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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.