Xbox One Games With Gold kicks off in June, resembles PlayStation Plus

Xbox Live Gold members will begin getting "subscription-based access" to free Xbox One games next month.

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Alongside today's announcement that Microsoft will launch an Xbox One system that doesn't include Kinect, the company finally revealed that the Games With Gold promotion is coming to Xbox One--but with some changes to the way Gold members get their free games.

Beginning in June, Games With Gold will begin bringing "subscription-based access to free games" to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Next month, Gold members will be able to download and play Halo: Spartan Assault and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood for free.

What stands out about this is the "subscription-based access" qualification: It sounds as if you'll only be able to play these games while your Xbox Live subscription is active, as is the case with PlayStation Plus' Instant Game Collection offerings. We don't yet have all the details, like whether you'll be able to play the free games indefinitely as long as you have a Live subscription or how long the games will be offered for.

Whatever the case, this already stands in contrast to the Xbox 360's version of Games With Gold. Since it launched last year, it's offered up two free games for Xbox Live Gold members every month. These games could be downloaded and kept forever--even if your subscription lapsed, you'd still be able to play and re-download the free games you had downloaded previously. This gave it a leg up in one way on PlayStation Plus, which only allows its freebie games to be played while subscribed to Plus. But it also had the effect of the offered games almost always being older ones, resulting in a great deal of criticism.

Microsoft initially announced plans to bring Games With Gold to the Xbox One last year, but offered no timeline for making it happen. In February, Xbox boss Phil Spencer indicated we'd be getting word "fairly soon."

Also coming to the Xbox One in June are the regular sales, branded Deals With Gold, that have been seen on the Xbox 360 for some time now. The first Xbox One games to be discounted through this will be Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome, as well as "a few other surprises."

Xbox Live Gold members will also soon have access to a "virtual VIP room" on the Xbox One that offers a look at the "free games, monthly deals, and other great benefits" they're entitled to.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

193 comments
steelmouth
steelmouth

Com'on now MS don't copy the crappy isn from Sony, don't go down to their

level let them come up to your level

vscott453
vscott453

Sometimes I just have to tell myself that there are going to be complainers no matter what and its really no point in trying to understand why they are crying. In the end is this news good for me? Yup even though I already have the xbox one. Regardless of the crap people want to throw, the news from ms is getting better and better.

angelofbeast198
angelofbeast198

how about  give us a emulator and let us play xbox 360 games on x1

Vodoo
Vodoo

What's with you people?!! It's like nothing can please any of you because you're just gonna complain & whine regardless of what Microsoft does to try to make things better for gamers.

People b!tched & moaned about their always online drm service, so they changed it. Then you complained that they changed it and should've left it alone. People CONSTANTLY complained about the age of the FREE GAMES they were giving you, so they changed it. Wanna guess what most of you did then? Go ahead, I'll wait... That's right, you complained. Why do you even game when you're obviously so unhappy with everything?

Microsoft doesn't own most of the games given away, other people do. There's only two ways to give you free games... either you get old games but can keep them indefinitely, or you get newer games like PS+ but lose them when your subscription expires. Most people prefer to have newer games to play, myself included.

I've had Xbox Live Gold for almost 12yrs and PlayStation Plus for 5yrs. The Plus service pays for itself multiple times over with the quality of games you get to play. While I appreciate the level of game quality I've gotten for free on my 360, because they're so old there's only been about 3 or 4 that I didn't already own. So that model isn't the optimal way to get quality free games to gamers. I'm extremely happy Microsoft is following the great example Sony set.

Remember, these companies don't owe you anything. They're not required to give you FREE software. Microsoft once again made an improvement to benefit YOU, the gamer. They changed this policy to bring us better quality free games to play. I'm pretty sure they rather continue giving away games a few years old that no one buys anymore and possibly make money off selling dlc for those games after you downloaded them. Giving away newer games isn't benefitting them more, it's benefitting you.

