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Xbox readies digital subscription service

Pay £7.99/$9.99 a month to receive access to 100 games

Microsoft have today detailed a video game subscription service - Xbox Game Pass.

For $9.99 a month (or £7.99) gamers will get access to Xbox One and Xbox 360 games - across both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. The service launches in the spring.

Games include Xbox One AAA titles such as Halo 5, Mad Max, LEGO Batman and NBA 2K16, as well as Xbox 360 backwards compatibility titles such as Fable III and Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

The service is being rolled out to test for those on the Xbox Insider Programme now.

Unlike PlayStation Now, this is not a streaming service and players will download the titles fully. Xbox boss Phil Spencer explained: "That means continuous, full-fidelity gameplay without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues."

Xbox Game Pass is in addition to Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, although gamers do not need Gold to buy Xbox Game Pass. Gold members will receive early access to Xbox Game Pass when it goes live, Microsoft says.

Additional DLC to any games within the Game Pass catalogue will have a discount on it although 'only while the base game is currently in the catalogue', which suggests that the 100 titles will change month-to-month.

The business model follows the success of other subscription services like Spotify (for music) and Netflix (for movies). However, in games this model has yet to resonate with consumers - EA Access and PlayStation Now have had limited success, although both companies are continuing to push the offerings.

Xbox will hope its larger base of titles from multiple companies will offer a more compelling service.

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Christopher Dring avatar
Christopher Dring: Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who
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