Good value, but still room to grow.
Microsoft has officially launched their Xbox Game Pass service on Xbox One, and while it’s a good idea, there needs to be a bit more on offer before the service really starts to shine. No matter how you look at it, however, the Xbox Game Pass still gives you bang for your buck.
For $9.99 a month, Xbox One owners can access over 100 titles, and download them straight to their system. It’s certainly a huge offering of games, the only downside, however, is that almost all of these titles are unheard of or years old at this point. Don’t get me wrong, $10 is a great deal, it’s just unfortunate that all the games on offer are things most people have probably played years ago, or can pick up for a measly couple of bucks today. The sheer amount of games you have access to is certainly staggering, but not all 100 and more titles are going to appeal to everyone of course.
The majority of titles on the Game Pass are from the Xbox 360, not entirely surprising considering Microsoft’s big push on backwards compatibility. Even with so many old titles, the Pass is still a fairly good deal for the asking price. There’s bound to be titles featured that you haven’t played, no matter how well-versed you are in gaming. There’s also a decent selection of genres, with everything from shooters like Borderlands, to platformers like Spelunky, and fighting games like Tekken Tag Tournament 2. You can see the full list of titles here.
There’s also a small smattering of more recent Xbox One games, still a few years old at this point. This is led by Halo 5: Guardians, Sunset Overdrive, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Resident Evil 0, and Payday 2: Crime Wave Edition. All worthwhile experiences, yet ones that many Xbox One owners have already played by this point.
This just all leads to the point that the Xbox Game Pass needs a few more current experiences to make it really feel like a worthwhile subscription you want to keep. Right now, it just seems like something you’d pay a month or two on, and then drop it in favor of the overwhelming amount of new experiences coming up. It also begs the question as to how Microsoft will differentiate the offerings on the Game Pass with those given through Xbox Games With Gold. Will Game with Gold titles just be added to the Pass at the end of the month, or will they always remain separate?
There’s no denying that there’s some fantastic games on the Xbox Game Pass, and core experiences like Halo 5 are really going to help the program have weight. However, in the end it just feels like a subscription service for years old titles, and games that many people have already played. Honestly, I’d rather see Microsoft bump the price up a little to $14.99, and start adding in newer experiences, maybe even a brand new indie game now and again.
Luckily, Microsoft has confirmed that they’ll be adding new games to the program each month, hopefully doing enough to keep players interested. Again though, it’s critically important that Xbox One owners get something that feels new for the Game Pass to really attract users. If Microsoft wants it to feel like some kind of Netflix on-demand service for games, it’s important that users have plenty of what they want, both new and old. There’s definitely the potential for it to be that, it’s just a matter of execution going forward.
What do you think of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass? Are you planning on subscribing or do you need to see more first? Leave a comment down below and let us know.