Microsoft says PC players will be able to access a version of its all-you-can-download Xbox Game Pass subscription service some time in the future.
The news comes from CEO Satya Nadella, who mentioned the move offhandedly in response to a question about cloud gaming in a recent earnings call. Nadella said “increasing the strength of the community” around the Xbox brand is important to the company’s bottom line and that “obviously, bringing Game Pass to even the PC is going to be a big element of that.
It’s not clear which PC games exactly would be included with such a subscription or whether PC games would require their own separate subscription on top of the existing console Game Pass. For years, Microsoft has been promoting its “Play Anywhere” initiative for games that you buy once and play across PC and console, though we’ve run into trouble with that compatibility in practical testing.
On a PC, Game Pass will compete with existing PC subscription services like Utomik, Humble Monthly, and the indie-focused Jump, all of which already provide unlimited access to anywhere from dozens to hundreds of games for a flat monthly fee. But Microsoft’s tight relationships with third-party publishers, and direct control over the Windows platform as a whole, might give its service a leg up.
Back in January, Microsoft promised every subsequent first-party Microsoft Studios game on Xbox One would be available to Game Pass subscribers on launch day. That move seems to have helped games like and both attract 2 million users each in their first week of sale.
And back in August, Game Pass and Xbox Live became part of an “Xbox All Access” subscription plan that offers users free console hardware with a two-year subscription agreement starting at $22 a month.
Elsewhere in the earnings call, Microsoft revealed it now has 57 million active Xbox Live users, up from 53 million a year ago but flat since the last quarter. Xbox software and services revenue was up 36 percent year over year, while hardware revenue was up 96 percent.