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A subscription-based gaming platform seemed like a pipe dream until Microsoft launched theirs in 2017. Concerns about developer payout, price distribution, and the overall games catalogue were prevalent at the time, but they eventually subsided as more people gained access to it.
In its early stages, the feature was only available to Xbox console owners, offering backwards compatibility for select 360 titles in addition to its vast library of games. Since then, the company's business model has thrived, expanding to PC, bringing first-party titles on launch day, and collaborating with brands to offer a 30-day free trial.
What is Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass is a monthly video game subscription service that provides members with a set number of titles at a fixed price. Over 100 games, both first-party and indie, are available for download and play in the catalogue. The feature is currently available on the Xbox One and Series X|S consoles, as well as on Windows PC through Microsoft's Xbox app.
There is also an Android version, which uses cloud-based technology to stream games directly to users' handsets. However, because Apple's store policies effectively prohibit applications that run third-party stores, the service must be accessed through a web browser on iOS and Chromebook.
Microsoft adds all of its first-party titles to Game Pass on the first day, regardless of their scope. Big games like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 were made available for free to subscribers. It functions similarly to a Netflix membership in that you receive unlimited content as long as you pay for the service. Every month, a new set of third-party titles is added to the platform, while some older ones are removed.
Activision Blizzard is currently being acquired by the company for $68.7 billion. As a result, titles such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Call of Duty may be added to the library. Many people were worried that Microsoft would make Call of Duty an Xbox-exclusive title, but that is not the case, according to Phil Spencer's statement. Games that are currently available on the PlayStation ecosystem will remain available.
For online, live-service games like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay, and Minecraft, Microsoft also provides regular updates and post-launch support. Any DLC (downloadable content) is included in your one-time subscription fee, and you receive substantial discounts on any titles you wish to purchase.
Xbox Game Pass subscriptions
Xbox Game Pass is divided into three sections: Console, PC, and Ultimate. Keeping track of all the benefits and features can be difficult, so we've broken them down for your convenience.
Console Xbox Game Pass
Owners of the Xbox One or Series X|S consoles can pay Rs 489 per month for instant access to over 100 high-quality games. Users can sign up for a membership on their homepage and receive benefits such as same-day release, new additions every month, and exclusive discounts on all purchases made in the store.
The library also includes a number of classic Bethesda games, such as Fallout and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which were added when Microsoft purchased the studio in 2020. As with a digital purchase, the games are downloaded and installed directly onto your system.
Microsoft is currently running an exclusive sale for Indian gamers in which you can get an additional 7 months of Xbox Game Pass for free by paying for a month. The offer is valid on all versions and is subject to changes made by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) in terms of credit and debit card transactions.
Game Pass for PC
Previously known as 'Xbox Game Pass,' this new naming scheme was unveiled last year during The Game Awards to avoid any confusion between the plans. PC Game Pass is the same price as its console counterpart, but it comes with an added bonus – EA Play.
Members can play AAA titles like Battlefield and FIFA for free, and the plan even allows you to test out the latest releases for a limited time of 10 hours. EA Play costs Rs 315 if purchased separately through Steam or Origin, making Game Pass a worthwhile investment. On a Windows 10 or higher system, you can access the service through the Microsoft Store or the included Xbox app.
Ultimate Xbox Game Pass
If you have both a computer and an Xbox system, the Game Pass Ultimate plan is a good value. For Rs 699 per month, you get everything included in the Console and PC Game Pass packages, as well as Xbox Live Gold.
A separate subscription is required to play online multiplayer on a console. On PlayStation, you have PS Plus, whereas on Xbox Live, you have Xbox Live. It is priced at Rs 489 on the surface, but if you have a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you can get it for free.
Furthermore, the plan includes cloud-based gaming support, allowing users to stream and run high-end games on lower-spec systems. A beta version for Android is now available, allowing you to play from a pool of selected games on the platform. As previously stated, iOS users will have to use a web browser to access it.
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