Xbox One owners get a new reason to fire up their consoles on June 1: Xbox Game Pass, the download service Microsoft created to deliver subscription-based gaming with a library of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games in an all-you-can game model.
The service is similar to PlayStation Now, Sony’s PlayStation 4-based equivalent, and also to Nivida’s GeForce NOW streaming service for its Shield Android TV set-top box. The Xbox version will cost members $11.99 per month, and will be available to Xbox Live Gold members starting today, with access opening to everyone on June 1. The key difference is that Microsoft’s offering allows full downloads of titles available to play, meaning you can access them offline and don’t have to worry about having a high-quality broadband connection to ensure smooth streaming.
The catalog includes some pretty recent fan favorites, like Halo 5: Guardians and Lego Batman, but it’s mostly older releases, which is why they’re available in a bundle with limitless play for a monthly subscription, instead of one-off at $70 or more per title. Still, if you missed out on some premiere releases over the years (life gets busy) then this is a great way to catch up.
You need an Xbox One to use Game Pass, but you also get discounts on full purchases of games and on game add-ons for currently available titles on the console. Sounds like something that should come to Windows 10, too, eventually, provided it drives revenue for Microsoft.