5 Myths I’ve heard about Xbox Gamepass

I’m a big fan of Game Pass. I see many positives to it, and frankly little to no negatives. It is no surprise to me that Game Pass surpassed 10 million subscribers as of late April according to various media outlets. It is unclear what composition of these 10 million subscribers are Game Pass for Console, Game Pass for PC, or like myself subscribers of Game Pass Ultimate. However, 10 million is still a large number. In my view, it is not large enough. Many more people can benefit from the Game Pass subscription. Many have wondered how many subscribers to Game Pass there will be once “soccer moms” and “soccer dads” learn about it. These terms refer to people unlike me (although my kids player soccer) that don’t follow gaming news and/or their households have very casual or infrequent gaming sessions However, I’ve heard some myths out there about Game Pass that are either misleading, at best a half-truth, or flat wrong that could have stopped folks from signing up by now. Let’s address five that I’ve personally heard.

  1. Game Pass is just Halo, Gears, and a bunch of filler.

Anyone that knows even a little about Game Pass knows that this statement is quite silly. This is likely just some fanboy-ism of a competing platform that is trying to cloak itself in, at best – ignorance, or worse – an attempt to completely mischaracterize the service. But if you’re friends with people like that and don’t know anyone who currently subscribes to Game Pass, you might have believed them. But, let’s expose this first myth. A lot of people like Halo. A lot of people like the Gears franchise. However, people also like The Witcher 3, which of as of April has sold over 28 million copies worldwide. What? Game Pass (for console) has The Witcher 3? You mean the same Witcher from the Netflix show? Yes! That one! It also recently had Grand Theft Auto V, which is the highest selling game across multiple platforms the last few years. It also currently has Red Dead Redemption 2, which broke many console sales records it’s first launch weekend in late 2018. Filler, you say? Just for clarity, I’m not recommending any of those games in particular for the children of said soccer parents.

According to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass website, there are 240 games currently on Game Pass for Console and 197 on Game Pass for PC. I’ve only mentioned three games so far. Granted, I’ve mentioned really really great games, but intentionally more-so well-known games (or franchises) to highlight a point so that hopefully these named examples will sound familiar to the soccer moms and soccer dads out there. Personally, I’ve only actually played one of those three that I mentioned. Why? Because there are so many other great games that I’ve spent time playing and I just can’t find the time to play all of them. I’ll mention more of those other games a little later, but just a handful of others I’ll mention to deal the finishing blow to this myth would be Batman Arkham Knight (sold 5 million copies in its first few months after launch), Rocket League, which if I’m going to reach the soccer moms or dads then maybe I should mention that this game was actually part of the center plot to an episode of Fuller House on Netflix, and Untitled Goose Game which won game of the year at the DICE 2020 awards. Again, I could keep going about the games, but I’m sure at some point that I have a character limit. Let’s move on, and I’ll do my best to stop saying soccer moms and soccer dads.

2. If I play games on Game Pass, I’m not supporting developers.

There may be lack of business knowledge to this one. Yes, in a perfect world, we would all be able to pay $60 on the release date for every game we’ve ever wanted to play. And indeed, this would put the maximum amount of net profit dollars into the pocket of your favorite developer or a developer that you think did an amazing job on a game. And there’s no argument to that. Heck, if you love a developer enough, buy their Day 1 special edition, buy hats and shirts, and gift additional copies of their game to friends and family. That’s what I would do if money weren’t an issue. However, the average person does not have that sort of disposable income to buy every new game, even if you tend to like every game that comes out. I do know a handful of people that seemingly buy every game on day 1 and I wonder how they do it. But guess what? Those same people are also subscribed to Game Pass, so who knows?

For those of us without unlimited disposable income, other hobbies to throw money at, or have varying long term financial goals, we can’t buy everything. This is partly why many of us are on Game Pass. But, allow me to insert Morpheus from The Matrix and say, “what if I told you that most developers are receiving financial compensation for their game to be on Game Pass?” It’s true. Developers don’t just say “well, shucks looks like we can’t sell anymore copies of our game, so let’s just throw it on Game Pass.” And the data showing the number of downloads and time spent playing the individual Game Pass games is no doubt being collected. If the developer/publisher’s game is a big hit on Game Pass, then that gives them a little bit more bargaining power (for more compensation) when it comes time to renew the Game Pass contract agreement. More people playing their game and talking about their game is free publicity and furthers their brand. However, there’s actually more to it than that. It leads up into our next one.

