Xbox Game Pass has become one of the best values for money and consumer-friendly services available to gamers today. That is not to say that if it is not your cup of tea then you are wrong. Of course, there are a range of reasons as to why it might not be suitable for you.
However, to outright deny the value Xbox Game Pass holds for many is to cut yourself off from one of the biggest movements in the modern games industry. Xbox Game Pass is four years old now and has come leaps and bounds since its initial introduction. As well as becoming accessible to more players around the world, it has also provided several solutions to gamer problems. Problems that have troubled our favourite activity for far too long. So here are 10 gamer problems that Xbox Game Pass can and has solved.
10. Yearly Releases No Longer Buggering Your Wallet (as Much)
You know the routine by now. Buy the latest game in one of your favourite series. Play and enjoy it for several months. Then begin the countdown to when it will be considered out of date due to the next installment’s release.
It is a problem that has plagued gamers for generations. However, all hope is not yet lost! With Xbox Game Pass including first-party titles day-and-date, plus the addition of EA Play to the service for Game Pass Ultimate and Game Pass PC members, many yearly releases will be a bit easier to bear.
Whether it be through a day-and-date release, a nice little discount with EA Play, or having a tiny bit of patience and waiting for it to go into the EA Play vault, marking your calendar for when to save up for a yearly release can be a thing of the past.
9. Never Pay for the Same Game Twice…or At All!
Ever bought a game for one platform then decided to jump ship and had to begrudgingly pick the locks of your wallet to purchase the same game again for your new platform? Or perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who own multiple platforms at once in an attempt to minimise the time you have to spend away from games doing other things like housework or less fun activities?
Well, boy has the Xbox got the feature for you! It is called Xbox Play Anywhere and the title itself is pretty self-explanatory. With Play Anywhere, you can enjoy the gaming goodness across both Xbox and PC without performing the dreaded wallet double-dip. If that wasn’t good enough, you can also carry your saves and achievements back and forth between the platforms.
This perk is not exclusive to Xbox Game Pass. Anyone who purchases an Xbox Play Anywhere title will get the above benefits. However, Xbox Game Pass does enhance it. Not only do you then get the added benefit of cloud gaming as an additional platform. You also do not even need to make that initial purchase since you have access to the Game Pass library.
If my math serves me correctly, that takes you from having to purchase the same game twice to enjoy on multiple platforms to not having to purchase it at all to enjoy it across even more platforms!
8. Online Gaming in a Single Player World
If, like me, you prefer to dive headfirst into a grand single-player experience, where it is you versus the game designer instead of you versus an entire lobby of people more competitive and skilled than you. And if, like me, you also have a group of gaming friends who much prefer the exact opposite to you. Then, like me, you have probably come across the following situation.
Your gaming group wants you to jump onto a certain online game with them, but you’re not sure you want to purchase an entire game that you’ll most likely play on just the odd occasion.
It is a doozy of a problem. Of course, you more than enjoy playing in a party with your dearest friends. It is always a great time that leaves your throat sore from laughter and your head throbbing from more laughter. Still, it stings paying for a game that you’re not going to actually play for the majority of the time.
Enter Xbox Game Pass once again. With an Xbox Game Pass subscription when your friends come knockin’, you can simply download, play and enjoy. What if they suggest an online game that’s not part of the Game Pass library you say? Well, that is when we become one of those people who utilises the appear offline feature.
7. Keeping up with the Latest Releases Becomes a Breeze
Gaming, while fun, can be a very expensive hobby. While you pick your jaw up off the floor from that painfully obvious revelation, I’ll detail such expenses. It mainly comes down to the new releases. Not necessarily their price either but just the sheer amount of them coming out each year.
Alongside the onslaught of game releases come the fears of missing out. We want to be up to date on our gaming experiences. To have tried all the latest and greatest experiences developers have to offer us. Despite the ever-growing list of our back catalogues spiraling out of control, we WILL play them all dang it!
So where does Xbox Game Pass come into all of this? Well, with first-party titles coming to the service day-and-date, alongside a now very healthy selection of third-party titles, our wallets can rest easy in the knowledge that our latest release needs will be catered to for the most part.
Now all Game Pass needs to provide is a way to slow time between releases so that back catalogue mountain doesn’t grow even more.
6. Launch Day Woes
One of the more recent problems in gaming is the apparent increase in launches with a few jarring bugs. I will not go into the deep realms as to why. It’s almost always going to be a perfect storm of reasons, from increased complexity in development to rushing to meet deadlines and milestones.
The thing we are focusing on here is the utterly deflating feeling that the game you’ve been bouncing up and down in anticipation of, has launched in a state that is making the hole in your pocket feel a bit bigger.
So, how can Xbox Game Pass help with launch day bugs? Well, when it comes to the actual state of the game at launch there is not really anything it can do. If a game is buggy outside of Game Pass then it’s also buggy inside of Game Pass. What can be helped is preventing the player from fretting over whether their purchase was a wise one or not.
With Xbox Game Pass you’re getting those new releases as part of your subscription. While you may still feel bummed with a buggy launch at least you won’t have the headaches from trying to go through a refund process of some kind.
