Microsoft has announced that Xbox Games Pass, its’ monthly subscription based games library service will launch today for Xbox Live Gold Members and will be available to the general Xbox Live population regardless of subscription status on June 1st.
Xbox Games Pass is the company’s attempt to compete with Sony’s PlayStation Now Service which offers PS4 owners a digital library of streaming titles to their PS4 and PC for a fixed monthly price. Games Pass offers subscribers over 100 Xbox 360 games that are backwards compatible on Xbox One from both Microsoft first party devs and third parties. Also included with the subscription are a limited number of Xbox One Games. The delivery method for Games Pass differs greatly from PlayStation Now – instead of streaming the video feed and uploading user inputs, Game Pass downloads games directly onto the users’ hard drive.
The two services also differ in terms of price – PlayStation Now is currently priced at $19.99 USD or $44.99 USD for three months and offers access to over 450 titles. Xbox Games Pass will be priced at 50% the monthly rate of Sony’s offerings at $9.99 USD per month but offers only approximately 1/4th of the number of games.
All of this brings to question: “What is the proper price range for a Netflix-like all you can play game subscription service?”. Both services offer a good variety of titles across a number of genres but in terms of quantity, it is clear that PlayStation Now has the upper hand. There is also the caveat that PS Now requires a very solid & stable internet connection for the product to be delivered. Whereas with Xbox Games Pass it doesn’t matter how fast your connection is as long as the download completes you’ve got access to your game until you unsubscribe.
Key to the success of either Games As A Service platform is the quality of the titles on offer and the continued delivery of new games to keep subscribers engaged. In a sense Xbox Games Pass and PlayStation Now are also competing with Games with Gold and PlayStation Plus – if GWG or PS+ are offering quality games that are duplicated on Now or Game Pass, why subscribe to both complimentary services?
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.