Xbox Game Pass for Console, PC, and Android

I too have spent some more time with Void Bastards and Outer Wilds. For VB, I tried being a little more reckless, as I was finding it too stressful to slowly creep around from one room to the next and stress out over every enemy encounter. It was slightly more enjoyable that way, but I still had 3 deaths in 30-40 minutes. Then again, I did craft a few permanent upgrades (the zapper thing, the exploding cat thing, something else), so I guess I made some progress. But I think my next time into this I'm going to drop the difficulty. There is stuff here that appeals to me, it's just not quite clicking with me.

I'm definitely understanding Outer Wilds better now and am appreciating it more. I'm really starting to fill out a lot of stuff in my ship's log, and am generally finding it more reasonable to blast off to one of these other objects in space, exploring it, finding a few interesting things, and inevitably falling off into a black hole or accidentally landing way too hard or just running out of fuel and oxygen. The one thing I think I really need though is to sit down with this game for like 3-4 hours; instead I keep playing in 30-40 minute chunks, which I think is not ideal for the game. Still, I like it and will come back.

I'm extremely curious to see what will be announced for Game Pass during the Xbox conference on Sunday. I'm both interested to see what will be available on the service by the end of the conference Sunday and what they will announce is coming up for the rest of the year. I'll also be keeping my eye out for another 6 months/$30 deal, which they seem to roll out any time there is big news and has kept my account going for more than a year now.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

The Xbox Game Pass for PC won't be unveiled until Sunday during their E3 conference. It's supposed to have over a hundred games, and they've literally upended Microsoft's primary strategy with the Windows Store to make it happen. I'll be really curious to see what it includes and what pricing looks like.

I've been on the the Game Pass to play PC Sea of Thieves since Monday? $10 /mo but $1 for the first month. There's a big list of Game Pass games and a handful have PC compatible icons, like Sea of Thieves, a Forza, and one of the newer Gears. Is the deal changing? I assumed the list of PC compatible games was short because those games just aren't ported at all.

The PC-Xbox app/companion/Game Bar do seem to be transmogrifying into what I can only assume is going to be the UI equivalent of a dropped kaleidescope.

Yeah they seem to be making an actual PC offering for Game Pass that they will be marketing to PC players, as opposed to now where it's targeted at Xbox players, even if there are a handful of titles available for play on PC. Not clear whether the new PC offering will mean any changes for existing Game Pass members or if it's just going to be another way of marketing the same service. People are reading some comments about the PC plans as suggesting it will be a new and independent product that would be a separate subscription, which it might be, but I think the evidence for that is pretty thin at this point. There has been some reporting in the last few months about Microsoft doing work to let PCs run Xbox games natively without requiring a separate PC port, so if that is a problem they've solved you could imagine they could make anything currently available for Xbox on Game Pass available to PC players too (subject to how their licensing deals work, at least). I think Sunday will be very informative about all of this!

mrlogical wrote:

There has been some reporting in the last few months about Microsoft doing work to let PCs run Xbox games natively without requiring a separate PC port, so if that is a problem they've solved you could imagine they could make anything currently available for Xbox on Game Pass available to PC players too (subject to how their licensing deals work, at least). I think Sunday will be very informative about all of this!

I'd be excited if that ends up being the case.

Danjo Olivaw wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

The Xbox Game Pass for PC won't be unveiled until Sunday during their E3 conference. It's supposed to have over a hundred games, and they've literally upended Microsoft's primary strategy with the Windows Store to make it happen. I'll be really curious to see what it includes and what pricing looks like.

I've been on the the Game Pass to play PC Sea of Thieves since Monday? $10 /mo but $1 for the first month. There's a big list of Game Pass games and a handful have PC compatible icons, like Sea of Thieves, a Forza, and one of the newer Gears. Is the deal changing? I assumed the list of PC compatible games was short because those games just aren't ported at all.

Yes, the deal is changing, but we don't know how.

What we know at this point (i.e., what's officially announced, no speculation or rumor) is that Microsoft is rolling out a subscription called Xbox Game Pass for PC that will offer a similar service as Xbox Game Pass (for Xbox) through the Windows Store. They've said it will include over a hundred games from publishers like Bethesda, Paradox, and Sega. We know that Microsoft is changing its policies around what kinds of software can be included on the Windows Store, so XGP for PC won't be limited to what's currently on the Windows Store.

