Over the last couple of years many gamers, including myself and others at the site, have been critical of Microsoft about their strategy surrounding the Xbox One. The console was sound, especially with the release of the extremely powerful Xbox One X, but everything surrounding that was a bit baffling. Why would someone buy an Xbox One when the games were available on PC? Why were they not focused on exclusive titles and content? What were they expecting from players in terms of loyalty? All of these questions and more were somewhat answered today with the huge Xbox Game Pass announcement.
In summary, Xbox Game Pass will now host every Microsoft Studios release on its launch day. This means that for $9.99 a month subscribers can play the next Halo, Gears of War, Forza, and Crackdown title, as well as Sea of Thieves and tons more. Every huge first-party game that hits the Xbox One will be playable via Xbox Game Pass at no additional charge.
This is simply a game changing announcement, shifting video games away from something that you buy and toward a service. Many have fought this change, which was apparently coming for some time, but it’s hard to argue against the value of this service now. $120 a year gets you almost every major Xbox One release, outside of multiplatform titles.
They want people to get an Xbox One and subscribe to Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass
All of that confusion was just washed away for me, with it becoming clear what Microsoft has been aiming for. They want subscribers, not buyers. They want people to get an Xbox One and subscribe to Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass. Everything else seems to have become secondary. The PC stuff is still a little confusing, but would immediately make sense if Microsoft starts offering Xbox Game Pass on PC.
The service would then become a total relative of Netflix, which is pretty much the company that every entertainment corporation strives to be these days. Microsoft wants to do the same thing they have, become a prime source of entertainment while raking in monthly fees over and over from millions of subscribers. With this latest announcement they very well could accomplish that.
It’s hard for anyone to argue against subscribing to Xbox Game Pass at this point, if you already own an Xbox One at least. $120 a year to get all these big AAA releases on day one is a massive change to the way we consume games, and that seems to be Microsoft’s entire strategy. I doubted them before, but they seem to have had an end goal in mind. Now we just wait to see if it all plays out how they planned.