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Microsoft dropped a bomb this morning. Game Pass (the Xbox subscription service) will get Microsoft Studios exclusive games the same day they launch globally. So why is this a great deal for Xbox gamers?

Game Pass is a $10/month service. Once you are subscribed you can download and play any of the games in its library. Of course if you unsubscribe you lose access to them. These aren’t streaming games like Playstation Now, you download the games and play them normally. There are currently 164 titles in the program though admittedly a lot of them are old Xbox 360 titles that play on Xbox via Backwards Compatibility, but there are some solid titles in the library too. Stuff like Gears of War 4 and Halo Wars 2.

It already seems like a good deal and something I’d be signed up for if I didn’t have such a huge backlog, but today’s news changes that. Microsoft says that Microsoft Studios exclusives will come to Game Pass on the day of release. Specifically they name-dropped Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3 and State of Decay 2 and in general terms say that all new Halo, Forza and Gears games will be handled the same way.

So say you’re on the fence when it comes to Sea of Thieves. You can spend $10 for a month of Game Pass and play it as much as you want (plus play the other 164 games in the service). If you decide you like it, you can then buy it for $60 (which admittedly means you’re paying $70 for the game instead of $60), or keep spending $10/month until you’re done with it. If you’re anything like me, not a lot of games hold your attention for more than 6 months. And again, you’ll have access to the entire Game Pass library, not just Sea of Thieves.

I was planning on getting the 3 titles mentioned, and together they would have cost me $180. Instead I can get a year and a half of Game Pass (on a month by month basis…there is no contract or anything as far as I know).

It seems crazy on Microsoft’s part, but hey I’ll take it. I know some people just need to own things, and for those people Game Pass won’t ever be of interest. For those of us who tend to play a game then never go back to it, it seems like a solid deal now that we KNOW some of the games that will be hitting the service.



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