As much as I’m admittedly biased towards the PlayStation and all things PlayStation, make no mistake, I am a gamer FIRST. Why am I making this statement? Because Microsoft and XBOX have been making a lot of noise with their innovations and forward movement when it comes to their next gen Xbox Series X console and their accompanying services.
Xbox Game Pass is the service that everyone is talking about and for what’s it’s worth it deserves every bit of praise it gets, and I say that once again as a die hard PS5 guy.
Think about it, the pandemic isn’t over, not totally, while we’re for the most part experiencing moments of normalcy here and there the fact still remains that a lot of people are still struggling and trying to find ways to save money. If you’re a gamer this is particularly true. With next gen consoles come next gen console prices. Retail non digital games are on average between $60-$70 depending on which platform you’re on. This is an expensive investment under regular circumstances let alone the times we’re in now. XBOX Game Pass affords you the ability to play a lot of your favorite first and third party games on your XBOX or PC for a subscription fee of either $9.99 for the Standard Game Pass or $14.99 for the Ultimate version of Game Pass. Not a bad deal at all.
With the Xbox Series X and PS5 trying to stake their claim as the best gaming platform it has re-ignited the proverbial “console wars”. I have fallen into the trap claiming my clan, which is PS5. I’m not an extremist or a fanboy, I just have a PS5 preference so I write this with a certain reluctance I will admit but again I am a gamer first, so, I gotta love what XBOX has been doing.
Xbox Game Pass is such a compelling service and I can say this because I’ve been using it the past week and I downloaded Prey, Doom Eternal, the Halo games and the soon to be released Ascent and Forza Horizon 5 as pre-installs to be ready for when those games release officially.
Microsoft’s holding of 23 studios with Bethesda being the most notable holding gives you Game Pass access to their library of games past, present and future. The super highly anticipated Starfield is one of those future games and it will available to play day one when it releases next year. That’s a huge game from Bethesda and exclusive to Xbox. EA has added their Play service which is still in beta but you for now can play FIFA, Madden, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Battlefield with this access.
I have been downloading game after game. A lot of options and a lot of games. Microsoft is moving in a direction to ultimately make Game Pass a database of games, a Netflix of games with access across multiple devices and with XCloud improving more and more, mobile devices will be able to play your Xbox library right over Wifi or your cellular service. On the speculation side, If the rumors and whispers we’re hearing in the gaming space come to fruition we may even see Xbox as an app on smart TVs in the near future. Can you see the potential?
All is not perfect though with Game Pass though. There are some things about it that I think are small issues and things that I think should be critiqued and these are only my opinions. As far as things that are issues as I see it, for one, it’s another subscription service. While Game Pass is relatively cheap for what it offers, again, it’s another subscription service. We all most likely subscribe to a few of them. Netflix, Disney+, whatever. If you are a subscriber to a few services you now have to add Game Pass. This adds up over the course of a month. I can’t blame Microsoft for this BUT it is essentially another bill to pay even though you have no obligation.
XBOX Game Pass for PC needs a little work. The issue that I have with it for now, is that it seems that the console to PC games appear to be more of an after thought. A lot of the games that I want to play are reserved to my Xbox console only. For example, I can’t play MLB 21 on my PC. I would like to see more of my Xbox games playable on Game Pass for PC. The selection on your Xbox is far superior to that on Game Pass PC.
These are the only real issues that I have with Xbox Game Pass. There are some others but they’re more speculative so I won’t mention them but I’ll say this, Xbox Game Pass is an incredible bargain with tremendous upside. It’s pro-consumer and I love that. It gives older, obscure and otherwise unnoticed games some shine. I love that. The lineup of games that Xbox and Microsoft have lined up in the next 6 months is exciting and impressive. If you’re a gamer you have to love all of this.
The best part, Xbox is putting Sony and PlayStation on notice. They can no longer sit on their reputation and you gotta love that. Now, Sony has to change to remain competitive and guess who wins? US. Forget all the fanboy bullshit. Let’s watch what Sony does and please believe they’ll do something so Microsoft better not sleep on them. PlayStation Now which is a similar service to Game Pass will get better in time. I believe that so all is not lost for Sony. If however you wanna check out Game Pass like I did Microsoft is offering it for a $1 for three months. You can’t beat that right now so go play some games. By the way, despite this article I’m still TeamPS5 and that won’t change, but XBOX, I appreciate ya.