What is Game Pass and how much does it cost? The Xbox Subscription Service Explained
A subscription gaming platform, more or less, seemed like a fever dream until Microsoft launched their own in 2017. prevailing at the time, although they eventually died down. and more people got access to it.
The feature was only available to owners of the Xbox console in its early days, offering backwards compatibility for select 360 titles in addition to its vast pool of games. The company’s business model has flourished since then – expanding to PC, offering first-party titles on launch day, and partnering with brands to offer a 30-day free trial.
What is Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass is a monthly video game subscription system that offers members a selection of titles at a fixed rate. The catalog contains over 100 games, both proprietary and indie, ready to download and play. The feature is currently available on Xbox One and Series X|S consoles, alongside Windows PC through Microsoft’s Xbox app.
There is also an Android version, which runs on cloud-based technology, allowing games to be streamed directly to their handsets. For iOS and Chromebook, however, the service must be accessible through the web browser, as Apple store policies effectively prohibit apps that run third-party stores.
Microsoft is bringing all of its first-party titles to Game Pass on launch day, regardless of scope. great games like Infinite Halo and Forza Horizon 5 were made available to subscribers free of charge. It basically works like a Netflix subscription, where you get unlimited content as long as you pay for the service. Every month, a new set of third-party titles are added while some old ones leave the platform.
The company is currently in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. So, we could see games like World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Call of Duty being added to the catalog. Many feared that Microsoft would make COD an Xbox-exclusive title, although, according to a statement from Phil Spencer, that’s not the case. Games that are now available on the PlayStation ecosystem will continue to be.
Microsoft also provides regular updates and post-launch support for live online games such as Sea of Thieves, State of Decay, and Minecraft. All DLC (downloadable content) comes with your one-time subscription cost, and you get deep discounts on any titles you want to buy.
Xbox Game Pass Plans
Xbox Game Pass is divided into three main categories: Console, PC, and Ultimate. Keeping track of all the benefits and features can be quite confusing, so we’ve broken them down for your convenience.
Xbox Game Pass for console
Owners of Xbox One or Series X|S consoles can pay a monthly fee of Rs 489 and receive instant access to over 100 high-quality games. Users can go to their homepage to apply for membership and enjoy benefits such as same-day release, new additions per month, and exclusive discounts for any purchase in the store.
The library also includes a range of iconic Bethesda titles such as Fallout and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which were added when Microsoft acquired the studio in 2020. Games are downloaded and installed directly on your system, just as they would with a digital purchase.
Currently, Microsoft is running an exclusive sale for Indian gamers, where by paying for one month of Xbox Game Pass, you get an additional 7 months free. The offer is applicable on all versions, and has to make some changes to the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) in terms of credit and debit card transactions.
PC game pass
Formerly known as “Xbox Game Pass”, this new naming scheme was unveiled during Game rewards, last year, to avoid any confusion between the plans. PC Game Pass costs the same as its console counterpart but comes with an additional improvement – EA Play.
Members can play AAA titles like Battlefield and FIFA at no additional cost, and the plan even lets you test out the latest releases for a limited 10-hour period. Purchasing EA Play separately, via Steam or Origin costs Rs 315, making Game Pass a valuable investment. The service can be accessed through the Microsoft Store or the included Xbox app on your Windows 10 or higher system.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
If you own both a computer and an Xbox system, the Game Pass Ultimate plan is good value for money. At a monthly subscription price of Rs 699, you get everything included in the Console and PC Game Pass package, alongside Xbox Live Gold.
To play online multiplayer on a console, players need a separate subscription. On PlayStation you have PS Plus, while on Team Green it’s Xbox Live. At face value, it’s listed at Rs 489, but if you have a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you get it for free.
Additionally, the plan offers cloud-based gaming support, allowing high-end games to be streamed and played on less capable systems. A beta version is also available for Android and lets you play from a select set of games on the platform. As mentioned earlier, iOS users will need to access it through the web browser.