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Xbox Game Pass – Is it worth another subscription?
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Xbox Game Pass – Is it worth another subscription?

Things have changed quite a lot when it comes to the distribution of media. Back in the good old days, if you wanted to pick up the latest games arriving on console you’d slip your shoes on, head down to the local Blockbuster or Choices (if you’re in the UK) and you’d pay over the top prices to buy a physical disc or equally expensive prices to rent one out – all before going home, forgetting to return it for the next several months and then getting hit with a late bill the price of a new console.

In 2017 however, all that is gone. Choices and Blockbuster have disappeared from our streets for a start, and media is a lot more digitised than we ever expected it to be. But in a day and age in which we can find a subscription service for near enough every type of media on the planet, do we really need another one? Is the Xbox Game Pass one too many.

I suppose the answer to that all depends on the individual, so there will never be a definitive answer for everyone to take note of, but there are a few things to mention that gives you the general idea of what the Xbox Game Pass is and what it does, which in turn will give you an idea to whether it is the right thing for you.

The Xbox Game Pass is the latest subscription service to be unveiled by Microsoft and is set to hit Xbox One later this year, joining the likes of EA Access as it looks to offer gamers a strong collection of games for an affordable monthly price, all that can be downloaded and played fully whilst your subscription remains active.

Of course, whilst this may not be necessary for those of you with an already bustling games library, those who have only recently picked up an Xbox One, or even those with a smaller collection of games may well want to keep their eyes peeled for this when it arrives later in the year.

At present, Xbox Insider members in the Alpha ring of testers are being given the chance to test out a limited roster of games in the Xbox Game Pass, in which 30 games are available to download and use as wished. Such games include Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Sunset Overdrive, Halo Spartan Assault and Max: Curse of the Brotherhood as well as some popular Xbox 360 classics; Gears of War: Judgement, Miss Splosion Man, and Sam and Max, amongst others. Whilst the present amount sits at 30 games, full release will see the service play home to 100 titles for subscribers to enjoy, with some titles coming in and out of the service each month whilst others remain for a longer period. At launch, you’ll be able to find the likes of Halo 5: Guardians, Mad Max and Saints Row IV: Re-Elected amongst a whole heap of other exciting titles.

After subscribing to the service, users can download any of the games available to their consoles or external hard-drives and use them as they would any other game they had bought from the Xbox Games Store. There is no streaming involved in the Xbox Game Pass so those with slower internet speeds or data caps may not find it entirely suitable. That said there are more than enough positives to look at if the Xbox Game Pass is something you’re interested in.

One such positive is the price point. The Xbox Game Pass is set to come in at $10 per month (roughly £8 for the UK). When you look at the price of most games on the Xbox Games Store at present, you’d be hard pushed to find much for that price unless it’s on a pretty decent sale. Of course there are some games in there for such a price, but for such a small outlay you could find your library of available titles increase by up to 100 games. Whilst these will only be available as long as your subscription remains active, this is certainly the cheapest way of increasing your game collection to such an extent.

Of course as mentioned before, those with a healthy collection of games already may not find as much benefit from the Xbox Game Pass, and as someone who already owns the majority of titles that are set to become available, the Xbox Game Pass isn’t something I will be diving into right away. Even if there are one or two games that look inviting, the price point is one positive you can look at, probably tempting you in for a month or two. This will be even more prevalent when considering the service can be cancelled at any time once you’re finished and if those games are likely to come to more than a month or two subscription cost if bought, then you’ll still be quids in.

So, overall the general look of the Xbox Game Pass is rather good. Those wanting extra titles without shelling such an extortionate amount of cash will certainly find plenty to warrant a buy, but given that Microsoft have waited so long to introduce this service, despite planning it years ago, it seems unlikely to appeal to those who have already got plenty to play and a backlog to die for. That said the price point is a lot less than many would expect to pay for such a service and with games downloaded directly to your console this could well turn out to be a true contender against EA Access for best valued subscription on Xbox.

Will you be adding the Xbox Game Pass to your subscriptions later this year? Or is another subscription service just too much to bother with? Let us know in the comments below or via our usual social channels.

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About The Author
Carlos Santuana (Sly Boogie1993)
After 20 years of playing every game I can get my hands on, I can now be found selling my soul for anything Resident Evil, Gears of War, or Gamerscore related... all of which will be mastered after a good cuppa!
  • stylon (Steve)

    I fall under the “already got plenty to play and a backlog to die for” umbrella so this is not for me. Great scheme for newcomers to the Xbox though!

    • mint87rx7

      This is going to be amazing for my younger kids. I hate buying a game for them thinking they will put enough time into it for the money spent, and then they try it for 30 minutes and get bored. I will be subscribing on day one for this.

  • QUIMICOMORTAL

    Of course it is!

    There is nothing new! so you might as well pay to play older games!

    • Nothing new? Not sure I’m feeling the sarcasm in that.

      • QUIMICOMORTAL

        Ah sorry! remind me again what new exclusives are arriving to xbox.

        • Ah, new exclusives – that’s a whole different discussion. Tbh, I don’t know though and I also don’t really care too much. The whole exclusivity thing makes little difference.

          But there are a load of new games well worth playing on Xbox One, you just need a quick glance at the Xbox Games Store to see that.

          • QUIMICOMORTAL

            Really? it does?

            Cause I see only one xbox game scoring more than 85, and it is more than two months old.

            While there are 10 ps4 games scoring 85 or better, so I’m pretty sure the “exclusivity thing” has everything to do with that 1000% advantage!

