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Microsoft announces Xbox Game Pass subscription service

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Anthony Breedlove

Microsoft has announced the impending launch of Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service which provides Xbox One owners with access to a library of 100 games for a monthly fee.

Building on the company's Games with Gold programme, which offers gamers who pay the monthly fee required for online multiplayer access a small number of games each month as a reward, Xbox Game Pass works on an all-you-can-eat model: Players pay a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 likely to be £9.99 in the UK and gain access to a library of over 100 console games.

Unlike rival Sony's similar PlayStation Now service, which renders the games on remote cloud servers and streams the result to the player, each game is downloaded and installed locally just as though it had been purchased from the software store directly - though access to the games is lost if you cancel your subscription.

Microsoft has not yet shared details of the full library of games on offer, but Xbox head Phil Spencer admitted in the announcement that 'every month new games will cycle into the subscription with some cycling out' and that anyone wishing to add a game to their 'permanent library' before it disappears will be given the option of purchasing it at a discount.

Companies confirmed as partnering on the programme to include their games in the library are 2K, 505 Games, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, Sega, SNK Corporation, THQ Nordic, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and of course Microsoft's own Microsoft Studios.

Launch titles available will include Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16, and SoulCalibur II, while the library will encompass both native Xbox One games and backwards-compatible Xbox 360 titles.

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Anthony Breedlove
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