Xbox Game Pass Coming to PC
Microsoft has just announced plans to bring its Xbox Game Pass subscription service to computers.The Xbox Game Pass is currently $9.99 / £7.99 and is a monthly subscription service that gives Xbox gamers access to more than 100 titles to play. When a user selects a game they want to play it is downloaded to the console.
The service gives access to Microsoft's first-party titles on the same day they're released for regular sale.
Sony's rival PlayStation Now service allows downloads of some games and streaming of others on the PlayStation 4 console, while PlayStation Now on PC only allows you to stream.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, announced the platform addition as part of a financial year 2019 earnings call. However, he didn't detail exactly when the launch would happen. Additionally, Nadella didn't explain how the PC counterpart would compare to the Xbox version.
However, it could be a seamless transition. For a while, Microsoft has been pushing its Play Anywhere initiative. This is where games are developed to be played across both PC and Xbox. A game purchased by a user for Xbox, under this scheme, is then playable on their PC.
Currently, Play Anywhere titles are included in the Xbox Game Pass. However, not all Xbox Game Pass titles have the Play Anywhere feature. The likely next step for Microsoft is getting Xbox Games Pass ready for the PC.
Only a few weeks ago Microsoft announced Project xCloud. This service, planned for 2019, will offer users game streaming to devices over the internet. The company claims that this should come to PC, Xbox and smartphones and can be used with touchscreen controls or with an Xbox Game Pad.
Microsoft are clearly trying to pivot the Xbox from hardware to a service. The processing of computing and sending so much data would require huge numbers of servers and Microsoft's huge Azure business means the company is in a good place to offer large scale game streaming as they already have the infrastructure in place.
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