So stop whining and complaining about every little thing they do and be grateful for the things you get. Yes, Microsoft made a terrible mistake last year with the way they were going about the future of Xbox. They realize this much more than you or I ever could. But they're trying to prove themselves to us. Allow them the chance to make it right. We jump all over companies when they screw up and we should show support when they try to fix it. We let them know when they've wronged us, we should also let them know when they're doing something right.

cri8tive08
cri8tive08

i am in it to win it   send one my wy

strothers101
strothers101

Well...that sucks.....I was kind of hoping for something more substantial.

grenadehh
grenadehh

Well, there go our bragging rights. Sigh. Leave it to MS to find a way to make as much money as possible.

arqe
arqe

Batman's new costume revealed today and you guys still argue about ps4 vs xbox one ...

lostn
lostn

It seems Microsoft is copying the good stuff Sony does, and Sony is copying the bad stuff MS does.


Sony: We give free games. Good ones, that is. 

MS: We'll do that too!


Sony: We don't charge subscription for streaming services like Netflix on top of what they already charge. 

MS: Fine, we'll stop doing it then.


MS: We charge people to play online. 

Sony: Not a bad idea. OK, we'll charge too. 



lostn
lostn

So the Xbots will no longer be able to smugly say their games are truly free and not 'rentals' like the ones offered on PS+. The offerings had better be a vast improvement over the garbage previously offered.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

If ya can't beat em? Join em. =)

kereke12
kereke12

As long as they don't cancel anything on Xbox 360 then I'm good, but yes like @themc_7 has mention they should give us the ability to check what you missed from months ago.

themc_7
themc_7

if they're making this change, we should have access to the entire games for gold library, not just the 2 games currently available for download. I want to be able to go back and download the games that I missed from say....4 months ago

Karlinel
Karlinel

At least now the ridiculous "PS+ gaemz r not free lolzor they are rentlaz!!!1!" line will be forever forgotten. 

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Microsoft has reversed damn near everything they said they would do. Too late to catch up to Sony now. Titanfall wasn't enough to save them. And I doubt the new Kinect free X1 with a PS Plus copycat subscription will be either.

justin1946394
justin1946394

I am a bit disappointed, no Pc comments on here.

Zicoroen
Zicoroen

Xbox is really better every day. Impressive.

Phill Spencer is the Xboss.

allever
allever

@Vodoo  If people don't complaint, nothing never gets changed.  It's a never-ending process. 

Personally, I don't believe Microsoft listens to their fans.  They listen to money.  E.g. Their 180 reversal last year was due to the PS4 pummeling them with the preorders.  The Kinect reversal was due to their consoles sitting at retail. etc.

parabol69
parabol69

@strothers101  Entitled leeches like you are what's wrong with American society.  Always want more for nothing.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@lostn  At least there is reason behind Sony deciding to charge for online. What's the justification for putting those apps behind the XBLG paywall? 


Sony built PS+ with the free games first. They made the service valuable without the online multiplayer. Take away online multiplayer for Xbox and you find a disappointing set of benefits. 


Sony isn't perfect, but the value proposition is better. That's why Microsoft is matching what Sony is doing. Because it's not just about matching them. It's about going above and beyond. 


In a way this amps me up for what Microsoft might announce at E3. In other ways it's scary how much Microsoft has altered the identity of the Xbox One platform. You can't rely on what your buying into now to be consistent going forward. Hopefully that's not the case. It's hard to see through the marketing to what the real deal is within those Redmond offices. You can only jump in or sit back and watch. I'm choosing the latter for now, but I understand why others are choosing the former.

mixmaster1995
mixmaster1995

@lostn  It has always been a copy and undermining fest during this generation. Think of this change as putting them on an equal playing field. The only thing the PS4 will have as an advantage over the Xbox One now will be more 1080p 60fps games.

gruntboy116
gruntboy116

@lostn I hope ps4 online is a lot better than it was on ps3, if you had to pay to play online on the ps3, In my experiences, it would not be worth it at all.

glacius_x
glacius_x

@lostn  Expect more and more of this to happen. From Sony copying motion control  to MS copying with "gaming with gold".  At very least Nin can stand tall on innovation, even if they are currently in fail mode.

grenadehh
grenadehh

@lostn  Bro, Dust, Deadlight, Sleeping Dogs, Saints Row 3, AC2, Gears of War, Fable 3, those are garbage? Dungeon Defenders and Defense Grid are garbage?


