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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Netflix for video games? Meet Xbox Game Pass service.

A promotional image for Xbox Game Pass, a monthly subscription service available to all Xbox One owners on June 1. (Photo: Microsoft)

Microsoft is rolling out a feature similar to streaming services like Netflix, only for video games.

Starting Wednesday, Microsoft will provide access to Xbox Game Pass — a monthly subscription service for $9.99 — to Xbox Live Gold members. It will roll out to any one owning an Xbox One on June 1.

The Gold membership is an annual subscription for $60 offering perks such as the ability to play video games online with other players.

The Game Pass will include access to more than 100 games on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 platforms. Games featured included Halo 5: Guardians, Fable III, NBA 2K16, and Saints Row IV.

Mike Nichols, corporate vice president of marketing at Xbox, says the plan is to update the lineup of games monthly.

"The Game Pass is really all about giving you access to this large and diverse catalog of games so you always have something to play," said Nichols during an interview.

Users can test out the experience as part of a free 14-day trial. Also, players with Xbox Game Pass can receive a 20% discount on games they purchase that are part of the program.

The service is part of a broader plan to help Microsoft offer "new ways to provide value and choices for Xbox gamers." Along with Game Pass, Xbox supports the ability for players to enjoy any Xbox 360 video games. There's also Games with Gold, where Xbox Live Gold members receive free games each month.

Sony features a similar service, PlayStation Now, where users can access hundreds of older games on their PlayStation 4 for a monthly fee.

The new service arrives as Xbox faces competition from PS4, currently the best-selling video game console this cycle. There's also Nintendo's Switch, which continues to generate buzz since launching in March. Last month, Switch was the top-selling video game device in the U.S., according to NPD Group.

Next month, during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Xbox will reveal new details about Project Scorpio, it's next console introducing native 4K resolution and support for virtual reality.

Source : USA Today
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