Xbox Game Pass for PC announced plus Gears 5, Age of Empires and more will come to Steam

Written by Jon Sutton on Thu, May 30, 2019 3:21 PM
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Microsoft has made some interesting plays in the PC gaming space, announcing the official Xbox Game Pass for PC, more first-party games coming to Steam, and support for Win32 games on the Windows 10 Store.

Xbox Game Pass for PC

We’ll begin with the Xbox Game Pass for PC, which will be a completely separate package of games to the Xbox One service and will be launching with more than 100 PC games from over 75 different publishers. Partnerships include Bethesda, Deep Silver, Sega, Devolver Digital, Paradox Interactive, and Microsoft’s own Xbox Game Studios.

Microsoft’s first-party games will be included in Xbox Game Pass of course, and this includes titles from its newly acquired studios like Obsidian and inXile. That presumably means both The Outer Worlds and Wasteland 3 will be on Xbox Game Pass for PC on day one.

Just as with the Xbox version, PC Game Pass will feature new games added each and every month, with a single monthly subscription granting access to all of these games. Pricing, specific games, and launch details are set to be announced during Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference on June 9th.

Microsoft Bringing Xbox Game Studios Titles to Steam

In a massive change for Microsoft’s way of doing things, they’re planning to offer plenty more choice in where its first-party games can be played on PC. The majority of its first-party titles are exclusive to the Windows Store. It was announced the Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be coming to PC, but this is just the beginning. Over 20 upcoming Xbox Game Studios titles will be coming to Steam, beginning with Gears 5 and Age of Empires 1, 2, & 3: Definitive Editions.  

“We know millions of PC gamers trust Steam as a great source to buy PC games and we’ve heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice,” explains head of Xbox, Phil Spencer. “We also know that there are other stores on PC, and we are working to enable more choice in which store you can find our Xbox Game Studios titles in the future.”

Win32 Games Will Now be Supported on the Windows 10 Store

Win32 is the default app format for games and is used by just about every PC game under the sun. Except if a game comes to the Windows 10 Store of course, which utilises a proprietary Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application system.

This is all changing and the Microsoft Store will soon have full support for Win32 games enabled. “We recognize that Win32 is the app format that game developers love to use and gamers love to play,” said Spencer. “This will unlock more options for developers and gamers alike, allowing for the customization and control they’ve come to expect from the open Windows gaming ecosystem.”

That’s lovely stuff and a big win for PC gamers. Microsoft’s ticking all the right boxes here and is actually backing up its claims that it cares about PC gaming with some real substance.

In terms of how this ties in Xbox Game Pass for PC, we would assume Game Pass will only apply to Windows Store titles. That’s the carrot on the stick to get players using its own storefront rather than Steam.

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11:08 Jun-03-2019

I wanted to try Forza Horizon 4 and got the €1 month signup. Unfortunately that claim of 100+ games so far is limited to 16?. If it weren't for Forza Horizon 4, there would be nothing there I'd want to play.
Of course I could have gone and looked this up before spending my milkshake money. Playing FH4 for a month for €1 is worth it to me though.

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11:51 Jun-03-2019

That's Xbox Game Pass, that's why the selection of games is limited. PC Game Pass that was announced here isn't out yet.

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16:10 May-31-2019

Still pretty sceptical, but we will see

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21:52 May-30-2019

oh man did Microsoft just went full on capcom and started actually being good to pc gamers ? can't Believe it . i'm most likely going to pick the games on steam but i'm going to try the gamepass for sure , at least for the first month and then decide wether it's Worth it as a little support to them actually starting being pro-consumer . my 60 bucks is already sitting in the corner waiting for Halo MCC :D

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20:56 May-30-2019

Finally might be able to use Ansel on Forza games

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19:41 May-30-2019

Epic store would be better for gamers

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22:10 May-30-2019

lmao nice bait xD 7 victims have Fallen for it already hahaha

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10:40 May-31-2019

14 poor guys fell for it so far lmao

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10:57 May-31-2019

15 ?

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19:05 May-30-2019

Could be good if they can have the 4k textures as a separate download. Gears 4 currently weighs in at a hefty 133.5GB because of them so Gears 5 would most likely be even larger and would take me several subscription days just to download.

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18:28 May-30-2019

good job Microsoft, this is super exciting news.

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17:36 May-30-2019

So happy for Age of Empires coming to steam at last, also hope state of decay 2 comes to steam

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17:08 May-30-2019

Am I missing something? I have AoE: 2 HD edition on steam, is this something different?

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17:27 May-30-2019

Yeah it's a very different thing.. in a bad way. Look it up but don't blame me if you have nightmares. AoE2: HD is where it's at. I don't have high hopes for the rest of the ''Definitive'' series but we'll see (2 and 3 remain unreleased)

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17:28 May-30-2019

Different game. AoE 2 DE has been announced, AoE3 DE hadn't until now.

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17:28 May-30-2019

Ninja'd

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21:54 May-30-2019

same , i bought AoE2 HD last week on steam for nostalgia lol . anyway i'm having a great time with it especially since the Community is very alive and friendly

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17:04 May-30-2019

Looking forward to this, cant wait E3!

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17:00 May-30-2019

"we’ve heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice"
Epic Games, you see that?

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16:59 May-30-2019

I'm thoroughly confused now. So there's the Xbox Game Pass, then there's Xbox Play Anywhere. Now there's Xbox PC Game Pass lol. So I thought you could already play games with Play Anywhere on the PC through the Xbox Game Pass. How is the PC Game Pass different.

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17:26 May-30-2019

Xbox Play Anywhere means a game can be bought on Xbox or PC and be played on both. Xbox Game Pass is a couple hundred games playable on Xbox, plus about 5-10 that are also playable on PC because they happen to be Xbox Play Anywhere. PC Game Pass is 100+ ganes which will all be playable on PC, both first-party and from other publishers.

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17:49 May-30-2019

Thankyou sire ! You have untangled my brain. An extra cookie for you

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09:05 May-31-2019

Hah thanks! It's a failure on Microsoft's part really with having all these similarly named services!

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16:47 May-30-2019

This is exciting news! Microsoft is doing it!

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15:27 May-30-2019

Looks like Microsoft is really trying to turn costumer friendly, compared to when Xbox 1 was launching back in 2013 :) Good news!

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16:26 May-30-2019

Yeah, next Xbox will be called the 180:-p

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