Xbox Game Pass launches June 1 with free trial

Microsoft is launching their new Xbox game subscription service a bit earlier than expected, with Gold users getting a two-week free trial starting today.

With E3 just around the corner, the general interest in video games is about to hit one of its yearly peaks. Microsoft seems aware of this, too.

The company announced that their “Xbox Game Pass” subscription service would begin rolling out on June 1 to 30 markets, with Live Gold users getting first dibs on a two-week free trial starting today.

The free trial will be extended to all Live users once the service goes live. After the trial, those who want to keep going have to cough up $9.99 a month.

Unlike the competing Playstation Now, Game Pass isn’t cloud-based. Instead, those who partake will have unlimited access to download games straight to their hard drive, as opposed to relying on streaming. The lineup of launch games includes first-party favorites Halo 5 and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition along with other games for the newest generation like Mad Max and the Megaman Legacy Collection. Game Pass subscribers will also be able to get Xbox One games in the catalog and add-ons at an exclusive discount.

What’s interesting about the service is that it, much like the system it runs on, will also have some Xbox 360 games to choose from. This includes the Gears of War titles (1, 2, 3 and Judgement), all of the main Fable games, Rare titles like Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark: Zero and even third-party classics like Soul Calibur II and a handful of vintage Sega titles from the Genesis/Mega Drive era. EA, Activision and Ubisoft, however, are notable publishers with titles missing from the service.

When you look at the scale of this and just how many games are on it, Game Pass really doesn’t seem like that bad of a deal. It’s at least worth checking out, and Microsoft recently stated that more games are coming soon to the service. With E3 just around the corner, we may hear more about new games coming to Game Pass sooner than we think.

For more on Game Pass, including a full list of the over 100 games it has to choose from, check out its official website.