Xbox Game Pass arrives today. Since the announcement of the new Xbox platform in February, many doubts remain unresolved. And perhaps the most important of them will be worth it? With this article we hope to solve all your questions about this new service and to better know the Netflix of video games.
What is Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass is not a new system, because it takes many elements from other platforms that we already know as Netflix, PlayStation Now or EA Pass. This is a cloud-based service that, at a price, we will access more than 100 games, including both Xbox One and Xbox 360 backwards compatible .
The service will be monthly. During those 30 days, Xbox Game Pass users will be able to enjoy all the games that the service has at that time.
«With major games from industry leading distributors such as 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK CORPORATION, THQ Nordic, GmbH, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft Studios, there will always be something for everyone and we can always find some game to enjoy, within a wide range of genres. Some of the fans’ favorite titles, which will hit the Xbox Game Pass when it launches the entire Xbox community, include Halo 5 Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16 and Soul Calibur II, » said Phil Spencer regarding Xbox Game Pass .
Undoubtedly one of the most attractive factors of Xbox Game Pass is its price: € 9.99 per month. While we are subscribed we will have no limit on the games that we can download and we will also enjoy a discount of the games to which we have played with the service and we feel like acquiring.
«If you like a catalog game and want to have it, you can buy it and instantly save 20% of the base game price with your Xbox Game Pass subscription. You can also benefit from a 10% discount on any add-ons and consumables related to the game while in the Xbox Game Pass catalog, «said the official Xbox website .
As with services like Netflix, Xbox Game Pass comes with a 14-day trial period . After that period, the test will automatically renew a monthly subscription, unless we cancel the subscription beforehand.
If we cancel the subscription before renewal, access to the Xbox Game Pass will end once we have canceled. But there will be no refunds for cancellations of the Xbox Game Pass.
Our games, progress or complements that we have been able to achieve with the games will remain associated with our account even if we cancel the subscription.However, when the subscription ends, we can only access the game if we buy it or acquire a new Games Pass (and as long as the game is active in the catalog).
Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live and backward compatibility will live
Xbox continues to increase the services it offers to users, empowering them simultaneously. Xbox Game Pass is not a substitute service of Xbox Live, but complementary. Xbox gives us the possibility to enjoy both, one or the other or none.
Xbox Live, whose results are increasingly positive for Microsoft , allows users to connect and enjoy the online services of this platform: play, unlock achievements, share game clips, etc. However, with Xbox Game Pass games will be downloaded to our Xbox One. In addition, we do not need to be connected to enjoy those games downloaded.
«From fan feedback, we’ve detected that transmission / connectivity issues are the most annoying aspect of subscription game services. For this reason, the Xbox Game Pass titles will be downloaded directly to the Xbox One, which will give fans a native gameplay experience with total fidelity and the ability to play those downloaded games offline for up to 30 days. «
Since these are alternative services, it will not be necessary for us to be subscribed to Xbox Live Gold to enjoy Xbox Game Pass . However, multiplayer games will require the Xbox Live Gold subscription. Similarly, with Xbox Game Pass we will not enjoy the advantages that the service of Live, such as Games With Gold or exclusive discounts with Gold Offers can offer. Xbox Game Pass will have, as it has been said, its own system of discounts.
On the other hand, Xbox Game Pass will only be available for Xbox One. However, Xbox 360 titles that are backward compatible with Xbox One will be included in the service.
What about games?
The new Xbox service will follow the same system as other similar services, such as PlayStation Now or EA Access. Xbox Game Pass will offer us a video game rental system, which we can enjoy for unlimited time while we subscribe to the program.However, these games will not be our property.
«The Xbox Gaming Pass catalog is updated with new games added every month. You need an active subscription to the Xbox Game Pass to play. If you like a catalog game and want to have it, you can buy it and instantly save 20% of the base game price with your Xbox Game Pass subscription. You can also benefit from a 10% discount on any add-ons and consumables related to the game while in the Xbox Game Pass catalog. «
The only negative of this system that will be rotating. That is, each month new games will arrive and old games will disappear. The same thing happens with EA Access and PS Now, according to the legal bases. However, given the immensity of the Xbox Game Pass catalog not all games will disappear, but presumably only a few will.
In SomosXbox you have the list with all the included games to date; Catalog that will expand with the passage of the months.
Xbox Game Pass, EA Acces, PS Now. With which I stay?
If we compare the three main systems (Xbox Game Pass, EA Access and PS Now) we quickly see that the most equitable in terms of value for money is the Xbox service . It is true that EA Access is much more affordable (it does not reach 4 € / month), but it is also that its catalog is very limited to Electronic Arts games. And not all, but only those included in The Vault.
PS Now doubles the monthly Xbox Game Pass price. Its catalog is notably greater, but at the moment only includes games of PS3. Plus it’s the first 100 Xbox Game Pass games to expand over time. Another great advantage that presents with respect to PS Now is that we will not play via streaming. Xbox Game Pass games will be downloadable and will not depend on the user’s connection.
The most important problem that appears to users is the fact that Xbox Game Pass does not include online multiplayer. Therefore, to enjoy multiplayer in games like Halo 5 or Gears of War, we would have to subscribe to the Xbox Live Gold service separately.
On the other hand, PS Now is only available in three regions (Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), which greatly limits its enjoyment worldwide. Xbox Game Pass will begin in 30 regions , which will be expanded as the game catalog allows.
What else do you need?
Although Xbox Game Pass is a fairly complete system for users, later additions could be included. The 14-day trial service, one of the most requested by users, has been a great success and will allow us to have a better idea about whether this service interests us or not.
Perhaps another of the things that could be raised to seniors would be to expand the rates for those who are interested. Not only could we pay a monthly fee, but Xbox could offer us annual or quarterly service packs. With offers that encourage us to buy the annual subscription instead of monthly.
It would also be interesting that Xbox offered us a «complete pack» that included the subscription to Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold . Given that it is two complementary services, it would be a great idea that Xbox offered us packages of monthly, quarterly or annual character that combined both services and were somewhat cheaper.
Microsoft would also hopefully leverage Xbox Game Pass to combine it with other systems it offers, such as Xbox Play Anywhere. For Xbox Game Pass would open a wide range of possibilities if, over time, not only available in Xbox One but also in Windows 10.
Most importantly, is it worth it?
Xbox Game Pass seems focused on two types of users: newcomers to Xbox and those who have little time to enjoy the games. For the first is a great advantage to have a system that allows them to test what is able to offer Xbox, paying a very small fee in return. And for the second Xbox Game Pass offers a great possibility to try many games through a «rental system».
However, more active users can also find great advantages to Xbox Game Pass. Not all games will rotate, which will allow us to enjoy some games fully month by month. In addition, it is a good system to test titles that would otherwise be very difficult to achieve (such as Soul Calibur). And if we finally want to buy some of those games, we can enjoy significant discounts through the Games Pass.
In short, as always happens, the decision about whether Xbox Game Pass convinces us or is not fully ours . Without doubt the best thing is to try those 14 days free and, after having formed an opinion of our own, decide if Xbox Game Pass is the Netflix that we are looking for.