            • I can only guess at your agenda here so this will be the last reply from me on this one, but what the PS4 exclusives are compared to those on Xbox makes no difference to whether the Xbox Game Pass is worth the cash…let alone what scores they got.

              But anyways, cheers for the comments. Always good to know how others think.

              • QUIMICOMORTAL

                The purpose can be traced back to the original comment.

                When you have a constant flow of new games, specially highly regarded, its hard to justify the cost of a subscription like game pass or ps now, but when there are not that many new games, then those platforms become more apealing, I don’t know how is that so hard to understand.

                • Slyboogie1993

                  As said by Neil, thankyou for the comments, but the article isn’t questioning the quality of exclusive game releases. It questions the value of the Xbox One game pass and if it should be something you add to your subscription list. Exclusive games for any platform aren’t anything to do with that.

                  For example, there are many people much like myself who have no issue with heading back to games that released even 3,4 or 5 years ago, to experience them for the first time. The Xbox Game pass may be exceptionally valuable to people who wish to try those games should they be included without paying for a physical copy or the demanding prices of digital games on the Xbox Store. So in that instance the Xbox Game Pass would be very useful, the age of the game wouldn’t be important because the user hadn’t played them before, and the exclusive content you speak of wouldn’t matter to anyone involved either.

                  • QUIMICOMORTAL

                    But they have to do with them! a lot!

                    Do you think switch users miss the store that much right now? No, because they have a new Zelda to play with, but if there was no new exclusives to play with then they would turn back to other options.

                    Now, If game pass included new games as well (as I believe it is a posibility) then its value increases a lot.

                    Sure, you can try to judge the value of a service like this in a vacum, but thats like hiding your head in the sand, not contemplating the whole reality which includes the constant release of new exclusives (or the lack of it). there is just no way you dont consider that people buy new consoles for new games first and then for the old ones, That is why ps4 keeps selling better despite not having BC and everyone knowing it will never have it. For most ps4 owners, ps now is just an aftertought!

                    • Slyboogie1993

                      I miss the store on the Switch, i’m a Switch and PlayStation 4 owner aswell, I still play my Wii U and head back to titles I haven’t gotten round to playing yet. Obviously I don’t speak for every individual but if just one person finds it valuable then you could argue it’s still very much worth it.
                      As for exclusives, Xbox One isn’t devoid of them, Forza 7 will be incoming, a new Halo is in development, Halo Wars 2 is a new exlcusive and is currently available as a recent release, and Cuphead is on the way shortly. So the lack of exclusives you speak of isn’t well justified. Plus E3 is just around the corner, you can’t expect Microsoft to have nothing just because it’s not yet public knowledge?

                      Plus, PS now, i’m also a monthly subscriber, but that’s for another day.

                    • QUIMICOMORTAL

                      Sure, that’s why I said they don’t miss it that much right now, and I didn’t say it’s worthless. I just said and maintain that it’s worth its impacted by the amount and quality of the new games. Let’s be honest, you had no business buying a switch right now if wasn’t to play Zelda.

                      Sure, they are coming, I didn’t say the wouldn’t. But they are months /years away. Unlike ps4 and switch ones. And halo wars 2 was not a big release by a commercial or critical standard. As a matter of fact, it pretty much bombed. And we are yet to see if Cuphead delivers. Anyways, as of today, halo wars 2 is nothing compared to the 10 ps4 exclusives that scored higher this year.

                      Again, E3 , that’s months away and after they unveil games you’ll have to wait longer for them to actually arrive.

                      This is no console war, is a fact, right now ps now is not as interesting cause there are just to many new ps4 exclusives, obviously there will be some that have no money to buy new games so often so they’ll make a better use of it, but surely game pass is more appealing right now simply because there is no new exclusives to compete with in xbox.

                    • Slyboogie1993

                      Actually, I have to disagree, you wont find Zelda on any Nintendo in my house due to no interest in the franchise. I bought the switch to due to the incredible indie support show by Nintendo and my wish to enjoy that going forward, nothing to do with exclusive content.

                      As for Halo Wars 2 I don’t follow your understanding that the game bombed. Critically it has generally favourable reviews across the board.

                      E3 is little over two months away, with the majority of last years E3 showings available in just a few months after that.

                      And as for your focus on exclusive gaming, I can see you have a very strong opinion on what you feel gaming is about, but for many the exclusive titles aren’t always so important, and whilst Xbox already has an exceptional collection of exclusive titles readily available that most haven’t had time to get through yet, there are also many more top quality titles available that make for plenty of opportunities to play something new and exciting. The Xbox Game Pass is another option to add to this and the article
                      is focussing on whether the extra subscription is worth it. Not the quality of exclusives. I appreciate your opinion however.

                    • QUIMICOMORTAL

                      Well, obviously you are an exception, but most gamers bought switch for Zelda.

                      It did not even reached an 80 on Metacritic, and it didn’t find an indirect either!

                      Which means we are talking about 5 months at least! That’s too long. Hence the game pass becomes more attractive to help you play while you wait. That’s my point exactly. Right now is a very good time to acquire the subscription, cause you can now revisit a ton of games you missed before like sunset overdrive.

                      But if you had forza 7 last week, halo 6 in two weeks and Crackdown 3 in the following month I would say game pass would be less appealing.

  • Chris (CrippyD)

    I agree with Stylon, great idea for Xbox newcomers but my backlog is immense and growing every month with GwG titles and sales.

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