Xbox has announced that it will release 1st party games, published by Microsoft on its Xbox Games Pass service on the same day they launch. This is quite a significant move and will no doubt have not only Sony and Nintendo’s attention but that of most third-party publishers too.
Of course, we already have the likes of EA Access and PlayStation Now, but none of these has ever included brand new 1st party games as part of the package, so this move is likely something which could not only define the future of Xbox but of gaming as a whole.
If Xbox Games Pass is successful it could open the floodgates for other publishers to try something similar, then instead of paying for new games, all of a sudden we’ll find ourselves with a whole list of services on our consoles instead. Imagine a world where we have a subscription to all our favourite publishers, allowing us access to their games as soon as they release as well as a rotating library of legacy titles. That is what Xbox Games Pass essentially is and what we could soon experience for gaming as a whole.
If Xbox Games Pass becomes a success then there’s no doubt EA Access will change to a similar model, allowing us to play EA games as soon as they release and if EA does this, what’s to stop Ubisoft, Activision, 2K Games and others for doing likewise. It seems hard to believe that Sony and Nintendo will allow us to play their first party games as part of a subscription, but money talks and if it’s rolling in for Microsoft and others, then both will likely fold and do similar.
There are other things to consider when it comes to Xbox Games Pass, such as do we even need Xbox anymore? We know all too well about Microsoft’s cloud which could eventually turn the download-only Games Pass into a streaming Netflix-like service and if that happens, will we eventually see Xbox Games Pass on other consoles? Suddenly it doesn’t seem like something that would be hard to believe. Microsoft, with Play Anywhere and now Xbox Games Pass, is becoming more service provider for games than hardware manufacturer by the day.
Only the future will tell us, but for now, today’s announcement is a very interesting one indeed.
Announcement In Full for Reference:
“Moving forward, we plan to release all new Xbox One exclusive games from Microsoft Studios into Xbox Game Pass on the same date as their global release. This means that when Sea of Thieves launches on March 20, it will be included in Xbox Game Pass to all members.” – @