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Video Games

Microsoft's 'Netflix for Xbox' will let you play Halo 6 on day one

Exclusive first-party games will now arrive day-and-date on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

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You'll never have to buy another Halo, Forza, Gears of War or Crackdown again... if you subscribe instead.

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Last year, Microsoft dared to ask -- what if playing games on Xbox was like watching a movie on Netflix? For $10, £8 or AU$11 a month, the Xbox Game Pass would let tiy download any game of your choice instead. But the early days of the Xbox Game Pass were a bit too much like the early days of Netflix: chock-full of older content, but with almost none of the recent releases you'd really want.

Today, that changes. Microsoft announced Tuesday that every first-party Xbox One exclusive will now be available to subscribers on launch day -- meaning that subscribers will never have to buy another Halo, Forza, Crackdown or Gears of War game again. 

(It's kind of like how Netflix spends billions on original shows like Stranger Things and The Crown, then lets you binge them right away and all at once.)

Confirmed games so far include the highly-anticipated Sea of ThievesState of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3, but Microsoft specifically namedrops "future unannounced games" in the Halo, Forza and Gears of War franchises as well. So no, we're not just connecting the dots.

Just note that Microsoft's only promising day-and-date releases for those games that are developed by Microsoft itself in its own internal studios -- which means high-profile multi-platform games (like the next Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and your favorite sports titles) probably won't be on the list.

You might be wondering: Since you don't actually own these games (and yet they live on your hard drive) what happens to them if you ever pause or cancel your subscription? Microsoft says they won't ever be forcibly deleted from your hard drive -- even if they're removed from the Game Pass library -- but you will lose access to them until you subscribe again.

Microsoft also announced a new, 6-month Xbox Game Pass subscription card to be sold at partner retailers like GameStop for $60. The 6-month subscription card will be available March 20.  

The company offers a free 14-day trial if you want to give Xbox Game Pass a spin.

With contribution from Sean Hollister.