Microsoft announced that it will offer a new online service, dubbed Xbox Game Pass, in Spring 2017.
Xbox Game Pass will give players access to 100’s of Xbox 360 and Xbox One games for a monthly fee of $9.99. These games will be downloaded directly to your Xbox One hard drive, and will not be streamed. Furthermore, if there are any additional add-ons for the game you are playing, the additional content will be offered via a discounted price for Xbox Game Pass holders.
Participating developers and publishers include K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK CORPORATION, THQ Nordic GmbH, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and of course Microsoft Studios. As far as specific titles, only 4 games have been confirmed for the service; Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16 and SoulCalibur II.
Before Xbox Game Pass rolls out to the broader community later this spring, testing will start with select members of the Xbox Insider Program in the Alpha Preview ring starting today with a very limited number of titles. Later Xbox Live Gold members will also be receiving exclusive access to Xbox Game Pass prior to the program launching to the broader community. Microsoft will be providing more details closer to the services launch.
If you are curious to see how services like this work, look no further than EA/Origin Access for the Xbox One and PC. That service currently offers a small handful of EA titles for subscribers to download and play at their connivence, with the added bonus of getting access to some titles early. In March, EA Access members will get a 10-hour trail of Mass Effect: Andromeda 5 days before the game releases. There is no indication that Xbox Game Pass will include a similar feature, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like this announced for Microsoft developed titles.