Consoling players: The Xbox Game Pass program is coming to PC

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription program is a great way for those purchasing an Xbox One late in the generation to build up their library of games in a hurry, as it gives its members unlimited access to a growing vault of first-party and third-party titles. It’s currently only available on Xbox One, but according to CEO Satya Nadella, that’s going to change.

During an earnings call on October 24, Nadella was discussing monetization strategies with the Xbox brand when he let slip that Xbox Game Pass would be coming to PC. Nadella didn’t elaborate on when the service would be arriving on PC, but likened its implementation to the cross-platform support the company has given to Minecraft over the last few years.

Nadella went on to describe the company’s plans for streaming as “the natural sequence” of events following Microsoft’s development of cloud technology. This kicks off with the development of Project xCloud, a game streaming service that will allow players to enjoy their favorite Xbox games on a wide variety of devices, including mobile phones. They will support controllers as well as special touch interfaces to make them easier to play on a small screen, and the program will begin rolling out in 2019. It’s rumored that two separate next-generation Xbox devices are being developed, as well, with one of them designed solely for streaming while the other is a more traditional console.

In addition to Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft also has the Xbox Play Anywhere program, which gives those who buy a digital copy of a game access to both the Xbox One and PC versions. These games also support cross-save and cross-platform play, so those who only game on one system can still play with their friends on the other.

If you’re looking for other publishers’ games to play on your PC, consider a subscription to Origin Access, as well. The service offers early trials to new Electronic Arts games, as well as a vault of older titles that you can play for as long as you stay subscribed. A similar program called EA Access is also available on Xbox One.


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