offering can check out this collection on the Microsoft Store which lists 64 different games that are included at the time of writing.
Price varies from region to region; gamers pay $9.99 per month in the United States for Xbox Games Pass for PC. Microsoft runs two promotions currently that drop the first-month price to just $1 and thereafter for $4.99 per month for a limited period of time.
There is also an option to get the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate instead which combines Xbox Games PC for PC and Xbox Games Pass for Consoles, and a Xbox Live Gold subscription. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is offered for $14.99 per month with the first month payment just $1 as well.
Existing Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass for Consoles subscriptions are upgraded automatically to Ultimate when a customer subscribes to the new plan.
It should not come as a surprise that quite a few Microsoft first-party titles are on the list as well as several games that are available for Xbox.
The list includes UWP games and Win32 games, and features several Halo titles, Gears of War, Sunset Overdrive, or Wasteland 2 Director's Cut.
Regional differences are possible.
Xbox Games Pass for PC is an interesting offer for some gamers. Subscribers pay $119.88 per year for an undiscounted subscription and can play any of the available games for as long as they want during the subscription period.
The offer may be of interest to gamers who would have purchased at least three or four of these games anyway, and especially so if Microsoft manages to add fairly recent games to the service. One has to remember, however, that games are not owned. While that is not necessarily the case if you purchase games on Steam and other platforms, you won't lose access to the purchased games like you would if you cancel your Xbox Game Pass subscription. If you cancel your Xbox Game Pass subscription you will lose access to all games after the subscription period ends.
I'm also not sure how Microsoft handles DLC, expansions and the like. Can these be purchased and added to the games, or cannot they? What about games that support mods?
Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide whether there is enough value in Microsoft's offering. It is certainly possible to subscribe for a month, play the game or games you really want, and cancel the subscription before the next renewal period.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm not sold on the idea of subscribing to a service to play a collection of games for a monthly subscription fee. In the end, I'd like to own the games that I play and while that becomes more and more difficult, it at least means that I can keep on playing games that I purchased for as long as I like without having to pay a monthly subscription fee to keep the access.
Now You: What is your take on that? Would you subscription-based services to play games?Advertisement
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