Xbox Game Pass: What You Need to Know

Xbox Game Pass, Xbox One, Xbox 360


Coming this Spring to Xbox One owners is the Xbox Game Pass. This will give gamers the ability to access to more than 100 games a month for $9.99. The games will be a blend of both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games.

Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox team, announced the Game Pass this morning.

“Today, we’re continuing our commitment to give you more options to diversify and expand your library of games with Xbox Game Pass, a new gaming subscription service coming later this spring. Xbox Game Pass gives you unlimited access to over 100 Xbox One and backward compatible Xbox 360 games – all for $9.99 per month,” Spencer wrote on Xbox’s website.

The Xbox Game Pass is not available just yet. It will be tested by select members of the Xbox Insider Program in the Alpha Preview program and it features a limited number of titles.

Here’s what you need to know about the Xbox Game Pass coming this spring for all Xbox One owners.

The Xbox Game Pass Is Not a Streaming Service Like Playstation Now

Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass


Playstation has a plan similar to Xbox’s with their Playstation Now service. Playstation Now is a cloud-based streaming service but the Xbox Game Pass is a service you pay for and actually download the games.

It’s similar to Xbox’s own EA Access service. Subscribers will download the game to their hard drive itself so a stable internet connection is not needed. Spencer says subscribers will be given a 20 percent discount off the games in the service if they wish to purchase them and 10 percent off add-ons.

If you choose to unsubscribe from the service, you’ll lose access to the games but your saved data will remain if you wish to resubscribe or purchase the games in the future.

The Games Could Change on a Monthly Basis

Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox Game Pass

What downloading the Xbox Game Pass looks like. (Gearnuke)

The game library will be updated monthly so that could mean games will be leaving the service as new ones come in, similar to Netflix. Kotaku asked Microsoft for clarity about the service.

The Xbox Game Pass library will be updated on a monthly basis with games being added “sometimes” games leaving. Players will have access to all games on the pass as long as they remain in the library and the player remains subscribed. Should the player unsubscribe or a game leave the library, the games will be removed, but the save data from those games will be saved should the player restart the sub or purchase the game.

Many Publishers Are On Board

Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox Game Pass

What the service looks like for subscribers. (Gearnuke)

The initial press release says top industry publishers like 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom and many others. Spencer says fan-favorite titles are coming such as Halo 5: Guardians and NBA 2K16.

The current games available for Preview members has been released by

  • A Kingdom for Keflings
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Comic Jumper
  • Dark Void
  • Defense Grid 2
  • Gears of War Judgement
  • Gears of War Ultimate Edition
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Hexic 2 
  • Jetpac Refuelled
  • Kameo
  • Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
  • Monday Night Combat
  • Ms. Splosion Man
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Sacred 3
  • Sam & Max Beyond Time
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • The Maw
  • Viva Pinata
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Saints Row 4
  • Mad Max
  • NBA 2K16
  • Lego Batman
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection
  • Terraria
  • Payday 2
  • Fable 3 
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Some of the games on the list have already been available as part of Xbox’s Games with Gold program. The program will not be affected by this new service according to what Microsoft told Kotaku:

“Games with Gold and Xbox Game Pass are two different service offerings with unique benefits. Games with Gold is an added benefit specific to Xbox Live Gold members that rewards players with two to four free games each month to enjoy. Xbox Game Pass is a subscription-based service that gives you unlimited access to over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 backward compatible games for Xbox One for $9.99 USD per month. Xbox Live Gold is not required for Xbox Game Pass, however, Xbox Live Gold is required for multiplayer titles that are part of the Xbox Game Pass catalog.”

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