Xbox Game Pass Is Expanding To Battle PlayStation

By Jason Collins | 1 month ago

xbox game pass

While Sony’s newest iteration of PlayStation Plus, a redesigned subscription model, failed to beat Xbox Game Pass, the subscription it’s meant to challenge, Microsoft’s Xbox team decided to expand their existing subscription to battle PlayStation. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include additional games and backward compatible titles on the Game Pass, as those are available by default. Instead, Microsoft is reportedly gearing to announce an Xbox Game Pass family subscription plan.

According to Polygon, Windows Central reported (citing a trusted insider source) that Microsoft intends to keep its championship belt in the “best gaming subscription” category by strengthening its offer to counter Sony’s challenger — which already fell short. As per their report, the forthcoming tier of Game Pass subscription will allow up to five players within the same country to play together using a single Game Pass subscription held under a single account holder, similar to Netflix or Disney+ family subscription plans.

The lack of this functionality within Xbox Game Pass has been a common frustration among Xbox owners for years, especially for those who share a household with other gaming-loving members. Xbox Game Pass subscriptions are tied to specific Xbox profiles rather than devices, which allows players to sign in from any other Xbox console. And while this technically allows users to add a secondary Xbox console to the subscription plan, the primary account holder has to be signed in for the second console to access their games.

Unfortunately, this is rather inconvenient, and households with multiple gamers/consoles often get around this by paying multiple individual Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, which can be quite inconvenient. The purported family subscription plan would utilize Microsoft’s existing Family Account system, which is already in use for its Office 365 services. This system allows users to include a limited number of hardware devices into the subscription.

The main advantage of the Family Account system is that it allows users to manage the devices associated with the subscription. For example, suppose your console is outdated or breaks down. In that case, you can easily connect a new device with your subscription plan by logging into the Family Account system and removing the old console from the Xbox Game Pass. From there on, adding a new device is as easy as logging into the Xbox Game Pass using the primary account holder’s login credentials, and the system will automatically add the new console. Pretty neat and quite convenient.

And though this sounds like Microsoft’s response to Sony’s new subscription plan, Xbox has been very eager to grow and expand its Xbox Game Pass subscriber base — even going as far as to enable playing Xbox games without owning the hardware. The company’s cloud gaming service counts more than 25 million subscribers at the moment, and the company’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard may bring popular titles like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft to Xbox Game Pass.

So, it’s not really all that surprising that Microsoft is looking to accommodate its rapidly growing subscriber base by making it easier for households to share an Xbox Game Pass subscription plan. Unfortunately, the exact details, such as pricing, still aren’t disclosed.