Thursday, May 25, 2017

News:: So, is Xbox Game Pass the Netflix of video games?

For years now, video game entrepreneurs have tried to create something that is the "Netflix for video games." In June 2010, OnLive launched and aimed to remove the barrier of needing a high-end PC to play many PC games. In January 2014, Sony tried PlayStation Now, a Netflix-like subscription model for PlayStation titles. In August 2014, EA tried something similar to Sony in creating a library of its older games for a service called EA Access.

All of them failed to some degree, at least in their pursuits to be like Netflix. OnLive never really caught on, mostly because streaming technology wasn't yet good enough to simulate the local experience. PlayStation Now is still around, but crucially still hasn't added PlayStation 4 games to its offerings. This combined with the fact that it's also a streaming service means that it's still not ideal; Netflix streams video, but this model adapted to video games is going to need local downloads. EA Access has gotten the closest but is hamstrung because it only has games from a single publisher.

There's a new King of the Closest. Xbox Game Pass is nearest the spirit of "Netflix for video games" but it's still not there in a way that makes me think nothing will ever get there because of a fundamental difference between how we consume video and video games.

Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft's newest games service that has 100+ available titles from both Xbox 360 and Xbox One. (By my count, there are 112 right now, but some games might be added or subtracted each month.) The service costs $10 per month / $120 per year to long-term rent all of these titles. You can download all of them onto your Xbox One and play them whenever as long as you're still a subscriber. If your subscription lapses, you lose the access to the games but not your progress from playing.

So, is Xbox Game Pass the Netflix of video games? screenshot


via destructoid