Xbox Game Pass continues to grow in popularity. Xbox Game Pass has added a number of EA titles to the program during the last year. It has also introduced a slew of third-party titles, ranging from small experimental indie games to big-budget AAA blockbusters. Microsoft has added the option to stream Xbox Game Pass titles to Android devices from the cloud.
As we approach 2022, I thought I’d take a fresh look back at the previous few years and how the service has evolved and matured. Here are several opinions on Xbox Game Pass in 2022, as well as whether it is worth your time and money (spoilers: it is.)
So, what exactly is Xbox Game Pass 2022?
For those unfamiliar, Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s all-you-can-eat video game subscription service, similar to Netflix. As of this writing, the service is available on Xbox One consoles, Xbox Series X and S consoles, PCs, and Android devices, and it has since expanded to the web, allowing access to iOS devices, Chromebooks, and a variety of other platforms.
The “Xbox Game Pass” allows you access to a wide library of games on your Xbox system and comes in three varieties. On your Windows PC, “Xbox Game Pass for PC” allows you access to a wide library of titles. Finally, “Xbox Game Pass Ultimate” grants you access to all Xbox console games, Windows PC games, and a selection of cloud-based games for PC, Android, and contemporary web-enabled devices. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes Xbox Live Gold, which is required for Xbox console multiplayer gaming.
Each tier grants immediate access to practically all of Microsoft’s own first-party games, which has exploded in recent years as a result of the company’s acquisition of ZeniMax and all of its subsidiary studios. Xbox Game Pass now includes Bethesda games like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls, id Software games like DOOM, and Machine Games’ Wolfenstein, in addition to Microsoft’s internal studio titles like Halo, Forza, and others. Microsoft has also struck an agreement with Electronic Arts for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which will include dozens of legendary games from EA’s back catalog, such as Dead Space, Mass Effect, and others. If Microsoft’s takeover bid is successful, Activision Blizzard games such as Call of Duty and Diablo may be added to the service in the future.
Xbox Game Pass is $9.99 for consoles and $9.99 for PCs, with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate being $14.99. Instead of buying Xbox Live Gold, Game Pass, and PC Game Pass separately, Game Pass Ultimate is clearly the best bargain if you want to utilize all three services across multiple devices. For individuals who haven’t yet changed their Xbox Live Gold long-term memberships to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Microsoft provides an introductory deal.
When you subscribe to Xbox Game Pass, the linked account has immediate access to all of the titles on the full Xbox Game Pass games list, as if they were licenses owned by that account. On Xbox, simply go to the Xbox Game Pass section and look for the games in your library. Xbox Game Pass is available on PC via the Xbox app for Windows 10. You can use the Xbox app on PC or the Xbox app on Android to access Xbox Game Pass in the cloud. Because Apple’s anti-competitive store restrictions effectively ban Xbox Game Pass cloud on iOS and Chromebooks, you can utilize the Game Pass website.
When you’re subscribed, the hooked-up account will get rapid entry to the entire video games within the complete Xbox Game Pass games list and the Xbox Game Pass for PC games list, as if they had been licenses that account owned. On Xbox, you’ll be able to merely discover the video games in your library underneath the Xbox Sport Move part. On PC, Xbox Sport Move exists via the brand new Xbox app for Windows 10. To entry Xbox Sport Move within the cloud, you’ll be able to seize the app on Android or use the Xbox app on PC. For iOS and Chromebooks, you should utilize the website xbox.com/play since Apple’s anti-competitive retailer insurance policies successfully ban Xbox Sport Move to the cloud.
Now that you simply are in control let’s dive into what makes Xbox Sport Move nice (and, in some methods, not so lovely).
Xbox Sport Move 2021 overview: What’s nice
The first reason is self-explanatory: games. Game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game Unsurprisingly, Xbox Game Pass is chock-full of video games of all shapes and sizes, types and genres, and budgets large and little for all types of consumers.
Microsoft adds all of its games to Xbox Game Pass on a day-by-day basis, including their most anticipated releases such as Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5. This demonstrates a strong commitment to the platform, comparable to how Netflix and Disney+ have built up their services with exclusive “original” material.
