While Steam dominates the PC gaming space for digital game purchases, Xbox’s Game Pass subscription tops others by way of its affordable access to incredible titles spanning both Xbox and PC releases.
For those of us who don’t have an Xbox console at home, is the complete package – Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – truly worth the investment?
Yes, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is worth subscribing to as a PC gamer. Not only do we have free access to hundreds of different PC games, but we can also play Xbox exclusives on the computer too!
Plus, the subscription lets us save games on secure cloud servers, allowing us to continue our gaming sessions on another desktop or Xbox console while we’re out and about. In recent years, Game Pass Ultimate also includes added features for Riot Games accounts and EA Play unlocks, significantly saving our money.
With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, our purchased games spanning multiple selected publishers and within Microsoft’s gaming landscape remain under our profiles permanently. We can even stream games via the cloud, letting us play the most graphics-demanding titles on the most old-school laptops (depending on hardware)!
What are the Other Versions of Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is just one of three different Game Pass versions available for us to subscribe to, with the other two being:
- Xbox Game Pass (without ‘Ultimate’ in the name)
- PC Game Pass
As their names imply, Xbox Game Pass is only offered to Xbox owners, while PC Game Pass is restricted to PC gamers. Hence, their video game libraries and features aren’t shared, making Xbox Game Pass Ultimate much more appealing.
Game Pass Ultimate does have its own hardware requirements, though, but they’re very minimal. In fact, many of us won’t have a problem running the subscription on our systems, which can’t be said for Mac users.
At the very least, next-gen games are assured via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate despite our PCs’ outdated specs. That alone should be reason enough for us to subscribe to it right now!
How Different is PC Game Pass from Game Pass Ultimate?
There’s a big price difference between PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, equating to around $6.99 a month. That’s approximately a 70% price hike!
To understand what we get by opting for Game Pass Ultimate, here are the key aspects missing from PC Game Pass:
- Access to Xbox games (including Xbox exclusives at launch)
- Cloud gaming
- Awesome in-app perks
- Better game discounts
For PC-only players, this isn’t a deal-breaker, and justifiably so. Even games purchased from both subscriptions are installed inside the same file directory, making it easy for us to find them if we need to (particularly for modding).
That being said, the allure of playing Xbox exclusives can be tempting to others, especially when their eventual PC ports are usually found to be poorly optimized and glitchy. With Game Pass Ultimate, they can simply be streamed online via the cloud servers, replacing the need to install them on the computer.
In my opinion, $16.99 per month for the complete experience is already extremely reasonable, considering how expensive AAA games are being sold today ($70 and counting). Still, this might not be true for everyone, notably those in other regions due to the currency difference.
Is Game Pass Better on PC or Xbox?
For those only willing to spare around $10 for Game Pass, is it better for us to opt for the one on PC or Xbox?
Generally, PC Game Pass is better because it’s priced slightly cheaper while enjoying more benefits than Xbox Game Pass (for Xbox consoles). It’s worth noting that this entirely depends on whether we own an Xbox or not since PC-only gamers gain nothing from Xbox Game Pass whatsoever.
For achievement hunters, many games under PC Game Pass also have unlockable achievements, letting us showcase our success to others online. For PlayStation players, PS4 controllers can be used to play Game Pass games too, by way of legitimate third-party software.
All in all, gaming on the PC is still arguably the best way for us to have fun on a budget. With Game Pass, we get even more for less!