Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Could Offer A Netflix Of Gaming Service And Totally Rock If Done Right

One of the greatest appeals of Netflix is that for a monthly fee, you have nearly unlimited access to a wealth of movies and television shows, as well as some seriously entertaining original series. What if a service existed for gaming that was similar to Netflix in terms of its addictive content? Microsoft just launched Xbox Games Pass, a video game subscription service that has the potential to do just.

Xbox One owners can pay $10 USD a month in order to access over one hundred different games currently. Gamers will then need to download the games directly to their hard drive and install them on their Xbox One or Xbox 360. They will also need to still maintain an Internet connection. This mode of delivery has already caused discord among gamers, however. Some argue Microsoft’s approach makes sense since games require much more bandwidth than movies. Regardless, many would prefer to have access to offline play as well, like Netflix and YouTube Red.

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Almost everyone seems to agree, however, that Microsoft currently does not offer as much compelling original content. Many users may be attracted to the service if they love old-school games like Banjo Kazooie, however, only Halo 5 is one of the few games created in the past three years that is available. The Gears of War franchise is included in the pass, but these titles were for the Xbox 360 and earlier consoles. Gamers want a mix of oldies-but-goodies, as well as the latest and greatest and maybe a few exclusives or early access along the way.

One of the reasons Netflix has thrived is because of its original content. Shows like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and Stranger Things have become hot topics of conversations around the workplace coolers, sports bars, and cocktail parties. It is quite unlikely, however, that Microsoft will release content exclusive to Xbox Games Pass-holders. They could potentially offer early access to upcoming games, but Microsoft is not known for creating a lot of new content itself. Or could that be changing eventually?

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Microsoft may also be shooting itself in the foot by referring to the new program as a “pass”. Gaming season passes are often associated with shady financial practices and low-quality content. Not every gamer is averse to season passes and DLC’s, but in general the term “pass” has developed a rather poor connotation in the gaming world. The Xbox Games Pass is not a really “season pass”, but the terminology may affect marketing.

Microsoft's Xbox Games Pass has a ton of potential, however. $10 USD a month is a small price to pay for access to a lot of games. As long as Microsoft increases the quality and breadth of their offerings, there is little reason the service should not be able to do well. You can check out the Xbox Games Pass offering here.