Silly entitled pseudo-gamers.

lostn
lostn

@themc_7 Not going to happen. You cannot back download all the games you missed. The reason they're on rotation is to get you to remain subscribed. If all past games remain free forever, then someone who's not subscribed could just wait 3 years, pay 1 month subscription and get every game that was available free for those 3 years, that someone else would have had to pay 3 years of subscription for. What's the point in subscribing for years if all you have to do is wait, and then get them all in one go, saving you lots of money? 


They rotate these free games out and bring in new free ones, so that people who aren't subscribed see what they're missing and decide to jump in before they miss even more. The longer you are subscribed, the more stuff you get, as it should be. The less you are subscribed, the less you get. Why should you be entitled to all the free stuff other people paid for that you didn't? You have to reward those who pay, or it's a kick in the teeth for them.

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

@Karlinel Nah, they'll still say that dumb line, just now they'll include Live in the phrase too.

lostn
lostn

@HipHopBeats I think this changes everything. Not so much the free games, but the removal of Kinect will. It won't woo over the PS4 owners, or the PS3 owners who have yet to buy a new console. But it will get the 360 owners who held off because it was too expensive. These guys will jump in now, and it will boost XB1 sales significantly. Titanfall failed to shift units because it was not exclusive. 360 owners didn't need to buy a new console to play it.


I own PS4, but now getting a XB1 is no longer out of the question. I won't be doing it any time soon, but it leaves the door open later when/if there are exclusives for it I feel I must have, since I no longer have to throw $100 away to buy a camera that I will never even hook up.

themc_7
themc_7

@Zicoroen  why is this better? If your subscription runs out, the games you downloaded are unplayable. This is the opposite of the current method.

geekasauruswrex
geekasauruswrex

There was literally no point in paying for PS+ before the Instant Games Collection, which came about as a result of the 2011 network attack.Sony had to retain consumer trust and to avoid losing them, offered free games to compensate for their negligence in that their worldwide network got clapped by a SQL injection tool. Sony showed just as little a care for their customers beforehand as Microsoft is argued to have shown.

grenadehh
grenadehh

@Hvac0120 @lostn  No they didn't. PS+ was worse than XBL GWG for the first year it was out. Literally no reason to have even paid for it until 2013.

grenadehh
grenadehh

@Karlinel @kereke12 @themc_7  You mean other than the continuing GWG offerings and the weekly sales on XBL? And the fact that it still works?


Yea, totally unacknowledged.

themc_7
themc_7

@lostn @themc_7  "pay 1 month subscription and get every game that was available free for those 3 years, that someone else would have had to pay 3 years of subscription for. "  But if you want to keep said games, you'll have to continue with the service, and keep paying. PS+ has a huge library of free games that members can download and play whenever. Why shouldn't games for gold offer the same? If you're a paying member, you're a paying member. It really shouldn't matter how long you've been signed up. If it's your 1st month in "the club" you should get the same privileges as someone who's been in "the club" since 2006 (like me)

I wouldn't feel shafted if a new member got all the stuff that I got. Who cares? Games for all!

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

@lostn @HipHopBeats Good point. It does even out the competition moreso. Too bad Microsoft tried to be so greedy in the beginning. 

lostn
lostn

@themc_7 @ZicoroenBecause the games will actually be worth downloading now, unlike 7 year old garbage such as Civ Rev that you will never play.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Microsoft charged people a small fee because server farms around the world cost a lot of money and have to be maintained. New additions to the service have to be developed. That's the reason XBL was always a better, faster, more secure and more stable service than PSN.

PS+ only started giving away good games when Microsoft started their GWG program. I had PS+ back then and they would offer the same games 6 months straight sometimes. Sony cannot keep giving away money. They realize that to offer the same level of quality as Microsoft that they need to charge for it.