3. Game Pass will stop more game purchases in the future.

So I’m nearing completion of Red Dead Redemption 2 through Game Pass. It’s a very good game in my view. I probably don’t love it quite as much as some other folks, but it was a game I knew for certain that I would not buy day 1 because the genre of game tends to not be my favorite. With that said, I’ve definitely enjoyed the experience. It was clearly good enough to make me think about buying the first Red Dead game. It has also made me more likely to buy Red Dead Redemption 3 (or whatever they call it) on day 1 whenever that game releases. So Rockstar games surely didn’t get the equivalent of $60 from me playing their game on Game Pass, but they’ve exposed a new player to their game franchise which could potentially lead to more actual game sales in the future. It won’t work out this way with every game, and that’s OK. Not every game is for everyone. But to tie in with the previous point, it will support developers further.

4.You need an Xbox to have Xbox Game Pass.

Microsoft created a separate subscription service for PC players. As mentioned above, it’s called Xbox Game Pass for PC. There are well over 100 games on the service currently, and hopefully you’ll believe me by now that Game Pass is not just a bunch of filler. It is true that Game Pass for PC does not have the identical library to Game Pass for Console. There are many reasons for this, but I can see how not having an Xbox will prevent you from squeezing the most value out of Game Pass as a whole so perhaps this statement has bit of truth baked into it. With that said, this statement will likely become less true over time.

During E3 2019, Microsoft confirmed that it’s game streaming service, Project Xcloud, will be integrated at some point with Xbox Game Pass. I am currently a part of the IOS beta test group for mobile devices. I haven’t tested my Ipad yet, but I know folks who have and they say it works perfectly fine. I’ve played a few hours of Halo on my Iphone 6s. It’s not the way I prefer to play games, but it’s perfectly good quality for what it is. Further down the road when all of the beta tests are over and Game Pass and Xcloud are integrated, you will be able to utilize your Game Pass subscription on cell phones, tablets, PC’s – either download or stream it, and potentially even Smart TV’s. Microsoft and Samsung recently made an agreement for certain types of Samsung TV’s to have the Xbox Game Pass App pre-loaded on the TV. Some of these TV’s are already in people’s homes by the way. It is not crazy at all to think you will be able to stream games directly on your 4K TV at home, possibly with no intermediary device needed. I will probably always own an Xbox console. But as time goes by, owning the console will be less and less important to enjoy and take advantage of Game Pass.

5. Gamepass isn’t very good value.

I’m actually ok with this statement if they just added “for me” at the end. Maybe you only play games like FIFA or Madden. Or maybe you only play Call of Duty games, or perhaps you spend the majority of your gaming time on retro consoles and their game library. If that’s you, then the value of Game Pass may not be the best fit for you in its present format. It’s fine. We like what we like and I would not suggest someone get the Game Pass service if all they want to do is play the newest FIFA game. I get it. I stopped buying new Nintendo Switch games for my son because he just ignores them and returns to Fortnite as I’m sure many 9 year-old kids are doing these days. However, to say that Game Pass itself isn’t a good value as a general statement would be bordering on the absurd if you ask me. Let me break down how I’ve seen the value.

I’ve been a subscriber to Game Pass Ultimate for nearly a year. In that year’s time, a Game Pass Ultimate subscription has cost me $180 out of pocket. That’s 12 months at $14.99 per month. If you add up the retail prices (at places like Wal-Mart, Amazon, or Best Buy) of all the games that I’ve played through Game Pass Ultimate in that time, it is approximately a $600 value. For Xbox first party games that I’ve played on day 1, it will assume full-price, since that’s when I usually play them. First party games during this time would be Gears 5, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Gears Tactics, Minecraft Dungeons, and The Outer Worlds to name a few. I’ve already mentioned Red Dead Redemption 2, but I’ve also played through all the newer Tomb Raider games, some of the Wolfenstein games, some of the Batman Arkham games, and many others.

