Xbox Game pass: an economy of access from an economy of ownership

"Consumers will be 'playing on' PS Now, but they will 'get their games' on Xbox Game Pass"

Xbox has recently announced the very exciting Xbox Game Pass, where for $9.99 Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners will get a monthly subscription that would include more that 100 game titles for them to play for free and the players will also be able to download them for playing offline. The service will reach the Xbox One and 360 owners from June 1.

MIDiA Researcher's lead analyst for research on games and the mobile content economy, Karol Severin recently expressed his views towards the launch of Xbox Game Pass and how it's going to affect the digital games' market to MCV.

According to MCV report, this move is seen by the industry to be one step towards the transformation of the economy of owner to the economy of access. The consumer base is today shifting towards the subscription based models rather that the ownership model. While Sony already has its own Netflix-like subscription service, where users can stream its games, Microsoft went a step ahead and added the availability of downloading the games in their recently launched subscription service.

While Sony's streaming experience will drive more user engagement, which is needed at the time of launching a game, in contrast, Xbox Game Pass users will mostly engage with the service's brand, when they browse or download games.

In other words, as MCV reported, consumers will be 'playing on' PS Now, but they will 'get their games' on Xbox Game Pass.

On the other hand, according to Severin, the download feature of the game might prove to be the differential element for buyers while purchasing a console, especially in the countries with low Internet speed, such as countries in South America, Middle East and parts of Asia. Choosing the download option instead of streaming would be more preference to the users of these regions.

"As access over ownership becomes an expected standard by consumers, their respective propositions will play an important role in product differentiation and ultimately, have a significant impact on the future sales of consoles", says MCV.