Microsoft taps on-demand with Xbox Game Pass subscription service

Brodie Fogg 1 March 2017 NEWS

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The Xbox Game Pass subscription service will offer 100 games at $10.95 per month.

Notions of on-demand subscription services for video games in Australia have been bandied about for years now. When Sony first announced its PlayStation Now service back in 2014, we were offered a glimpse at a future of on-demand gaming. PlayStation Now's limited range of PS3 games, stripped back support for various devices and radio silence on Australian availability hasn't inspired much enthusiasm.

Microsoft answers the call with its own subscriber-based gaming service, Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One.

For $10.95 per month, subscribers will have access to over 100 games when the service launches in spring. While the full lineup of games available on Xbox Game Pass has yet to be revealed, a few AAA titles like Halo 5: Guardians, NBA2K16 and Payday 2 were named, plus some classic indie titles like Terraria. The full list will be made up of Xbox One and backwards compatible Xbox 360 games.

Preview versions of the Game Pass app were released overnight to members of Xbox's Insider program.

We're curious what this means for Xbox's beloved Games With Gold service available via Xbox Live Gold. Will we still see top-shelf titles in the program or will Microsoft push users towards the new service?

Xbox Live Gold currently costs $6.66 per month at its cheapest (when paid annually) or $10.95 per month. An additional subscription could bump fees up to $21.90 per month. Although, Xbox Game Pass is optional and not required to play online.

Microsoft could benefit by offering discounts on annual subscriptions and bundling services together.

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