If you look at the statistics on the highest selling video game platforms, Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4 currently the lead the way. Since the Switch’s release, the system has been on fire when it comes to sales. I view the Switch as the next evolution of the Wii U as Nintendo took the beginning of the console/handheld hybrid system they began with the Wii U and brought it to completion with the Switch. The result is an amazing system that you can play at home or on the go with an ever expanding library that includes new releases, exclusive remasters/re-releases and a host of indie titles. The Playstation 4, on the other hand has remained the favorite in the Sony versus Microsoft battle. But there is something that Microsoft is doing that both Nintendo and Sony haven’t come close to implementing or trying.
The Microsoft Xbox Game Pass is a revolutionary service in the world of gaming. You can either subscribe to it on the Xbox One or PC platform with an option to also combine both platforms in an “Ultimate” package. You get a library of hundreds of games that you can play as part of your subscription that also includes Microsoft exclusives such as the Halo series, the Gears of War series, Forza Horizon 4 and Crackdown 3. When a Microsoft game is released, it appears on Game Pass the same day. For gamers who just want to play games and aren’t interested in owning them, this is a tremendous way to do so for $10 or less a month. The PC version of Game Pass, which I am currently subscribed to, is still in beta and it only costs $4.99 per month. That is a steal for what the service offers.
My experience with Game Pass has been great. I had wanted to play Crackdown 3 for the longest time and didn’t commit to buying it because of all the negative press it received. Game Pass gave me the opportunity to try it for myself without having to front the full cost of the game. Despite all the criticism the game received, I ended up enjoying the game enough to eventually purchase it. Now I have the original Crackdown and Crackdown 3 in my collection. I also was introduced to Halo’s top-down shooter games, Spartan Assault and Spartan Strike, through Game Pass and ended up buying both of them on sale in a $5 bundle on Steam. My first encounter with Enter the Gungeon was through Game Pass and I liked it so much, I bought it when it was on sale for the Switch. Not only have I enjoyed trying out new games but it has also directly led to additions to my own personal gaming library.
We truly are in the golden age of gaming. There are so many options a gamer has these days that did not exist when I was growing up. It was basically about whether you could afford a game or not and if you couldn’t, then you had to stretch out the games you had for as long as you could. There are so many inexpensive ways to enjoy gaming today that it is mind blowing. And I believe that gamers should take advantage of it and enjoy it while we have it.
If you want to own all your games, then Game Pass is probably not for you. The service is like Netflix in that you can play as much as you want as long as the service offers the game. I’m figuring that most of the titles that will be rotated out will be third party ones and not the Microsoft exclusives. Yet the fact remains you don’t actually own the games when signed up with the service. You will actually have to purchase the game (at a discounted price through Game Pass) in order to keep it.
But for me, I’m a flexible gamer in that I have physical games, digital games and I don’t mind having a subscription like Game Pass that allows me the chance to try games that I would not initially purchase. Because I do not have an Xbox One, it allows me to keep up with the Microsoft exclusive games on my PC. With Game Pass, I now feel like I am connected with PC, Playstation, Nintendo and Xbox. I definitely won’t be missing out on any key new games at this point.
Big time recommendation for Game Pass if you want a great subscription-based gaming service.