Let’s face it, gaming is an expensive hobby. Not only do you need to spend Rs 50,000 (if you can find it at retail) for the PS5 (review) or Xbox Series X(₹ 49990 at amazon) (review), but each new AAA game at launch costs roughly Rs 4000 to Rs 6000 which is quite a lot. While most gamers will wait for a sale or price drop to get their hands on their favourite game, the urge to play a new game at launch is quite palpable especially if it has been reviewed really well.
This is where a service like Game Pass from Microsoft really helps soften the blow and reduces the point of entry to enjoy a great catalogue of games. Xbox Game Pass starts at Rs 489 per month for the consoles or PC and the combination of the two along with access to Games with Gold and EA Play is priced at Rs 699. This is of course, before tax. As of writing this story, new members get access to 8 months of service for the price of one which is incredible value getting you addicted to the service immediately. You can learn more about the features of Game Pass here.
According to a report by The Loadout“Xbox Game Pass added more than $6,300 of games in 2021” which translates to games worth more than Rs 4,70,000. Let’s say that again, games worth more than four lakh seventy thousand rupees.
This includes AAA games from Microsoft themselves such as Halo Infinite, Psychonauts 2, The Ascent and Forza Horizon (review). It also includes a slew of third party games available on the service like Scarlet Nexus, The Gunk, Mortal Kombat 11 (review), Serious Sam 4, A Plague Tale Innocence, Back 4 Blood, Outriders (review), Control (review), and many many more.
According to the report, “The month which offered the most value was March 2021, where almost two dozen Bethesda games were added to the service after Microsoft acquired the publisher and its developers. The total value of March’s Game Pass additions is $964.67” (More than Rs 70,000).
The report goes on to say, “Speaking of Bethesda, with 30 games added from the publisher this year, the total of all of them came to $604.71 (slightly over Rs 45,000), just under 10% of the value of 2021’s entire additions to the library”.
Xbox Game Pass is considered the Netflix of Games
Just like NetflixMicrosoft’s own “originals” or first-party games will be available on Game Pass for a very long time while the rest of the catalogue keeps getting refreshed based on deals with developers and publishers. It is also a great motivation for someone to try out a game they would have otherwise ignored simply because they weren’t sure if they’d like it or not. Personally, I have enjoyed playing games like Scarlet Nexus, The Gunk, Mind Scanners, Back 4 Blood and revisiting classics like the Gears Franchise and the Dead Space trilogy, games I would have otherwise not purchased or missed out on for the one obvious reason – games are expensive.
If information circulating the internet is to be believed, then PlayStation is working on its own competitive version of Game Pass alternative and while Sony may not put God of War Ragnarok on the service on launch day, having a catalogue of games to play on day one on your PS5 makes gaming a more financially viable process. Sony has tested the waters of offering a bunch of games as a part of your subscription called PlayStation Collection. You get access to a bunch of games when you subscribe to PS Plus on a PS5 and you can learn more about PlayStation Collection here.
Whatever the case may be, the fact that Xbox has added games worth lakhs in a single year to its service is not only a testament to the success of the service but also the fact that people end up experiencing more games than they otherwise would expanding their horizon and exposing them to new adventures they never knew they’d enjoy. Not to mention help gamers create an even larger pile of shame, also called a backlog!