Well played Microsoft. Those of us who have dreamed of a Netflix-like subscription service for gaming will have the Xbox Game Pass in ‘late Spring 2017.’ Though, Xbox and Chill does not have the same ring to it like Netflix.

For $9.99 per month, gamers will have unlimited access to over a hundred Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles on the Xbox One . Oh, you better invest in external hard drives. Somewhere along the way, developers and publishers forgot about compression. My Comcast data cap thanks you.

The pass isn’t too dissimilar from EA Access which offers subscribers a slate of games each month. The main difference is the fact EA Access frequently touts EA Early Access. Subscribers will have access to Mass Effect: Andromeda for 10 hours of playtime starting March 16 with the full release on March 21

Xbox Game Pass Details

It’s all in the games. According to the statement and Xbox.com, the first slate of games will include Halo 5: Guardians, NBA 2K16, Lego Batman and Payday 2. New games will be added every month as others fall. And now we prepare ourselves for the ‘What’s new on Xbox Game Pass’ posts. Fun times.

Need some marketing? Xbox.com is happy to oblige:

“Play games across multiple genres, from action/adventure and family favorites to shooters, sport, puzzle games and more. And with new titles added every month, you’ll always have a wide selection of great games to choose from.”

Sounds like the perfect service for my nephew. Load him down with games and more games.

As for how it works, you’ll need an Internet connection. Games are downloaded “directly to your console and play online or offline in full-fidelity, without any streaming or connectivity issues.” Microsoft is still smarting from the ‘always on’ debacle?

Subscribers who like the game they played one month can purchase it for a 20 percent discount. And a 10 percent discount on any add-ons. The discounts are available only while the game is in the Xbox Game Pass catalog.

Microsoft is quick to point out you do not need Xbox Live Gold to use the service, but it’s not subtle in pushing Halo 5: Guardians. Expect a healthy dose of top-tier multiplayer games to make an appearance.

The company is high on the service as it heads towards the holiday launch of Project Scorpio.

“As we prepare to launch Project Scorpio this holiday, bringing the most powerful console ever made to the Xbox One family of devices, we continue to make platform improvements to connect the growing community of players on Xbox Live and add to a robust and diverse portfolio of games across Xbox One and Windows 10,” reads a statement from head of Xbox Phil Spencer.

If you’re a member of the Xbox Insider Program, you can test Xbox Game Pass “in the Alpha Preview ring starting today with a very limited number of titles.”

Microsoft Secures Additional Revenue Stream

For all the shiny marketing, the company has secured up to $180 in guaranteed annual revenue from anyone who signs up. $120 for the Xbox Game Pass and $60 for Xbox Live Gold. Well done, considering the price of an Xbox One is $239. Toss in the subscribers grabbing discounted games off the service and Microsoft has a winner on its hands.

Gamers get access to a catalog of games per month. Parents and Grandparents have a quick fix for the young gamer (my nephew) who wants more. And Microsoft subtly has consumers buying the equivalent of an Xbox One every year. Well played indeed.


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