But we don't know anything about pricing, about whether it'll be a separate subscription from the existing Game Pass, about whether the two subscriptions will offer the same library, or anything like that. Their announced partners all have games in the existing subscription: Bethesda has Prey, Doom, Wolfenstein, and Fallout; Paradox has Cities Skylines; and Sega has Alien Isolation. However, none of these games are available on the existing Game Pass on PC.

So we'll just see what happens.

Anyone tried Full Metal Furies? Now that's it out on Gamepass, I figured I'd give it a go.

A whole bunch of new games on Game Pass this morning.

Edit: FYI, I also just did the Game Pass Ultimate conversion (cost is 1$). I had about a year of Gold and maybe six or eight months of Game Pass. After the conversion, my account is now paid up through March of 2021.

polq37 wrote:

I also just did the Game Pass Ultimate conversion (cost is 1$).

I don’t understand and I’m not sure what is the right question to ask. What’s Game Pass Ultimate? Or should I ask, what is an Ultimate Conversion? Sounds Catholic.

I definitely chose the wrong time to try out Microsoft's PC offerings.

Currently the MS Store has games available playable on PC marked with 'Game Pass' whether they're under the old Game Pass or the new Game Pass PC. This make determining what you may immediately install without extra purchase pretty much impossible.

If you land on a game available for Game Pass PC, but not vanilla Game Pass, there's a button to get the new Game Pass PC. Clicking this button leads to an error page.

As far as I can tell, there is no comprehensive list of what is available for either pass.

You nailed it, Microsoft. Never change. Give it a few months, I'm sure Gears 5 will only be launchable from Skype for Business or verbal Cortana request.

Edit: Also there are discrepancies between the MS store on the website and the MS store app. Void Bastards is a Game Pass game on the site, but a Game Pass PC game on the app.

Also now there's an Ultimate Game Pass? So there's three now? This borders on Destiny 2 levels of purchasing confusion.

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

I definitely chose the wrong time to try out Microsoft's PC offerings.

Currently the MS Store has games available playable on PC marked with 'Game Pass' whether they're under the old Game Pass or the new Game Pass PC. This make determining what you may immediately install without extra purchase pretty much impossible.

If you land on a game available for Game Pass PC, but not vanilla Game Pass, there's a button to get the new Game Pass PC. Clicking this button leads to an error page.

As far as I can tell, there is no comprehensive list of what is available for either pass.

You nailed it, Microsoft. Never change. Give it a few months, I'm sure Gears 5 will only be launchable from Skype for Business or verbal Cortana request.

I just signed up for Game Pass for PC and it doesn't even let me download a game that I should clearly have access to, Void Bastards. $5 well spent so far.

JeremyK wrote:

I just signed up for Game Pass for PC and it doesn't even let me download a game that I should clearly have access to, Void Bastards. $5 well spent so far.

Same. Plus when you look at the Games for PC page, it is temporarilty 80% off. But you have to log into purchase it. Once you log in the 80% discount disappears.

Add Astroneers next to Void Bastards to the list of games you have purchase but not have. Maybe there's an anti-sci-fi agenda at play here.

I'm just going to assume people found the sign up pages before this was even ready to go live or something.

I’m about halfway through What Remains of Edith Finch and I’m loving it. Like most folks, I’m dying to know where this story is going next.

RawkGWJ wrote:

I’m about halfway through What Remains of Edith Finch and I’m loving it. Like most folks, I’m dying to know where this story is going next.

I enjoyed that as well. I see what you did there....

I understand what Game Pass Ultimate is now. It’s Games With Gold and Game Pass for Xbox and PC bundled together for essentially the same combined monthly price as what GwG and GP cost currently.

You can save some money by buying the $1 conversion. What that does is convert your current GwG prepaid membership to GPU for the remainder of your current GwG subscription period. After that it will cost $15.00 per month for GPU. I’m hoping that there will be a small discount for annual subscriptions but that remains to be seen.

If you wanted to game the system and save $120.00 per year you could pre-purchase your GwG subscription for the following two years before you paid $1 for the GPU conversion. I read that the conversion is good for up to 36 months of prepaid GwG subscription. But of course that’s assuming that the future price of GPU doesn’t fall below $15 per month.

There’s also a bunch of new games that were added to GP. Here are the ones that I find interesting:

Shenmue 1 & 2
Astroneer
Moonlighter
Thimbleweed Park
SteamWorld Dig 2
Bridge Constructor Portal
Silence
Old Man’s Journey
Lichtspeer

What Rawk said. Before last night, I was prepaid on Xbox Live Gold through July of next year (thanks Bing Rewards!) and a monthly Game Pass (Xbox) subscriber. I took advantage of the $1 trial and now have Game Pass Ultimate through July 2020. Not a bad deal at all.