5. Become a More Varied Gamer
Ok, so this point isn’t a problem as such. It’s more of a natural way in which we fall into habits. Although, it’s certainly something Xbox Game Pass can help with.
We all have our favourite genres of games that we love to jump into. On the other hand, we all have genres where we would rather volunteer as a taste tester for a rat poison manufacturer than play. For example, you might relish the idea of playing 3D platformers, racing games, and immersive world RPGs. You also might not be caught dead playing a point-and-click or anything that was considered a Rogue-lite.
That’s where Xbox Game Pass steps in. With its vast library, you have plenty of options for different games to try out. Games that you never would have given a chance before for various reasons.
Personally, some of my favourite games over the years with Game Pass were from genres I had previously shunned. I have also learnt a lot about said genres through playing them. I can see the plus points of those games and how they bring joy to many gamers. I have been able to dissect them more in order to understand the fundamental systems behind them.
Because of that, I am a more varied and understanding gamer who will be trying more games across a spectrum of genres.
4. Gaming on the Go
What is better than being able to relax with some gaming before going out and enjoying a family get together? Why being able to relax with some gaming before taking said gaming with you to play during a family get together of course!
Although that is not the only reason to want to game on the go. Perhaps you’re going away on holiday and need some entertainment for the long trip there and back?
Either way access to portable gaming is always a good thing. While Sony and Nintendo fans have been graced with portability in the past, with excellent systems such as the PSP, PSVita, Gameboy, and Switch, Xbox fans have not been so lucky. The rumour mills have whirled a few times regarding portable Xbox consoles but nothing has ever come to fruition.
That was until Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate came along. Rather than a dedicated console Xbox has decided to go down the streaming route with Xbox Game Pass. Cloud Gaming, previously named xCloud, allows you to play Xbox games on any device that can run the Xbox Game Pass app.
While Cloud Gaming can still have some rocky moments its future is bright. Multiple games are now being upgraded to use Xbox Series X server blades and future Xbox plans include the release of an Xbox Game Pass stick allowing you to game wherever there’s a TV available.
3. The Digital Preservation of Older Games
The preservation of older games is something that everyone should encourage. It allows for players to continue enjoying games years after their release. There’s also the trouble saved of having to track down older hardware and a disc that does not look like it has been used for a cat’s disk jockey party.
Backwards compatibility has become a hotter topic over the last few generations. Because of this, Xbox has taken great strides in making games from older generations playable on their latest consoles.
With Xbox Game Pass you can get your fill of plenty of retro games. All without having to buffer your old discs or, if you own the all-digital Xbox Series S, having to buy the games again digitally. You will also be able to take advantage of such wonderful features as Auto HDR and FPS Boost.
2. Game Length no Longer Matters
There’s a fairly common opinion around these days that a game’s runtime should directly correlate to its price tag. In other words, a longer game can justify a higher price tag. At the same time, a shorter game should be cheaper. It is completely understandable if you are on a tight budget and need games that will keep you occupied for a long time.
It is an argument that can come across some problems, however. Especially if a game’s length is the only factor taken into account for its price tag. Many AAA games will come with a full fat price tag yet contain nowhere near seventy-odd hours’ worth of gameplay no matter how fun the journey through it is. Many indie games will also be priced higher than the conversion rate of money to hours despite being thoroughly well designed and worth both your gaming time and money.
Xbox Game Pass eases these problems and saves your head the trouble of doing some light maths with its subscription-based model. You’ll be paying the same no matter what you play and are therefore free from the burdens of problem-solving headaches.
A great example right off the bat is The Little Acre. It’s a charming point-and-click adventure game featuring hand-drawn animations from Curve Digital. The run time is a little short of 2 hours and it comes with a normal price tag of £10.74/$12.99. It’s a game that, without Xbox Game Pass, most probably would never buy and play knowing the above.
However, thanks to Xbox Game Pass we are able to sit back and experience a light-hearted adventure without any bad feelings once the credits begin to roll.
1. Demos are no Longer a Worry
Ah, demos. Who can forget the days of popping to your local corner shop to grab the latest gaming magazine? Scrounging a bit of extra money to also pick up a 10p Freddo while you are there. Then running home and popping the demo disc in to have a blast with some new games.
Demos used to be a great way for gamers to try a game before splashing the cash or even just pass the time if the motivation was wearing thin for our currently owned games. However, over the last generation or so demos have gone the way of my ability to get off a sofa without groaning…pretty much non-existent.
Thankfully, that is where Xbox Game Pass now comes in. Let’s say you download a game through Game Pass, absolutely loathe it, and uninstall it before getting anywhere near the end. Have you lost anything in all of that besides a bit of your time? Not at all because you never had to purchase the game outright in order to play. It came as a part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription.
For all the games available through the service, Game Pass can act as a demo that seamlessly transitions into the full game if you continue to play and enjoy it.
To top it all off, Xbox also has further plans for Game Pass that solve the demo problem. One such plan is utilising Cloud Gaming on consoles so gamers can try a game before downloading it, saving time and bandwidth.
There you have it, why it is so easy to love Game Pass. Welcome to the future of gaming everyone, Jump In.