But wait a minute, you wouldn’t have played ALL of those games if you didn’t have Gamepass, so you can’t say that it saved you over $400 over the last year! That’s true, I wouldn’t have played all of those games, and some of them definitely not day 1. But with a fixed cost of $180 per year, I’m experiencing much the value of the service. I don’t have to ever buy any of Microsoft’s first party games, and I get them on day 1. Even if I only played 3 regularly priced day 1 Microsoft titles per year, the service would pay for itself.

Again, I have the ultimate subscription. Currently if you just want Xbox Gamepass for console, it’s only $120 for the year ($10 per month), which drops it to 2 first party day 1 titles per year in order to be a wash. I’m using the Microsoft 1st party games as the example here because they are always there on day 1 and they never leave Game Pass, so it’s not a moving target of trying to add up 3rd party game values at different price points, but you definitely could if you wanted to. To finish off the point, I leave you with a tidbit I shared with friends on twitter on May 4th. For the calendar month (May) I would be playing the new Gears Tactics game and Red Dead Redemption 2. Out of pocket on that day, it would have cost me $98. For the month of May, it still only cost me $14.99. Value, my friends, value.

Joel Mead has been a gaming enthusiast since he got an NES for Christmas in 1990. You can follow him on Twitch where he streams occasionally, as well as follow him on Twitter .

Punch a damned demon in its damned face – Devil’s Hunt launch dates and Switch release revealed!

Coming to PC on September 17th, and PS4, Switch and Xbox One in Q1 2020

Prague, Czech Republic — August 1, 2019 — Demon’s suck. Finding out you may just be one? That’s the pits! Thankfully, bombastic punch-em-up, Devil’s Hunt, is coming to help work through your inner struggle between good and evil. 1C Entertainment is excited to announce that Devil’s Huntwill launch on Steam on September 17, 2019, with subsequent releases on PS4 and Xbox One – as well as a newly-announced Switch version – in the first quarter of 2020.

Originally slated to launch simultaneously across all platforms, the decision to shift Devil’s Hunt’s console launches into early 2020 was not one that was made lightly. Both 1C Entertainment and developer Layopi Games made the decision in order to ensure the game’s PC debut has the polish and commitment to quality befitting an extravagant third person action game where players fight their way through Hell, Jerusalem, and… Miami?

Step into the designer shoes of Desmond, your not-so-friendly neighbourhood anti-hero and general Miami nuisance. Turns out, he’s forged a deal with the devil and is firmly planted in the middle of a cosmic struggle between angels and demons. With the fate of humankind hanging in the balance, Desmond must come to grips with his demonic new powers as he literally punches his way through hell, taking down all manner of fearsomely angelic and demonic creatures.

Solo: Islands of the Heart Pulls into the Dock on Consoles!

Thursday 1st August, 2019 – Manchester, England: Team Gotham and Merge Games are delighted to announce that Solo: Islands of the Heart, the colourful and thought-provoking puzzle experience, is now available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One! You can read more about the launch via yesterday’s release on Xbox Wire.

Solo is a game about love. About love as fuel, the force that drives us.

It is a universal feeling, but each of us experiences it in a different way. Individually, it holds different meanings depending on a variety of factors such as culture, gender, sexuality or traumas. That’s why Solo explores this theme in an introspective way, to have the players identify and reflect on their own experiences.

Solo is a contemplative puzzler set on a gorgeous and surreal archipelago. Reflect on your loving relationships by exploring contemplative, dream-like islands.

  • Reflect on love’s place in your life with a personal and introspective branching narrative.
  • Combine blocks with different properties offering multiple solutions for most puzzles.
  • Contemplate and explore a living world: take photos of the charming, colourful islands amidst tranquil tunes or play the guitar for cute creatures.

Nature and contemplation are also a huge part of Solo – you could feed the animals or just sit on a bench and take the time to think. After all, it’s up to you – Solo provides you with the opportunity to explore at your own pace.

