After a fairly short trial period, Microsoft have announced that the ‘Xbox Game Pass’ is now live for all Xbox Live Gold members, starting with a free 14 day trial, Xbox Gold members can now access over 100 Xbox 360, ID @ Xbox and Xbox One titles for the requested coin of £7.99/$9.99 per month.
Some of the big hitting titles available in the first wave are; Halo 5, Mad Max, Gears of War Ultimate Edition and Spark favourite Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise.
It’s great to have options and this offering from Microsoft makes an important distinction in contrast to it’s closest rival – Sony’s PlayStation Now package – in a number of ways that set it apart in terms of variety and also in value.
Playstation Now offers subscribers access to over 350 of their PS3 games for as long as you continue to furnish them with the £12.99/$19.99 monthly fee. This service however is restricted as a streaming service and while this angle means you don’t fill up your console storage with the games on offer it does come with the risk that you may have to endure an experience that has the odd hiccup if bandwidth dips or is not optimal causing judder and also may not look as sharp as you would expect from a game you had installed locally.
Microsoft are taking a different approach, first of all their pricing is more competitive straight out of the gate. Then we have the fact that the games on offer are from both the Xbox One catalogue as well as the Xbox 360 library. This gives a more rounded value for money package for the potential customer and in addition, to play these games, you will download them to your console, mitigating any of the headaches that can be associated with streaming.
So in many respects, unless you are looking to play a specific set of retro games that are exclusive to PS4’s PS Now service it looks like Microsoft have done a great job of putting this offer together.
There is an argument that your keen gamer will have played most of the games on offer here as they came out and so would for the most part not wish to subscribe to a back catalogue of games they have worked through as they will always be looking ahead to the next new shiny offering coming next week – there’s always something.
However, for the people new to the party where this is there first foray into the land of console gaming this package (and PS Now to a lesser extent as it’s only PS3) offers a great way for them to get involved in some amazing titles both old and new(ish) and see what all the fuss is about. For the price of a new game they can enjoy 3 months of this trove of gaming fun and there really is a lot of hours of quality gaming to be gleaned here.
Ultimately though, the question is if the price is right for you, the gamer. Old hand or new to the gaming world, the right price will be sure to tempt people in. Does an extra monthly fee of £12.99/$19.99 tempt you to sign up? Is it good value? Or would you prefer it if this service had been added into a separate Games With Gold subscription so you could include it in that one off payment?
Antony and Darren discuss this along with much, much more as they endure the studio heat to bring you episode 93 of the Gamers of the Lost Spark Podcast. Have a listen, we hope you enjoy it.
For more information on Xbox Game Pass head over to Xbox.com
This week Antony (@ChessmanUK) has been in ‘Nerd Nirvana’ playing the new DC beat-em-up, Injustice 2. This incredible story driven, yup story in a beat-em-up, has Antony loving every fight, every special move and every incredible cut-scene.
If Story, Characters, perfect fighting mechanics and great character models wasn’t enough to tempt you then the sumptuous visuals; HDR10 on both PS4 and Xbox One S. But it’s not only added HDR support, which the Sparks salute, the PS4 Pro pushes out those gorgeous visuals at a stunning 2560×1440 on a 4K display.
In the news this week, it comes as a shock to no one to hear that Red Dead Redemption 2 has been delayed and will not be showing at this year’s E3.
‘Red Dead Redemption 2 is now set to launch spring 2018 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This outlaw epic set across the vast and unforgiving American heartland will be the first Rockstar game created from the ground up for the latest generation of console hardware, and some extra time is necessary to ensure that we can deliver the best experience possible for our fans’, says a short statement on their website.
And finally, launching this week in North America, The Creators is an attempt by Sony to get curation on the PlayStation store, only instead of turning to “influencers”, they’ve asked people responsible for actually making games to do it instead.
The initial lineup of creators include PlayStation boss Shuhei Yoshida, the development team behind Final Fantasy XV, Yoshinori Ono of Street Fighter fame and CAPY
If you want more information on some of the items in this weeks Podcast here are some handy links:
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