Microsoft is making another effort to further bond the PC and Xbox ecosystems. The Xbox Game Pass service that lets subscribers download and play an array of games is now expanding to PC. Microsoft has not given any more details about when Xbox Game Pass is coming to PC or how it will translate.
Microsoft CEO Satya Narayana Nadella announced this news in the 2019 fiscal year Q1 financial earnings call. Nadella also did not elaborate more on it besides stating the plans to expand this service to the PC. For example, he did not say if one subscription will work on both platforms. However, it isn’t likely that some Xbox One exclusive games—like Halo: Master Chief Collection—will work on PC since they aren’t natively on that platform.
Game Pass started in May 2017 for Xbox Live Gold members and the following month for everyone else and gave subscribers access to a wealth of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games to play. Games are not streamed, but downloaded, which eliminates lag. Titles do not always stay on the service forever but cycle in waves similarly to video streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu. For example, the service got Outlast this month while Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell was removed at the end of September.
There are currently just over 200 titles currently on the service from Doom (2016), Gears of War 4, Fallout 4, Rocket League, and more. It’s currently $9.99 per month and there’s a 14-day free trial for those who haven’t yet tried Game Pass.
Since Microsoft launches its first-party titles on Game Pass, a few games can attribute some of their success to the the service. State of Decay 2 had 1 million players in its first week and then went on to top the May NPD, even beating God of War. Sea of Thieves even broke a few records for Microsoft, including being its fastest selling first-party intellectual property for the current generation and best-selling Microsoft Studios first-party title on Windows 10. It’s not clear whether or not Game Pass was counted in those as actual sales, but it undoubtedly got those games into the hands of more players.