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Gorge on Xbox games with the Xbox Game Pass

June 2nd, 2017 | by Yap Hui Bin
Gorge on Xbox games with the Xbox Game Pass
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Mad Max is one of the titles available on Microsoft’s new buffet-style Xbox game offer. SCREENSHOT: Microsoft

Fancy a gaming buffet? How does S$14.90 a month for all-you-can-play Xbox One and backward-compatible Xbox 360 titles sound? Yup, that’s the offer from a subscription-based Xbox Game Pass from Microsoft that might satisfy your voracious gaming appetite.

If you love sampling all kinds of games on your Xbox One, or are still hanging on to your old Xbox 360 for the old games that you still love, the Xbox Game Pass might just be the thing for you.

For gamers who don’t play multiplayer games online and who don’t have an Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can breathe easy as the Xbox Game pass does not require an Xbox Live Gold subscription as a prerequisite.

What’s on the menu?
The Xbox Game Pass offers access to more than 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 games every month, and new games may added or removed from the catalogue each month.

Right now, some of the titles on the Xbox Game Pass catalogue that whet my appetite include:

  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Mad Max
  • Resident Evil 0

And for nostalgia’s sake, some Xbox 360 backward compatible titles:

  • Gears of War 1-3
  • Soul Calibur
  • Bioshock 1, 2 and Infinite

Not quite your cup of tea? Check out the full list of games currently available on the Xbox Game Pass catalog here.

For completist gamers, one benefit of Xbox Game Pass is that you can try before you buy your next big obsession there. Also, if you suffer from dicey Internet connectivity, you won’t be affected as the games will be downloaded and can be played offline for 30 days. Just wait for them to download on a good day and you’re set!

Xbox Game Pass

What’s missing?
My gripe is that not all game publishers are onboard with the programme – most noticeably Electronic Arts (EA). EA and Xbox have a separate programme called EA Access for EA games – see the titles here.

So if you like EA Sports, Mass Effect, Battlefield, Fight Night or Need for Speed titles more than others, bear in mind these are not featured in the Xbox Game Pass catalogue.

Warning: Possible Withdrawal Symptoms
One caveat is that the games can be removed from the Xbox Game Pass catalog, which might be an issue if you are addicted or close to getting a major achievement and then the game is suddenly taken from you the following month.

If you like a certain game that much, you’ll be happy to hear that another perk offered by Xbox Game Pass is a 20 per cent discount on Xbox One game purchases and a 10 per cent discount on all related add-ons for base games that are currently in the catalogue.

Sadly, Xbox 360 games do not qualify for discounts, although these might already be cheaper due to age, in any case.

Show me the money
The big question is, should you sign up for it? The Xbox Game pass subscription costs S$14.90 a month. A year’s subscription will set you back by S$178.80.

By comparison, a newly released Xbox One title, like Injustice 2, costs $59.99. If you can forgo getting three new games a year, that will justify a yearly subscription of Xbox Game Pass.

Of course, the 20 per cent discount that comes with the Xbox Game Pass might justify your purchase of the games that you cannot live without anyway.

Not sure if you should sign up? You can try out the Xbox Game Pass for 14 days for free – check out more details here.

TL;DR
So the Microsoft offer makes sense if you are a quick gamer with a short attention span, or someone who loves to try out many games and are faithful to none.

However, if you are a faithful gamer who plays games right to the end, who strives to complete every single achievement and takes longer than a month to complete a game, you might be better off saving up for a full title with plenty of replayability.

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