After a lengthy preview period for insiders and Xbox Gold members, Microsoft’s Game Pass service went live for all users on June 1st. The service allows Xbox One owners to subscribe and download over 100 games for $10. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and after being excited to try the so-called “Netflix of games,” I’ve since learned the moniker is far from accurate.
Services like Netflix rely on a constant internet connection to allow users to enjoy a massive librabry of content. Xbox Game Pass just requires you to download the games and come back to the service when you’re ready for more.
The Xbox service doesn’t feature a comprehensive catalog of exclusive content with a smattering of third party titles like Playstation Now does. It relies on a fairly small library that should be updated over time. It’s not similar to Netflix in any discernible way other than both Netflix and Game Pass are apps that you can use on your Xbox One and they both have a monthly fee.
How does it work then?
The Game Pass is pretty simple: you subscribe and then choose games from the Game Pass catalog to download.
All Xbox Game Pass games require downloading, just as if they’d been purchased from the Xbox store. Users won’t need a constant connection in order to play – though Microsoft will require a sign-in online once every 30 days to confirm the subscription is valid.
The Game Pass doesn’t have the mass appeal that Playstation Now does — it simply can’t compete with Sony’s 500 game streaming catalog, but on the plus side you won’t be stuck streaming games on the lowest resolution while everyone else is watching Netflix.
Consumers looking for an ‘on demand’ experience won’t find it with Game Pass.