The world is divided into archipelagos, and each archipelago is formed by small islands. Each island represents a unique puzzle the sailor will have to solve before getting to the Sleeping Totems and awakening them to answer a question about love and relationships. Using boxes, each with different properties and behaviours, the sailors can build their own paths to the Sleeping Totems on each island.

However, as is the case with love, most puzzles offer no unique solution.

Solo: Islands of the Heart released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The PlayStation 4 version released on the 30th July, the Xbox One version released on the 31st July, and the Nintendo Switch version on the 1st August. The game is priced at £14.99/ $19.99/ €19.99 and is also still available on PC via Steam .

About Team Gotham 

Founded in 2011, Team Gotham is a Madrid-based indie studio created by five university friends. Since then, they have been crafting detailed experiences in order to express themselves through the medium of games. More information about the studio can be found at http://www.teamgothammadrid.com/.  

About Merge

Merge is an independent video game publisher based in Manchester, UK. The company publishes interactive software worldwide for personal computers and video games consoles. Merge also specialises in publishing collectable games for retail via its Signature Edition brand (www.signatureeditiongames.com). More information about Merge products can be found at www.mergegames.com.  

Unique action-RPG Tower of Time coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

Indie publisher Digerati and developer Event Horizon are excited to announce the innovative action-RPG Tower of Time is coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One in Q1 2020. Already a hit with players on PC – it has a 9/10 rating on Steam – the console version of Tower of Time will launch with a revised control scheme developed specifically for gamepads.

The console release will also include the new game modes added to the PC version earlier this year, introducing an ultra-challenging ‘Permadeath’ mode and a more accessible ‘RPGlite’ mode.

Tower of Time is a sprawling 50+ hour adventure featuring gorgeous hand-crafted environments, story-rich dungeon crawling, flexible character development, and a unique Arrow-Time combat system that lets players pause or slow down time, allowing for unprecedented tactical depth.

The PC version has been praised by critics. Rock Paper Shotgun hailed it as “a huge, deeply developed, beautifully crafted RPG,” while God Is A Geek called it “an astounding first title that gives fans of the CRPG genre something different to sink their teeth into.” 
About The Game
Lead the ultimate party of heroes into the Tower of Time, a vertical battleground filled with lore, mystery, and combat. Combining the nuances of classic RPGs with challenging tactical combat, Tower of Time transforms each battle into a puzzle of magic and mettle. Slow or pause time to plan your every move: strategically place your warriors, control the battleground with precise spells, counter incoming waves with devastating maneuvers.

Key Features
7 distinct classes, a complex skill system, rich equipment and alignment systems, crafting, enchanting and more

Divide the battlefield with walls of stone, manipulate gravity, unleash torrents of flame, and more with myriad spells

150 different enemies and 50 bosses, each with unique skills and tacticsHand-crafted levels, unique Combat Challenges, multiple modifiers and five difficulty levels

Gamepad friendly control scheme implemented for console players

Switch Craft Show Notes 351

Listen to the podcast here

Intro

Switch Craft is brought to you live 3 times a week on Tuesday and Thursday at 3pm US Eastern, and on Saturday at whatever time I can get to it. Tune in live at Twitch.tv/runjumpstomp/ This episode of Switch Craft is brought to you by Mario B. – Get Switch Craft and my other content ad free for as little as a dollar at Patreon.com/RunJumpStomp/ Leave a voicemail for the show by heading to runjumpstomp.com/voicemail from any device, and I may play it on the show!

Story Links for this Episode

PSO on Switch

“I have said over time I’d like to take Game Pass everywhere. I saw somebody joke I’d put Game Pass on the toaster if I could – I don’t know about that. We’re focused on the streaming side, at least, on Android, just because in some ways it’s the hardest for us because it’s so diverse in terms of the number of devices.

I love the role that Nintendo plays in the industry. I love the fact that Minecraft Dungeons was announced there and we have really good relationships with them, and obviously Banjo in Smash. But that platform is different enough from an Xbox platform that it’s not trivial for us just to say, ‘Okay, all those games would run there’. So then you’re like, ‘Okay, are we gonna stream the games to there?’ I love what Switch is, but the opportunity globally to focus on an Android platform is just such a natural first move for us. And frankly, it will take us quite a while to work through that, so that’s the focus for us right now. But I want to have the best console experience because of what it gives you. I want you to be sitting on the couch with an amazing experience – it sounds great, I have access to any game that I want to play, and if I want to take that while I’m on the go, I think the Switch is a really cool platform for that. It’s just that in the near-term, it’s kind of hard for us to prioritize different than we are today.”

