Microsoft is following in the footsteps of EA by launching their very own subscription service for games on the Xbox One. Called the Xbox Game Pass, it will cost subscribers $9.99/£7.99 a month and offer a selection of around 100 games for download.
In the same way as the Games With Gold program and EA Access, the selected titles are only available for as long as you keep up your subscription. It will also provide a discount on the games and DLC so they can be kept forever.
The games that are part of the service will cycle every month. This means that no titles are likely to be included permanently, though, first-party titles are probably more likely to remain on offer in the longer term. Microsoft have said they hope to have 100 games when the Xbox Game Pass launches in late spring.
According to the official site, 2K, 505 Games, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, Sega, SNK, THQ Nordic and Warner Bros. have all signed up to participate in the program. Activision, EA, and Ubisoft are notable for their absence, but EA were unlikely to take part considering they have EA Access that offers their own games to subscribers. The launch titles will include Halo 5: Guardians, Mad Max, Lego Batman, Mega Man Legacy Collection, Terraria, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Fable 3, Tekken Tag 2, Payday 2, NBA 2K16 and SoulCalibur 2.
Unlike PlayStation Now and traditional video on-demand services that stream all of their content, this offering will instead allow players to download the games rather than stream them. This provides a number of advantages, which were pointed out by the company. This includes the fact that the games can be played without a constant connection to the internet.
“One of the best things about Xbox Game Pass is that you can discover and download the full titles directly on your Xbox One. That means continuous, full-fidelity gameplay without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues,” said Xbox bossPhil Spencer.