Xbox Pulls a Netflix, Launches Monthly Downloadable Game Pass Service

Initial offerings include Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, and more.

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Remember Gametap? Sure you do. It was the Netflix of games back before Netflix and Gamefly were a thing. You’d stream games over the internet to your PC, and while many of the offerings were classic retro vintage video games, it was still a neat, novel concept. Microsoft’s working on reviving the idea with their “Xbox Game Pass,” which will let you download and play a selection of games for $9.99 a month.

It’s set to launch in Spring, and will initially feature “over 100 games,” according to Xbox’s blog post on the release. A tiny sampling of titles revealed in the post includes Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16 and SoulCalibur II. You don’t get to “keep” the games per se, rather you end up playing it for the month, and after that, a new crop of games cycles in, a bit like how Netflix is constantly cycling through their content. It’s unclear whether all the games in a given cycle will fall off after a month, so there could very well be some overlap.

Either way, if you did want to keep the game, you can purchase it directly at a 20% discount and have it “unlocked” for you. Doesn’t sound like a bad way to sample full versions of games before making a solid plunge, eh?

Honestly, $9.99 seems like a really solid price for a big library of games. I have a difficult time getting through a game every month myself (because being an adult is crap), but if I had even a little bit more time, I’d be all over this deal.

(via Polygon, image via 343 Industries/screengrab)

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.