MyNintendoNews

Feedback

Outro

Become a part of the community at runjumpstomp.com/discord you can also watch the show live at twitch.tv/runjumpstomp. Get a hold of me by emailing me Runjumpstomp@gmail.com or you can reach out to me on Twitter @runjumpstomp Use the #NintendoSwitchCraft

If you’re looking for ways to support the show, stop by RunJumpStomp.com/thankyou and for more content like this check out RunJumpStomp.com/shows

The music on your hearing right now is Corneria Starfox Remix by Noteblock!

RJS Show Notes 30

Intro

On episode ## of Run Jump Stomp….

If you want to get RunJumpStomp and my other shows ad free for as little as a dollar check out patreon.com/runjumpstomp. Share your thoughts on gaming by leaving a voicemail at anchor.fm/runjumpstomp/message from any device!

Story Links

Story 1

Square Subscription

Story 2

Level Squish

Story 3

Shenmue Backlash

Story 4

E3 is over

Feedback

Outro

Become a part of the community at runjumpstomp.com/discord you can also watch the show live at twitch.tv/runjumpstomp. Get a hold of me on Twitter @runjumpstomp Use the #RJSPOD

If you’re looking for ways to support the show, stop by RunJumpStomp.com/thankyou and for more content like this check out RunJumpStomp.com/shows

The music you on Run Jump Stomp is Through a Cardboard World by Tony Leys

Stadia Cast Show Notes Episode 5

Intro

Before we get started – We record this show live! Sunday mornings at 10am Eastern on our YouTube channel

Thanks the following people for reviewing the show! JacksRage, NickDidisJR, Justin 1289, LeoNSF, DoggilyWoggily, BrusselsYolo,

Main Discussion

Stadia and AI

Google is really good at AI. Started with 1-800-GOOG-411

NEWS

Story 1

The console wars will continue

Story 2

Microsoft is SAD (we can get rid of this if you like)

Story 3

Feedback

Outro

Follow the show on Twitter at StadiaCast, follow me @runjumpstomp and follow Lloyd @dasme Be sure to use the hashtag #StadiaCast so we can find your tweets!

Music is by Zircon, check out their stuff at zirconstudios.bandcamp.com

RJS Show Notes – Are Single player games too long? PS5 is coming, Xbox One SAD, Epic Games Store.

Intro

On this episode of Run Jump Stomp….

If you want to get RunJumpStomp and my other shows ad free for as little as a dollar check out patreon.com/runjumpstomp.

Story Links

Story 1

Story 2

In an interview with Wired Mark Cerny discussed some of the expected features of the PS5.

Biggest takeaways from this (won’t be 2019)

Will support Ray Tracing (Explain what it is) Cerny says its also useful for audio as well.


“If you wanted to run tests to see if the player can hear certain audio sources or if the enemies can hear the players’ footsteps, ray tracing is useful for that,” he says. “It’s all the same thing as taking a ray through the environment.”

Wired

Speaking of audio PS5 will have a custom audio chip for 3D audio

The PS5 will have an SSD 5 which will significantly improve load times, in addition this will allow a game world to be rendered much faster, which means that developers can add more objects to the world to make it feel more alive.

PS5 will support 8K (does this mean native 8K or upscaled?)

Story 3

The Xbox One SAD has a price

Story 4

Randy Pitchford explains his support for the Epic Games Store

Biggest takeaways


Epic has published a near term road map. This road map includes a look into things they are committing to. If I were a betting man, I would expect that there are more things that happen than what they are committing to. We also must acknowledge that Borderlands 3 does not exist *today* but rather it will exist in September. The store will be different when the game launches. It will become a boon to their store if they bring sufficient features to make the customer experience great for us. Epic will suffer (again) if, by the time Borderlands 3 launches, the customer experience is not good enough.

