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Video Games

Halo 5 Guardians headlines new Xbox subscription service

Xbox Game Pass will put more than 100 games at your fingertips.

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These are among the games included in the Xbox Game Pass.

Xbox

Like a Netflix for video games, the Xbox Game Pass will offer access to more than 100 games at a time when it launches this spring.

A new subscription service for Microsoft's Xbox One game console, Xbox Game Pass will cost $10 a month (AU$10.95 in Australia, a very impressive price conversion) and include titles from this generation of games and backward-compatible titles from Xbox One's predecessor, the Xbox 360. Tuesday's announcement from Xbox mentioned Halo 5 Guardians and Payday 2, among others.

With the subscription, you can download the games and play them at full fidelity without relying on your internet speed to stream the content. That feature and the apparent access to current titles give Xbox's subscription service a leg-up on PlayStation's rival product, PlayStation Now. With Now, you can stream games but not download them. Now is strictly for older content and costs $20 a month.

Members of the Xbox Insider Program will get to try out an early build of the Game Pass starting Tuesday, though the early build will have many fewer titles than the final version. Once it launches, Game Pass will give members discounts if they want to purchase the games they try. Games will cycle in and out of rotation. Hopefully, the rotation won't cause you to lose access to a game you're currently playing. Microsoft didn't offer a launch date other than "later this spring."

Like any subscription program, the success of Xbox Game Pass will inevitably depend on the quality of games it offers. The teased games are a good start.