Arguably the most spoken words at Xbox’s E3 press conference were “on Xbox Game Pass”. As Microsoft doubled-down, well actually quadrupled-down, on its gaming subscription service. If the future of games distribution is subscription then Microsoft is so far ahead it’s genius, or terrifying, depending on where you stand.
At its E3 press conference today Microsoft announced no less than 34 titles for its service, with the majority, by our count, launching in the coming months.
Those titles are too many to mention here, but highlights include Ninja Theory’s Bleeding Edge, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Battletoads, Minecraft Dungeons and Psychonauts 2 among 14 titles from Microsoft Game Studios – as the acquisition of Double Fine Studios was announced.
Then there’s a new Blair Witch game, from Polish developer Bloober Team, turn-based strategy game Wasteland 3 and oddball deer game Way to the Woods. Beyond that there’s a further array of top-notch indie talent, with numerous ID@Xbox titles coming to Game Pass as well.
Plus, as of today, subscribers will also be able to play: Metro Exodus, Hollow Knight, Batman Arkham Collection and Borderlands Handsome Collection.
After the announcement of Xbox Game Pass for PC earlier in the week, Microsoft has a potentially much larger addressable audience for Game Pass, which should allow it to invest even more in content.
With that in mind it announced the full launch of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The pass includes Xbox Game Pass for both console and PC, plus Xbox Live Gold, all for $15.
The PC side of things is off to a good start too, with Imperator Rome, Football Manager 2019 and Halo Master Chief Collection (for the first time on PC) coming with the pass as it launches today. With a very shiny new version of Microsoft Flight Simulator plus Age of Empires II – Definitive Edition coming soon.
In whatever flavour the pass is growing an enviable catalogue of content for anyone whose tastes a little wider than just ploughing endless hours into Fortnite, Minecraft or whatever’s the big, hot new thing.