Xbox Game Pass Coming to PC, Separate from XB1 Version
Xbox head Phil Spencer published a new Xbox Wire blog post today, outlining Microsoft's plans for expanding the Xbox Game Pass to PC and making Xbox Game Studios titles available on other launchers, like Steam.
The Xbox Game Pass for PC is called Xbox Game Pass, just like the XB1 version. It also shares many of the same features, including 20% discounts on titles bought through the Microsoft Store and 10% off DLC and add-ons.
However, it will have a separate library of games. Spencer said Microsoft has been actively exploring how to bring the Game Pass experience to PC with multiple high profile developers, including Sega, Bethesda, Paradox Interactive, and Deep Silver. All told, Microsoft is working with over 75 developers for the project. Titles from the Xbox Game Studios developers will also be available in the Game Pass the same day as their global release, including titles from new dev teams like inXile
When it launches, the Xbox Game Pass for PC will give players access to more than 100 games; for context, the XB1 version of the Xbox Game Pass currently has a library of over 200 games, but that's been built up over the course of several years.
According to Spencer, this move is part of Microsoft's philosophy of putting the gamer at the center of their gaming experience:
Nowhere is that belief more important than on the PC.
As the creators of Windows, we have a unique responsibility to ensure we’re investing in experiences that benefit players everywhere, while respecting the PC community’s preference for an open, highly customizable platform.
To that end, Spencer says Microsoft will be making all Xbox Game Game Studios games on PC available through other launchers as well.
Doing so lets players have a choice in how they play their games — and, of course, takes advantage of the recent hoop-la about the Epic Games Store's exclusivity deals.
So far, Microsoft has announced Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Steam later this year, with the definitive editions of Age of Empires I, II, and III coming at some unspecified point in the future. Spencer mentioned Microsoft will be working with other PC stores as well, but didn't have anything to announce about other partners at this point.
To help improve connectivity between players, upcoming Xbox Game Studios titles will also include features "like voice and text chat, LFG, friends lists and cross-play across PC and console."
More information about all of this will be shared during the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing on June 9, which airs at 4pm EST/1pm PST.