Not a bad deal at all is the understatement of the year. This is by far the best deal in gaming. The PC library is already pretty awesome and once I got Windows updated it worked really well. Once their first party titles start rolling onto both platforms, this is going to be incredible.

The only thing that would make it better were if all games were automatically cross-save. I know that the Play Anywhere titles are. Well, I know that We Happy Few is, as that's the only game that I have played on Xbox then tried on PC, and my save on the Xbox came over seamlessly. If I could play my games wherever I feel like and have the same saves, that would be amazing.

Agree, I'm guessing that all of their first title games will be moving forward. Hopefully this will become a thing with 3rd party titles too.

Having Game Pass made Microsoft's E3 press conference so much more fun. So cool to see cool trailer after cool trailer and then notice that the game is going to be free on Game Pass.

The $5/month for the PC game pass got me to sign up. Now I just need to figure out how to make it so I can play them on my living room TV while leaving the PC downstairs. Apparently the Steam Link doesn't get along with native Windows games without some screwing around.

Did I count 24 new games? Will definitely jump on the new State of Decay 2 DLC, and have been curious about Everspace just because I like blowing stuff up in space but got tired of Elite's grind. Think I also grabbed Astroneer and Riverbond (because cute voxels).

They have Pony Island, how can I not sign up? But seriously launch debacle aside, this could be a hell of a deal both for MS and consumers.

I wonder about the economics of Game Pass. They have to be losing money on it currently, right? Will they need massive signups to make the numbers work or will they eventually have to raise the price?

Docjoe wrote:

I wonder about the economics of Game Pass. They have to be losing money on it currently, right? Will they need massive signups to make the numbers work or will they eventually have to raise the price?

Im sure GG has done some more detailed analysis, but I suspect this is a classic economy of scale. Long term subscribers and large numbers of subscribers are key to this type of games as a service. MS is uniquely positioned for success because they can afford to take a loss or eat that so called capital investment. They have a strong base both economically and technically to be successful. Their efforts in competing with Amazon in the cloud service game gives them a good starting point. Like all things MS implementation and execution, as seen with the launch will remain challenging. They also have to put in some serious time into overhauling the interface and building things that most PC gamers take for granted with things like Steam or buy Discord.

Microsoft is very obviously going all-in on trying to be the Netflix of computer gaming. Part of this is going to lead to changing success metrics from simple sales revenue to "value to consumer as determined by subscription growth and retention".

How does this change the industry going forward? What do these metrics actually look like? What kinds of games are going to get made and funded under these new criteria?

In my household, Game Pass has been an incredible value. My kids and I have put a lot of time (and gotten a lot of value) out of games that I likely would not have purchased and would not have played if they weren't on Game Pass. There can be a disconnect between what customers think they want, what they say they want, what they pay for, and what they actually spend time with (and how valid is this as a proxy for value?). Our menu of choice in the future may increasingly be determined by factors different from the ones that we are used to.

I don't know if Microsoft has ever disclosed how the revenue mechanics work for Game Pass. Is it a Spotify model or a Netflix model? Games have been looking for a secondary revenue stream for ages beyond the initial 6 weeks or so that most games traditionally sell the bulk of their sales. Steam has helped with sales that extend the life beyond that 6 week and I would guess most look at Game Pass as a similar idea. The biggest challenge for Microsoft will be getting titles on their service.. too small a revenue share will risk publishers looking to do their own thing (Origin Premier, etc.) but too large a share and perhaps the value back to Microsoft becomes not sustainable.

Netflix acquires rights to shows for X period for a flat rate (typically.. I'm sure there are outliers or deals that are friendlier to the content owner) and Spotify pays on a per stream basis for most artists (again outliers exist for sure for the big named artists).

Microsoft's acquisition spree of studios makes sense.. they are buying up Content streams to monetize for Game Pass. I would look to Microsoft to continue to buy the mid tier developers at deals that make sense.

Gameguru I think you are right on. My assumption was that MS was planning to churn out console exclusives to compete with Sony next gen. The fact that every MS produced game presented at E3 is going to launch on GamePass makes it pretty clear they need them to produce content for their subscription service. It is the total Netflix model - start with streaming content from 3rd parties but build up your capacity to produce your own content which becomes the main draw.

I figured GG would have a cogent response.