Xbox has announced a brand new gaming subscription service called Xbox Games Pass that will give users access to a library of over 100 games for a monthly fee.
Set to launch this Spring, the service will have a large catalogue of Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles that will change every month in a similar manner to Netflix.
Unlike Netflix, though, the service won’t stream the games. As a result of fans expressing concern over unreliable internet connections, Microsoft has decided that games from the Xbox Games Pass library will be downloaded to your console for a “native, full-fidelity gaming experience.”
It's a wise move, avoiding the latency and buffering issues that have sometimes detrimentally affected streaming-based services like Nvidia's GeForce Now and PlayStation Now.
Don't stream, download
You’ll then have a window of 30 days to play the game offline, before you have to sign in again to continue to access it.
Microsoft has said that there’s no limit to the number of games subscribers can download (other than their hard drive space) and that though you obviously won’t own a game when you download it from the service, you will receive a discount of 20 percent on any games present in the catalogue if you do decide to buy them.
The service has only just started rolling out for members of the Xbox Insider program who will have access to a limited catalogue for the testing period.
When the service launches in its final form later this spring, it’ll cost £7.99/ $9.99 a month and will be available on Xbox One and Windows 10 devices, though it won’t be available on Xbox 360.
Some notable titles expected when the service rolls out include: Halo 5: Guardians, NBA 2K16, Mad Max, LEGO Batman, and Fable III. Though you won’t need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to access Xbox Games Pass, you will still need it if you want to access any of the multiplayer modes in the games you download.