Many of the games Microsoft creates for Xbox Game Pass receive regular upgrades. Sea of Thieves, State of Decay, Minecraft Dungeons, and other games are receiving a lot of post-release attention. Given that keeping people engaged in your games will keep them engaged with your subscription service, you have to question how much Xbox Game Pass is funding these efforts. However, Microsoft has also put a lot of money into lesser genres and unique indie games, such as Death’s Door and Age of Empires IV, which are sometimes disregarded in the RTS genre. Xbox Game Pass offers an incredible amount of choice.
The top Xbox Game Pass games include titles from major third-party publishers in addition to Microsoft’s own enormous library of games. Sega’s Football Manager and Paradox’s Crusader Kings III are both available for PC. We have a large library of EA classics on console, including Mass Effect and Dead Space. Games like Streets of Rage 4 and Hades can be played on mobile devices without the use of a controller. Regardless of method, choice, or attention level, there’s literally something for everyone here. The sheer amount of content and variety available through Xbox Game Pass cannot be overstated.
When it comes to video games, I’m in a unique situation. I can usually invoice them through Windows Central if I don’t obtain them for review purposes. But I haven’t been at this job long enough to recall working long hours at a minimal wage job and having to justify spending £50 on games here and there. Buying games has always been a careful process for me throughout my life. How long will I be able to enjoy myself? What is the replay value of this game? What is the resale value of the property? and so forth.
I recall being informed as a kid that I’d have to use up both my Christmas and birthday presents in order to get a copy of Majora’s Mask for the N64 because it was strangely £70 at the time. It would have been a blessing if I had had Xbox Game Pass when I was a kid. It’s a liberating experience to be able to graze and simply explore games without fear of spending money. For playing Xbox Game Pass titles, Microsoft rewards you with Microsoft Rewards Points, which you can then use to acquire free Xbox Game Pass months. Xbox Game Pass is unrivaled in terms of raw enjoyment hours-per-cost value.
Some creators have expressed worries about the usefulness of Game Pass inclusion for them, yet research suggests that in some situations, Game Pass inclusion actually benefits rather than hurts retail sales. Despite being included in PC Game Pass, Sea of Thieves remains a top seller on Steam. The virality of access alone could be a huge differentiator here, especially in multiplayer games.
There have been occasions when I’ve decided to try a game on the spur of the moment and discovered something new to enjoy. For me, Star Renegades, along with Hades and Monster Train, and a variety of other independent games, is one such example. In the end, Xbox Game Pass’s accessibility is crucial. To that purpose, Microsoft built in the ability to stream Game Pass titles to any device, regardless of location (providing you have a semi-decent internet connection). Many of these games have touch controls as well. And, if you have a good internet connection, you can find new games anywhere, at any time.
Xbox Game Pass has made me fall in love with not only new games, but also new studios, to the point that I want to follow their work and future projects. Game Pass isn’t just about gaming; it’s also about fandom, which is an area of the platform that I believe Microsoft could enhance in some ways for developers. Indeed, there are a few ways I’d want to see Xbox Game Pass, which is already excellent, improved.
Xbox Sport Move 2021 overview: What’s not so nice
Xbox Game Pass features a number of quirks that make it difficult to use in several ways. They range in severity from minor annoyances to more serious issues, but none of them seem to be deal-breakers. Furthermore, this is just a small sample of what I believe Microsoft could do to better the platform.
The lack of family access is the most common complaint I hear from parents on social media. If you have a single shared Xbox, Xbox Game Pass is available to all profiles on that console. If you have more than one Xbox system and a large family, you’ll need multiple Xbox Game Pass memberships to keep everyone online at the same time. This is an Xbox Game Pass flaw that appears to have been ignored when the service was created.
Both Netflix and Disney+ offer multiple logins across numerous devices, as well as simultaneous streams at various price levels. Microsoft should, at the very least, consider offering a higher-priced tier for multi-user license for families, in my opinion.
Another source of annoyance for me is Xbox Cloud Gaming, or Project xCloud, which is available on Android (and iOS and PC via the web). Microsoft was one of the earliest and most well-known corporations to have a cloud gaming option in their service. Sony offers PlayStation Now, but it doesn’t always have its own titles available. Google Stadia is arguably dying down, while Amazon Luna is only getting started.
