While I have not had the time to do many reviews of late (or any in the last month or two) I have still been finding the time to game, priorities dear readers! About two months ago I was introduced to the Xbox Game Pass and was more than a little impressed.
Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service offered by Microsoft that gives you access to a ton of games for a monthly fee. I am sure at this point your mind is going to Ps Now, Sony’s subscription for a library of games. However Xbox Game Pass has a few things that set it apart;
- Getting a game from Xbox Game Pass is the same as purchasing it digitally, the game downloads to your hard drive. DLC works fine for them (usually you have to purchase the DLC should you want it). Unlike Sony’s Ps Now where the games are streamed to you much the same way as Netflix or Now TV. Streaming the games can be a plus for those with good internet or small hard drives but the quality is never the same, and I found many games on Ps Now could not use DLC.
- All Microsoft first party games will be on Xbox Game Pass on release day. Sea of Thieves mentioned below, and the hugely anticipated sequel to State of Decay, rather unimaginatively titled State of Decay 2, were made available day one as Microsoft promised.
- The price, here in the UK Ps Now will set you back £12.99, Xbox Game Pass costs £7.99, back in the days when we could rent games, that was the price you would pay to rent 1 game for a week. Not that Ps Now is not good value, that is a good price and you do get more games, though that brings us to point four.
- Better content, this is not just subjective Xbox Game Pass has much better content. Titles like State of decay are mixed in with Halo 5, the latest Gears of War, Cities Skylines and Robocraft all new-ish or big titles, Ps Now in contrast seems to be where games that will no longer sell go, there are exceptions but my time with Ps Now was decidedly unimpressive.
- Xbox Anywhere, certain titles on the Xbox can be played on windows 10 PC’s, progress is carried on between the two systems and even multiplayer works between the two on some titles. This impressive feature has no alternative on the Playstation and Xbox Game Pass fully supports those games on PC. Granted windows store is not as versatile or featured as Steam but its nice knowing you have a PC copy of a game as well as the Xbox version
Sea of Thieves, this game was the reason I sold my Switch and purchased an XBOX. When I saw that Sea of Thieves was free on Xbox Game Pass or £50 by itself this became an easy decision. It will take six months of regular Xbox Game Pass subscription before I get close to the expense that Sea of Thieves would have cost by itself (and by itself Sea of Thieves would have been a regretted purchase, but I shall leave that for a proper review). State of Decay 2 is another game I would have purchased separately but got free with Xbox Game Pass further increasing the value to me.
State of Decay 2 – Trailer – Included with Xbox Game Pass
So it is all positives? No downsides? Well alas there is a downside recently they have started removing games at the end of the month, that has only happened last month and this month, on the whole the games removed were nothing special though I will mourn the loss of Mad Max. They have announced what games are going with plenty of notice but it is sad to see. Xbox first party games will however stay forever (or so Microsoft have said) this means games like State of Decay 2, Gears of War and Microsoft’s ever popular Halo games will not be going anywhere. With Mad Max I could take advantage of the 20% discount that is offered to all Xbox Game Pass subscribers wishing to permanently own any of the subscription entitled games. Also new games arrive each month too so it’s not that bad to lose a couple.
As I say I’m very impressed with Xbox Game Pass as a gamer who has just come over to the Xbox it was nice to get an instant library that included some really great games. Knowing that any of the future first party games will be mine on release without having to open my wallet more is also rather pleasing.
An old official video describing Xbox Game Pass
Microsoft have in no way compensated me for this opinion post and I paid for Xbox Game Pass out of my own money (ie not free). It should be noted however that even if Microsoft had gifted me it wrapped in £50 notes my blog would of been the same, just would of been typed up while cooking steak and sipping a non store branded beverage. All my reviews and posts are 100% my honest opinion as a gamer.