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Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass will end your free time forever

Tech--microsoftBy Daniel Howley

Microsoft (MSFT) wants you to play video games until you become one with your couch. And to do that, the company is rolling out its new Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

Game Pass is a kind of Netflix for gaming that gives you unlimited access to more than 100 Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles via your Xbox One and One S consoles.

At $10 per month, Game Pass sounds like a heck of a deal. Out of the gate, Microsoft is offering games like “Halo 5: Guardians,” “BioShock Infinite” and “WWE 2K16,” as well as a host of Xbox 360 games.

Sony’s streaming service
Microsoft isn’t the only company offering an online gaming service, though. Sony (SNE), Microsoft’s chief rival in the home gaming console market, has its own service called PS Now.

That service, which costs $45 for a 3-month subscription, allows you to stream games rather than download them to your device, which can be a problem if your internet connectivity is on the slower side. Sony, however, not only lets you stream games on your PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro, but on Windows 10 computers, as well.

Sony, though, doesn’t currently allow you to stream PS4 games, instead, limiting you to PlayStation 3 games. That’s expected to change this summer when Sony finally adds PS4 games to its portfolio.

GameStop’s sorrows
Download and streaming services like Xbox Game Pass and PS Now are great for gamers, but problematic for the likes of the world’s largest games retailer, GameStop.

The company, which recently posted better than expected Q1 results, thanks in part to Nintendo’s new Switch console, has been suffering as gamers increasingly purchase their games via downloads.
In fact, GameStop recently reported that it saw an 8% decline in game sales. That has forced the retailer to spread out to new options like smartphone and collectible sales.

With Microsoft and Sony getting in on the game streaming and downloads service for older games GameStop looks to be in even greater trouble.

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