During the last couple of years, PC gaming space has become a lot more competitive. With new entrants like Epic Games Store and Origin, we’re starting to see a shift in the tide. Gone are the days when Steam had the monopolistic control over every single game that came out. While Steam is still the most dominant platform to buy and play games, it is gradually losing its top spot. Over the past few months, some massive games like Metro Exodus and Borderlands 3 have signed exclusivity deals with Epic Games really showing the shift in the force. This is also due to the fact that Steam has started to feel rather dated, stagnant and still takes a massive share from developers.
If the current atmosphere wasn’t competitive enough, it is about to get cranked up to eleven. Another challenger approaches in the form of Xbox Game Pass. Game Pass is a games subscription service by Microsoft and has been the company’s main focus for quite a while now. Xbox Game Pass was first introduced a couple of years ago for the Xbox One but it really took off when Microsoft announced that every first-party Xbox game will be coming to Xbox Game Pass on its release date. The subscription service can be described as Netflix for games but instead of streaming a game, you can download it and play it even when you’re not online. Game Pass has already amassed millions of users thanks to its rich library of games and it looks like the number is about to grow a lot more.
Xbox Game Pass for Windows
Microsoft has announced that Xbox Game Pass is finally coming to Windows with over 100 games from more than 75 developers. You could already play some Xbox titles on PC using the Xbox play Anywhere feature but this is a completely different thing. The Xbox Game Pass for Windows has been designed from the ground up and will have most of the other third-party Game Pass games as well. This move has been in the works for quite a while as the Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has stated multiple times that he wishes to improve the gaming experience on Windows. The Windows games store has been a mess for quite some time and Microsoft is actively trying to fix that as well. This is also due to the fact that with every passing console generation, the consoles are slowly becoming more and more like PCs.
Microsoft also does not want to isolate a massive audience. The corporate giant owns Windows, the biggest Operating System on the planet, so a pre-installed games store on it being good would be massive for the company. With the inclusion of Game Pass also in the mix, Microsoft could be looking at some pretty sweet gains in the coming months. The company also recently announced that Halo: Master Chief Collection would be making its way to PC. This was a clear statement by Microsoft that it intends to dive deeper into the PC market.
Two years ago, we launched Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One, and since then we’ve seen how valuable a curated library of high-quality games can be for players and game developers alike,” Said Phil Spencer in a blog post. “We researched whether a similar opportunity exists for PC players and PC game developers, and we believe that it does. We also considered the importance of bringing something new and additive to the PC gaming ecosystem, and we believe that we can. So, we designed a service specifically for the needs of PC gamers and PC game developers. It’s called Xbox Game Pass, just like the original, but it’s a new experience that we are building together with the PC community.”
Games and Release Date
The exact details of which games will be making their way to the Xbox Game Pass for PC are still unknown. However, we do know that many big names are on board for the service like Sega, Deep Silver, Bethesda and Paradox. We could expect to see some big names from these developers for the Xbox Game Pass. Other than that, many of the 3rd party games that are already on Game Pass will also probably make their way to the PC variant of the service. The perks of Game Pass will also remain the same on Windows, with players being able to play all Xbox studios games on release date. Players would also be able to buy the games featured on Game Pass for a 20% discounted price.
We do not know about the pricing either. However, we do know that Game Pass on Xbox one costs $10 per month right now. The pricing of the PC variant is expected to be similar as well. We can expect to know more about everything that Game Pass has to offer on Windows at E3 during Microsoft’s press conference. Microsoft is also readying up to unveil the next-gen Xbox at E3. You can find out everything we know about the new Xbox so far right here.
Can Xbox Game Pass succeed on PC?
The current climate of PC gaming is extremely competitive with new entrants trying to make their mark. However, we’ve never seen anything like Xbox Game Pass executed on PC at this scale. A company as big as Microsoft will obviously have a lot of resources and expertise at hand when it comes to marketing and implementing the new subscription service on PC. If Microsoft manages to lure some big names on to the service and make it compelling for a normal PC gamer, it could potentially disrupt the PC gaming market and open up a whole new way of playing games on Windows.
Microsoft has already succeeded at making Game Pass successful on the Xbox One so there is no reason why it cannot do the same on PC as well. Yes, the average PC gamer is a lot more different as compared to a console player but that’s where decades of experience comes in. Microsoft already owns Windows that most gamers use. If it manages to integrate Xbox Game Pass seamlessly into the OS and make it easy to access, the subscription service could really take off. Many others have tried before and failed but if I had to put my bets on someone pulling it off, it would be Microsoft.