In the 12yrs that I've had XBL Gold, I've never paid more than $40/yr for it. That's nothing! And nobody should be buying anything less than a year at a time. In the 5yrs I've had PS+, I've had to pay $50/yr every time except once when I bought it off ebay.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@grenadehh While you are correct that the value wasn't quite there at the start, the idea of starting with a rewards program was better than immediately stripping away everything gamers had been used to having for free and throwing it behind what, at the time, was an arbitrary paywall. 


Sony rewarded customers for their investment in the Playstation Network. Microsoft forced customers to pay up front and trust that the investment would pay off. But looking at the the last 9 years of Xbox Live, it's hard to find where the payoff for gamers is.

gurgengrigoryan
gurgengrigoryan

@parabol69 @glacius_x  Are you kidding me? What innovation did the Wii and the Wii-U bring? Well lets think about it - the motion controller first of all - opened the doors for PS Move and Kinect, and took the standard of gaming into the virtual reality world. The Wii-U  is clearly revolutionary in many ways, but possibly slightly less on the pure power side. But graphic updates and motherboard speeds can all be enhanced easily - so the "innovation" xbox and ps4 make are really just an upgrade in their hardware - the Wii-U is trying to change how we game. And they do that with the GamePad

So in this way the GamePad is the most important new addition, clearly combining the console experience with the now-very-popular tablets. All of the games are designed whit the GamePad as an integral part, and if that proves to be even nearly as popular as the Wii Remote, then Nintendo might actually define next gen. 

The Wii U offers opportunities that other consoles can’t, simply because of the uniqueness of the platform, in particular the GamePad. The way that the GamePad works, where you can take the game that you’re playing on the TV and instantly transition it onto the GamePad, I think that in itself is going to become a household standard, because if you are sharing a television, this constant fight for the TV is no longer an issue.

You should really do your hw before sounding ignorant. 

lostn
lostn

@themc_7 @lostn As a long time subscriber of PS+, I would not feel shafted if a new member got all my freebies without paying what I paid. But I would feel shafted that I had to pay what I paid instead of only paying what the new subscriber paid. Get it? 

If they kept the games free forever, it would actually encourage people to hold off, because the longer you wait, the more money you save. As a business you don't want to be doing that do you? You want to get people in earlier, and keep them subscribed. The PS+ system is designed to do that. You remain subscribed because you continue getting more games. And you begin subscribing early so you don't 'miss out' on any freebies because they are only offered for free temporarily.

You are right that the PS+ has a large number of games available free at any one time, but that is because you get freebies for 3 or 4 systems (sometimes PSP games are offered free). They still are on a rotation basis. If something is currently free that you want and you aren't subscribed, you will miss your opportunity once it's gone. If they kept it free forever, then you wouldn't feel any pressing need to get it now, you'll just wait for more games before you finally decide to pay.

Sony and MS are a business, and this model wouldn't make business sense to them.

lostn
lostn

@themc_7 @lostnPS+ freebies are on rotation just the same. 

Let's say you waited 3 years before subscribing, but intend to continue subscribing. You get all the games released during those 3 years in addition to what you will continue getting. That doesn't give a huge incentive for people to start paying early. The whole point of this is to get you subscribing sooner, and for longer. Otherwise people will decide they can save years worth of money by jumping in late, provided they don't feel an urgent need to play these freebies now.

themc_7
themc_7

@lostn @Zicoroen  maybe. We don't know what's coming. If the titles got better or at least more recent, I'd be happy. But giving away stuff like Halo 3(2007), Rainbox Six Vegas(2006), I mean come on. They aren't bad games, but they are really old and I honestly don't know a single xbox owner who doesn't already have Halo 3(it sold 12 million copies) .

themc_7
themc_7

@Millard11  agreed. However, when a service like PS+ is giving away Bioshock Infinite, I feel a little bit shafted by GWG. Most of the titles provided are older titles that can be found in most bargain bins for under $5

Millard11
Millard11

Seriously! Because of GWG I got to play some games that I wouldn't have tried. Dust, for example, was a game that I don't think I would have purchased on my own but because of GWG I finally got to play it. I also got to revisit titles that I wouldn't have gone back to. Just because it's old doesn't mean it's bad.