Xbox Had a Great Showcase, But Game Pass Is Its Future



By: Jason Siu


2 min read

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Is Game Pass the only future Xbox has?

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Today, Xbox delivered a much-needed solid showcase, featuring over 30 trailers. After a rocky start to the year where it shuttered four studios, including Tango Gameworks, the brand focused on debuting trailer after trailer, many of which came from first-party studios. With Xbox’s recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard, it was little surprise that Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 was a major focus, along with Diablo IV and even World of Warcraft made an appearance.

Despite unveiling three new hardware options for holiday 2024 and reassuring fans that it’s working on its next-generation console, it’s becoming more and more evident that Xbox’s primary focus is growing its Game Pass subscriber base. One of the biggest selling points for Game Pass is that Xbox first-party games are available on the service from day one. There have been questions about whether that would still be the case with Xbox’s latest acquisitions, but Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 has been confirmed to be a day one Game Pass title.

The policy doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon despite the impact it may be having on overall sales. Nearly half of the games shown in today’s Xbox Games Showcase mentioned Game Pass in their trailers, and will be available at launch on the subscription service. This includes DOOM: The Dark Ages and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle. Here’s the full list:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 6
  • DOOM: The Dark Ages
  • South of Midnight
  • Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn
  • Age of Mythology: Retold
  • Fable
  • Winter Burrow
  • Mixtape
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024
  • Indiana Jones and the Great Circle
  • WUCHANG: Fallen Feathers
  • Avowed
  • Atomfall
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl

At the time of writing, Game Pass costs $9.99 a month if you only want the service on console or PC. Game Pass Ultimate, which gives you access to console, PC, and Cloud, costs $16.99 per month. It’s very likely there’s a price increase on the horizon, especially with the inclusion of Call of Duty games, but Game Pass still offers one of the best deals around. Ultimately, however, it’s not helping Xbox sell many consoles.

Microsoft’s strength has always been with its software, and more recently, cloud services. Although the Surface lineup of laptops and tablets are great devices, brands like Dell and Lenovo perform much better in the market. It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that Microsoft is dictating Xbox’s future direction, focusing on offering the best games and cloud services regardless of platform. But as games become increasingly expensive to develop, how many Game Pass subscribers does Xbox need to keep Microsoft happy? Will we ever see Game Pass on Nintendo or Sony hardware? Is Xbox’s future having Halo and Fable on PlayStation?

There are still many questions Xbox needs to answer in the next few years, but today’s showcase was a good start. That is, if these games actually release in a timely fashion.

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With over 20 years of online publishing experience, Jason Siu is currently the Content Director at VerticalScope and used to spend most of his time writing about cars. His work can be seen on websites such as AutoGuide, EV Pulse, FlatSixes, Tire Authority, and more. As the former co-founder of and West Coast Editor of Modified Magazine, he has also authored two books for CarTech Books. In his spare time, he founded FullCleared to indulge in his passion for writing about games. Although Jason is a variety gamer, he generally prefers RPGs.

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