Randy Pitchford


From a track record point of view, my expectation is that Epic’s investment in technology will outpace Valve’s substantially. When we look back at Steam in five or ten years, it may look like a dying store and other, competitive stores, will be the place to be.

Randy Pitchford


The competitive store that happens to be the leader in 10 years may not be Epic’s store, but it probably won’t be Valve’s and Epic’s moves right now are opening the door and paving the way for a vibrant competitive economy. Competition in stores is going to be absolutely best for consumers and probably good for developers and publishers as well. The stores that tend to win are the stores that offer the best to their customers. It’s very difficult for customer interest to be king with one store.

Randy Pitchford


Now there is an external force that is real. This external force, the Epic store, is a really significant threat to Steam. Steam *must* adapt or it will perish. Almost immediately, we saw Steam crumble it’s previously unwavering stance on revenue share. Holy shit! That’s a miracle. I think the folks at Valve are really smart and really great and they are also, probably, starting to redirect investment into their store. If Valve is smart, and they are, they should preemptively maneuver as many resources as possible towards improving the store and preparing for Epic’s inevitable challenge to Steam from a features point of view.

Randy Pitchford


And so we’re going to swallow the Epic Game Store pill with Borderlands 3. And some of you guys are going to hate it and scream bloody murder and you’ll even blame me, personally, for it. And you can bitch and moan and brigade and stalk my shit, but at the end of the day when we look back at this moment we’ll realize that this was the moment where the digital stores on PC became unmonopolized. And we’re all going to look back and see how change happened and how costs for developers and publishers to be on stores went down and how that value was passed on to the customers.

StadiaCast Show Notes Episode 4

Intro

Before we get started – We record this show live! Sunday mornings at 10am Eastern on our YouTube channel

Main Discussion

How Stadia could end game piracy –

Music piracy still happens but not like it was in the days of Napster.

NEWS

Story 1

Google I/O 2019 is coming and Stadia is on the ticket. (Stadia Streaming Tech: A Deep Dive May 7th at 3pm) (Large Scale Multiplayer Gaming with Open Source May 8 10:30) (What’s New in Gaming at Google May 7th 2pm)

Story 2

Xbox executive says Google doesn’t have the content for Stadia’s push

Big takeaways Mike Nicols

“Emerging competitors like Google have a cloud infrastructure, a community with YouTube, but they don’t have the content,”

But they do have Phil Harrison industry veteran with 30 years of experience.

Harrison being interviewed by Polygon said “Don’t read too much into why so-and-so was there and why so-and-so wasn’t there,” “We’ve had deep conversations over a number of years now. We’ve shipped over a hundred development kits already. We’ve got thousands of creatives already underway. So you’ll see a pretty amazing lineup come June.”

Story 3

A controller making the rounds, isn’t real. It’s a concept by Daniel Cheung

Feedback

Outro

Follow the show on Twitter at StadiaCast, follow me @runjumpstomp and follow Lloyd @dasme Be sure to use the hashtag #StadiaCast so we can find your tweets!

Music is by Zircon, check out their stuff at zirconstudios.bandcamp.com

Switch Craft Show Notes 314

Watch the Video here!

Listen to the podcast here

Switch Craft is brought to you live 3 times a week on Tuesday and Thursday at 3pm US Eastern, and on Saturday at whatever time I can get to it. Tune in live at Twitch.tv/runjumpstomp/ This episode of Switch Craft is brought to you by M Steffano – Get Switch Craft and my other content ad free for as little as a dollar at Patreon.com/RunJumpStomp/

Story links for this episode:

Become a part of the community at runjumpstomp.com/discord you can also watch the show live at twitch.tv/runjumpstomp. Get a hold of me by emailing me Runjumpstomp@gmail.com or you can reach out to me on Twitter @runjumpstomp

If you’re looking for ways to support the show, stop by RunJumpStomp.com/thankyou and for more content like this check out RunJumpStomp.com/shows

Check out the music from today’s show!

Noteblock Balloon Trip Remix / Tom Winter Gerudo Valley Acoustic You can also check out any music that’s ever been on the show by going to runjumpstomp.com/music