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Microsoft announced today their plans for a new monthly subscription-based service, the Xbox Game Pass. For a single payment of $9.99 a month, users will have access to over 100 Xbox One and backwards-compatible Xbox 360 titles.
— Xbox (@Xbox) February 28, 2017
Xbox Game Pass will not be a streaming-based service, like PlayStation Now; rather, pass holders will be able to fully download to their consoles any games currently in the Xbox Game Pass catalog, and then play them either online or offline without worrying about connectivity. They will then be able to play that game freely for as long as it remains in the library of available games, which will be updated monthly with a number of new titles being added, and some old ones being removed. If the player ever wants to permanently own one of these games, they can buy it at a 20% discount, as well as get 10% off all related add-ons and consumables for that game, so long as it’s part of the available library at the time of purchase.
There will be no limit to how many of the available games a single user can have downloaded to their device at one time, aside from raw storage space. Some specific titles promised to come with the Xbox Game Pass at launch are Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16, and SoulCalibur II.
A limited version of the service begins testing today with select members of the Xbox Insider Program. Xbox Live Gold members will also get a preview window of exclusive access to the service prior to launch.
The Xbox Game Pass is set to be available later this spring, with no set date yet announced.