Microsoft should create an Android-based handheld that is specifically intended for Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Due to Apple’s restrictive anti-competitive store restrictions, users who use iOS devices such as iPads or iPhones are currently unable to access Xbox Game Pass game streaming natively. Still, that isn’t entirely Microsoft’s problem, and while the web app is generally good, it isn’t perfect. However, Xbox Game Pass has its drawbacks on Android as well.
For the most part, playing console games on a smartphone is a chore. The user interface, camera distance, font sizes, and controls are all designed for a huge screen and rarely transition well to even the most powerful smartphones. Even while we have a lot of good options in our top mobile clips for Xbox Cloud Gaming, and there are a lot of amazing tablets that work well with Xbox games, the usability isn’t exactly ergonomic. Plastic clamps and controllers are uneven, fussy, and frequently made inexpensively. Bluetooth introduces undesired latency. Many third-party controllers also perform poorly when compared to the official best Xbox controller options available.
With the Nintendo Switch’s meteoric rise in popularity, we’ve argued that Microsoft should release an Android-based handheld intended just for Xbox Cloud Gaming. It has yet to manifest. However, even if you ignore the extra latency, Xbox Cloud Gaming on phones remains a less-than-pleasant experience until then. Hades and Minecraft are the only two titles on Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming that include unique UI overlay touch controls. Many of the others, such as Streets of Rage 4, use standard iconography with unique controls. Others rely on basic gamepad controls, which are frequently ineffective. The interface in Pillars of Eternity is already complicated on Xbox. It gets unnecessarily unpleasant to play when half of the UI is hidden behind touch controllers.
Other aspects of Xbox Game Pass that are a little messed up have to do with the Xbox platform as a whole, not with Xbox Game Pass specifically. There are a number of apparent ways PC Game Pass may be enhanced, such as aligning the functionality more closely with Steam. Microsoft hasn’t updated the Xbox accomplishment system in years and hasn’t included any new features or upgrades. Hundreds of games have flooded the platform with deliberately easy accomplishments in an attempt to persuade users to play, undermining the system. There’s no way to keep track of unusual and tough milestones in titles you’ve achieved through Xbox Game Pass.
There’s also no easy method to follow or interact with a single developer via PC Game Pass. Developers can use their game listings sites on Steam to post updates and interact with the community. You can see all of a developer’s games by clicking on their name, but that’s about it.
There are a couple of other small gripes. Although Microsoft has provided the possibility to activate Xbox Game Pass PC games for modification via the Xbox app, it does not have a modding platform that even comes close to the Steam Workshop on PC. It would be great to see Microsoft directly promote the modding community in the Xbox Game Pass PC program, as well as improvements to some of the social aspects, which, to be honest, pale in comparison to Discord in terms of speed and features.
In any case, Xbox Game Pass is really about the games rather than the other features. And in this regard, Xbox Game Pass is now unrivaled.
Xbox Sport Move 2021 overview: Is it value it?
Even the most ardent Xbox and Microsoft detractors would have a hard time finding a reason to detest this service. You get blanket access to all Xbox Game Studios games, all ZeniMax Media games, a ton of classic EA games, and several additional third-party games for a maximum of $15 per month, no questions asked.
It’s excellent for:
- Saving money on games from Microsoft and ZeniMax
- Frequently discovering new games
- Android, computers, and the web are all used to stream games to mobile devices.
What it isn’t good for:
- Those who still appreciate collecting physical games will be disappointed.
- In large families, the lack of a family plan can drive up prices.
- In comparison to other services and platforms, the community features are lacking.
- The usability and ergonomics of Xbox Cloud Gaming are in desperate need of improvement.
- As a platform, PC Game Pass is undercooked.
Xbox Game Pass is just heavenly for everyone who wants to save money while gaming, for those who simply want all-you-can-eat adventure and discovery, and for those who want to take their games with them on the road.
There are still certain features and enhancements that need to be added before I can call the service mature. For example, the Xbox app for Windows 10/11 is lacking, and gaming on a phone has a long way to go in terms of ergonomics. But, at the end of the day, Xbox Game Pass is all about the games. Game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game after game In this regard, Xbox Game Pass reigns supreme. There are also games.
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