Why it matters: Microsoft’s continuing quest to blur the line between Xbox One and PC gaming is taking another step. During the company’s fiscal year 2019 earnings call, CEO Satya Nadella revealed that the Xbox Game Pass subscription service would be expanding to the PC platform.
Xbox One owners who use the service, which costs $10 per month, can access a rotating library of over 100 titles, resulting in its “Netflix of games” nickname. Earlier this year, Microsoft sweetened the deal when it announced all Microsoft Studio titles would be added to Xbox Game Pass on the day they launch—a move that hasn’t been well-received by retailers, who believe it will cause physical game sales to decline even further. With Gears of War 5, Halo Infinite, and Crackdown 3 set to appear on release day, their concerns look justified.
Nadella didn’t offer any details on what a PC version may look like."Bringing Game Pass to even the PC is going to be a big element of [increasing the strength of our gaming community]," said the CEO.
Thanks to Microsoft’s Play Anywhere initiative, which allows digital versions of Xbox titles to be played on both platforms, Game Pass is already available on the PC, but the number of supported games is limited. This new version will likely add more playable PC games and platform-exclusives, such as Age of Empires.
No word on when Microsoft plans to launch the PC-specific Game Pass, but with the foundations already in place, expect it to arrive sooner rather than later.