Ten years ago, I would not have thought that the future of video games would depend on a subscription system. Game Pass, Microsoft’s Netflix-like game service, continues to grow with each passing day. This idea in my mind is clearer than ever: Xbox Game Pass is future of gaming, kind-of.
You know Phil Spencer. He’s the big boss of Xbox and has ideas that will take Microsoft’s gaming operation into the future. For years, he has never hesitated to talk about the ideals of Xbox and, of course, Microsoft’s games. He always talked about his plans at every E3 or special event he attended. While the details of these plans were vast, it was the moon that they all swirled around: Xbox Game Pass.
Almost five years into the platform’s launch, I’m finally convinced of Phil’s vision. Although Microsoft’s withdrawal from the console war brings the PS5 to the forefront in terms of sales (it really is, Sony has a huge advantage in almost all markets outside of America), in terms of future plans, I vote for Xbox. You ask why? Let me explain.
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Xbox Game Pass is not going anywhere
It is not a coincidence that the biggest trend of recent years has been membership platforms. I checked before writing this article, everything I get quality service almost works with subscription system. You already know the classics: Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime. Adobe Creative Cloud if you are a designer. If you’re an editor, Shutterstock or its alternative is one of 35+ sites. Three meals a day if you are an office worker. You can even change your phone regularly by subscribing to Apple. In other words, Xbox Game Pass is a member of this trend, so it’s not going anywhere unless people’s usage habits change in a day.
All of Xbox’s current plans are based on this platform. We don’t have Xbox vs Playstation in our lives anymore. There are Microsoft games (PC, Xbox and mobile devices) vs Playstation. Xbox no longer has to fight on the “exclusive games front” to sell more consoles. They can fight there whenever they wants. Their acquisition of Bethesda is an example of this. Of course, Microsoft didn’t buy Bethesda to feed the Playstation library.
Microsoft has a very clear future plan for the platform, which is “Play it day one with Xbox Game Pass.” Not only Sony, but also digital game stores such as Steam and Epic Store have to compete with this plan. Because while they will try to sell the new Rainbow Six Extraction for $39.99, the game will be free to play on Xbox Game Pass from the first day. Not only Sony, but also digital game stores such as Steam and Epic Store have to compete with this plan. Because while they will try to sell the new Rainbow Six Extraction for $39.99, the game will be free to play on Xbox Game Pass from the first day. Of course, this does not mean that subscription systems have surpassed digital sales. There is still a long way to go for it. In fact, they still continue to sell physical disks, according to Phil.
Xbox exclusive games are here to stay
You used to have two reasons for owning a console. The convenience of console gaming and more enjoyment from it, of course. This is still in our pocket. But the second reason was usually exclusive games. This is still in our pocket too, but it is changing.
Sony’s decision to bring Playstation exclusive games to PC is still a huge one. If you enter Steam right now, you can see God of War, one of the biggest brands of Playstation, and Gears 5, one of the biggest brands of Xbox, in the same list. This still makes me feel very strange because both brands used to try to outdo these series. Exclusive games still exist, of course, but the access methods of the players are now completely different.
Here is the list of exclusive games that came to Xbox recently and will be released in the future: Age of Empires IV, Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, Redfall, Starfield, Stalker 2, Microsoft Flight Simulator, The Outer Worlds 2 and more. Considering that almost all of these games will be added to the Xbox Game Pass library, Xbox is still very valuable for players who love exclusives.
The Platform is accessible to all
Exclusive games, technology, forward-looking plans and investments… Of course, when we think about these and more, we can make good reasons for ourselves. Since my purpose in this article is never to gain an edge over Playstation, I am content to follow those aspects of the business. The only thing that makes Xbox Game Pass really valuable to me is that it’s accessible to everyone.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is $15 per month. In some countries, this amount is even less with local pricing. For $15 per month, you can play games on all Xbox consoles, PCs, phones and tablets. That price means anyone can get to gaming very quickly. You no longer have to pay up to $70 per game.
It is very easy to use regardless of the price. Just like Netflix, you can start downloading all games with one click after you subscribe. Considering that Cloud Gaming is also a part of this system, in a few years we will be able to play all games without the need for powerful hardware.
Well, that’s it. That’s how I think about “Xbox Game Pass is future of gaming”. If you have different thougths please let me know in the comments.