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Satya Nadella: Xbox Game Pass Coming to PC

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft isn't content to let other companies bring gaming into the streaming era alone. The company introduced a successful "Netflix for games" with Xbox Game Pass, then revealed the upcoming Project xCloud service that promises to stream Xbox games to all kinds of devices. This week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that expanding Xbox Game Pass to Windows 10 will be a "big element" of Microsoft's plans for gaming.

Here's what Nadella said in an earnings call:

"Xbox has the key gaming community and the monetization capabilities. Whether it's first-party games or third-party games, we are best-in-class in that monetization and that's what's reflected in the results. ... So given that structural position, we are going to make sure that we keep increasing the strength of the community. You see that already with Minecraft going to all platforms and that increasing the intensity of the community, and you'll see us do more of that. Obviously, bringing Game Pass to even the PC is going to be a big element of that."

Xbox Game Pass debuted on June 1 as a way for Xbox One owners to play select current-gen titles, as well as backwards compatible Xbox 360 games, for $10 per month. The service doesn't offer access to every Xbox game from the last two generations of consoles, but it does boast more than 100 titles and regularly adds more. Compared to spending $60 on a new game--or having to dust off an Xbox 360--it's not a bad deal.

Bringing the service to Windows 10 would allow PC users to experience these games without having to make too great a financial commitment. Games made for consoles are often buggy on PC, and even though Microsoft has worked to prevent that from being the case for its platforms, there's no guarantee a game made for the Xbox 360 is going to run well on a modern system. Better to test it as a subscription than buy it outright.

Yet, it's not hard to imagine Xbox Game Pass stumbling as it comes to PC as well. Many of these games are available far cheaper via Steam, GOG and lesser-known marketplaces than they are on Xbox (PC gamers spend more on hardware but get to recoup some of the costs with cheaper games). Unless someone's curious about the entire Xbox Game Pass catalog, it's easier to pick up games on the cheap on PC than it is on Xbox.

But that will depend on what games are available, how Xbox Game Pass functions on PC, etc. In the meantime, as Microsoft works on Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud, it's clear that Xbox has gone far beyond its console origins to become a core part of Microsoft's future.

  • philipemaciel
    Based on my experience with MS, this is what happens:

    service is launched -> you pay for it -> it is discontinued "we are focusing on..."

    Xbox Fitness, Groove Music, Windows Phone, Windows 10M... you name it.
    Reply
  • dark_lord69
    WOW!
    ...I don't have an XBox...
    I Do have a gaming PC.
    I Do XBox controller for windows.
    I may actually sign up for this service.
    Reply
  • mspencerl87
    21434528 said:
    Based on my experience with MS, this is what happens:

    service is launched -> you pay for it -> it is discontinued "we are focusing on..."
    Xbox Fitness, Groove Music, Windows Phone, Windows 10M... you name it.

    While i agree with you (Zune) example (Continuum) the list goes on.
    I think if they don't offer it as a service, they will fall behind.
    I foresee as much as 50% of games being cloud based by 2025.
    Atleast for people with low latency fiber connections.
    I also see DaaS as something that goes along with this.
    Which MS plan to be doing...

    Reply
  • acelaya35
    All I want is to play NHL hockey on my PC, i've been waiting 10 years. :-(
    Reply
  • Kridian
    Ugh. Dumpster fire waiting to happen.
    Reply
  • AnimeMania
    Does anybody know if this is where you play the games on Microsoft's computers and you view it on your own. Meaning what type of computer you have doesn't matter, more important is your internet speed.
    Reply
  • s1mon7
    21434528 said:
    Based on my experience with MS, this is what happens:

    service is launched -> you pay for it -> it is discontinued "we are focusing on..."

    Xbox Fitness, Groove Music, Windows Phone, Windows 10M... you name it.

    Aaand.. you lose all the games. Games you could have just bought with the money you paid for the service.

    That model just doesn't work for games, which are something you tend to come back to years after if the game is worth it. Unless you're in a habit of playing everything new that comes out and forgetting about it.
    Reply
  • Rosanjin
    I agree with ACELAYA35. As a PC Gamer, I would rather play Madden and NHL on the PC. We haven't gotten anything close to what the consoles have in a decade.

    It's simply ridiculous that we can play hundreds of titles that EA publishes on consoles on the PC, but not any of the in-house sports titles.

    If EA thinks that the exclusivity of those titles is a system seller, they're sorely mistaken.

    Shameful. Just shameful. : /
    Reply
  • shpankey
    NHL on PC, then we can talk
    Reply
  • Mpablo87
    I do not have Xbox, never used Netflix...
    Am i still alive, hah?!?
    Reply