The holiday season is upon us, and Xbox Game Pass it might be the best game you can offer. Look at it this way – you won’t get an Xbox Series X. You may be able to get one Xbox Series S in time for Christmas, although it is not the right system for everyone, as we discussed in our Xbox Series S review.
But Xbox Game Pass is a digital product. Stock will not run out and in fact cannot be depleted, and you can immediately start using them on the devices you already own.
Unlike Google Stadia, you don’t need to buy games on demand. Unlike Nvidia GeForce Now, you don’t need to bring your own library. Unlike PlayStation Now, you can play new and original games on launch day. While Xbox Game Pass is by no means perfect, it is undoubtedly the most comprehensive and versatile cloud gaming service available right now.
While gaming journalism requires a critical distance from its subjects, it also requires honest and direct appraisals when a company does something well. Microsoft has done something very well with Xbox Game Pass. If you are tired of trying to hunt Xbox Series X Restocks, or just looking for some new games to play this month and I don’t know where to start, let me make the case for Microsoft’s cloud gaming competitor.
What is Xbox Game Pass?
We’ve talked about what Xbox Game Pass many times before, most recently in our Xbox Series X Resupply Alternative part. Instead of giving an exhaustive breakdown of the service (Microsoft has one, if you are interested), these are the key points:
- Xbox Game Pass is a game subscription service from Microsoft
- You can download games to Xbox consoles or gaming PC
- Can stream games to consoles, non-game PCs, Android and iOS devices
- There are more than 400 games available
- Prices range from $ 10 to $ 15 per month, depending on your subscription.
There are three different subscription tiers: Xbox Game Pass ($ 10 per month), PC Game Pass ($ 10 per month), and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($ 15 per month). Xbox Game Pass lets you download games for Xbox One and Xbox Series X / S. PC Game Pass lets you do the same for gaming PCs (exact specifications vary by game).
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is where things get interesting. For $ 15 a month, you can download Xbox and PC games, just as separate Xbox and PC passes allow you. But you can also stream hundreds of games to Android Y iOS devices as well as non-gaming PCs through the web browser. You can even stream to Xbox consoles for instant play. The functionality is still in beta and not perfect. But it works well enough for everyday play.
Why Xbox Game Pass is a great deal
If you are waiting for some kind of important catch, you will have to keep waiting. I’ve been using Xbox Game Pass for years and have yet to come across any significant issues with it. Playing downloaded games works perfectly; Playing streaming games is a work in progress, but it is much better than you would expect from a beta program. (Whether Microsoft should charge users for a beta is another issue, but that battle appears to be lost.)
The biggest drawback I can think of is that you won’t own any of the games you play on Game Pass. As such, when games leave the service, or when you do, you will have to purchase those games outright to continue playing. But generally you will get a discount on them and you may not want to keep all the games.
The Xbox Game Pass library is also rich and diverse. Microsoft releases all of their great games on Game Pass right as they launch, which means you can play Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and a variety of other Xbox exclusives for less than the retail price (assuming you can finish them in three. months) .
In general, the cross-save compatibility is also excellent. This means you can start playing a game on your Xbox, switch to your PC when your spouse needs the TV, and finish on your smartphone before bed, and all it takes is a few seconds to sync your saves.
However, remember that Xbox Game Pass is not for everyone. You may hate the idea of renting games indefinitely rather than just buying them, or you may find that even Game Pass’s impressive library doesn’t have exactly what you want to play. If that’s the case, you can simply unsubscribe. You won’t even run out of $ 15, as Microsoft frequently offers $ 1 Game Pass promotions for new subscribers.
Bottom line: Xbox Game Pass offers hundreds of great games on a variety of platforms, whether or not you have a dedicated gaming machine. And if you don’t like it, you won’t have any difficulty unsubscribing. If the service has a major fault, it is difficult to discern what it is.
Xbox Game Pass: Tradeoffs and Concerns
This brings me to my main warning about Xbox Game Pass. At its current growth rate, the price does not seem sustainable. The subscription service launched with 100 games on a single platform, Xbox One. Now, both the number of games and available platforms have quadrupled. While $ 15 is expensive as monthly streaming subscriptions go, it still doesn’t seem quite right for hundreds of products that typically cost $ 60 each.
One of Microsoft’s greatest strengths in this generation of consoles is that it is building an ecosystem rather than a single console. Compare and contrast this with Sony’s approach: all PS5, all time. On the other hand, if Xbox Game Pass can offer parity with a game console, it can make gamers wonder why they need an Xbox Series X, and it can make Microsoft wonder how much those players would be willing to pay for a full game. . -Replacement of blown console.
Meanwhile, a dedicated Xbox Series X or one of the best gaming PCs can still offer a smoother gaming experience than the streaming component of Xbox Game Pass, as well as higher resolutions and better frame rates. But transmission technology has made great strides in recent years, and we have to imagine that the next few years will bring similar innovations.
Xbox Game Pass conclusion
For now, Xbox Game Pass is a beautiful thing, especially if you’re willing to jump into the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate variant. And, if it ever becomes too expensive or unwieldy in the future, you can simply cancel your subscription and go back to buying old-fashioned games.