Xbox’s Phil Spencer says Games with Gold is “fundamentally different” than PlayStation Plus

Spencer says allowing you to keep games even if you don’t continue to subscribe makes a big difference.

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Speaking at SXSW, Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer said that Xbox’s Games with Gold program is “fundamentally different” than “other programs” because it allows members to keep the games regardless of whether they continue to pay for a subscription.

Spencer is clearly referring to Sony’s competitive PlayStation Plus program, which gives users access to a collection of free games, but locks them out if their subscription expires. Microsoft allowing you to keep the games even when your subscription expires has an impact on what games it can include in Games with Gold, Spencer said.

According to Polygon, however, Spencer said that he’s “playing a more active role in picking franchises that show up in Games with Gold, and I think you'll see something that feels at least more true to what I think Games with Gold should look like with the constraints that are there."

Games with Gold is currently available for Xbox 360 only. At the start of February, Spencer said that we could expect to hear about Games with Gold reaching Xbox One "fairly soon".

For March, Games with Gold’s free games are Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution and Dungeon Defenders, following February's Dead Island and Toy Soldiers: Cold War.

By comparison, for March, PlayStation Plus is offering Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition on PlayStation 4, Tomb Raider, Thomas Was Alone, and Lone Survivor: Director's Cut on PlayStation 3, and Unit 13 and Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite on PlayStation Vita.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

1136 comments
jark888
jark888

Most of PS Plus games are well picked while most of XBL Games with Gold are insulting to gamers.

I'd rather have $5 credit each month to purchase any digital content I prefer on XBL.

wristbreaker
wristbreaker

well you gotta give credit to that... just hope the games they give away are good... 

I have been a Playstation fan since the first one came out, but it's a  good thing Xbox One isn't selling well so we have things like this...

Here's to hoping that Sony follows suit...


Just gotta love being a gamer!!!

w01fpack
w01fpack

Gamers don't actually "own" titles anyway. They own game licenses. If MS users think they actually own a digital copy of a game, try re-selling it. You can't. And even if you sold off your console with all your digital games on it, you'd have to sell your Live account along with it, which you can't legally do. So you don't actually "own" the title.

Secondly, a case where someone cancels their Live subscription and still wants to play games such as Dungeon Defenders is extremely rare. Honestly, how much is that game if I bought it straight from Steam? $3? Because that's how much that low-budget Tomb Raider Guardian of Light game cost that came out in January '14 is. If high-calibur games such as Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed were still offered with GwG, I never would have cancelled my subscription to Gold. Thank heaven I can still play them, though. 

Bottom line: neither PS+ subscribers nor GwG subscribers actually "own" their digital games; they only own licenses. Secondly, I honestly hope MS steps up their GwG program with high-calibur XBox 360 games because the 360 is a great console I would like to be more invested in.

DEATH775
DEATH775

PHIL SPENCER must thinks that the gaming community consist of 7-9 years old and a couple of toddlers with that kind of statement. Only a true idiot would believe that Gold games is better than the games on PS+. Even if you can't keep the game on PS+ you still would be able to finish it and enjoy it to the fullest before the subscription ends. Why the hell would I want old games that I can get seriously cheap on ebay? Do you have Tomb Raider on your Gold Games list? NO so there you go, GOLD game sucks.

Evilbunz
Evilbunz

1. Microsoft has enforced xbox live on xbox users... you cannot do a lot of things or even play online without xbox live. So they should do exactly the same thing as Sony is because almost all xbox users have live.


2. Sony is renting you the games but if you own a PS4 you will automatically get PS+ because you need it to play online.


Microsoft is very dumb.... xbox live and ps+ are mandatory on next gen consoles to play online or do anything so Sony's policy of renting newer games is better because a vast majority of people have the service and will continue to have it. With Sony you can not pay for PS+ then pay for it later and your games will still be there... and the games are new. MS giving 100 year old games you can get for 5$ on ebay is not even a deal it is stupid and you need xbox live gold to even download them lol.

grove12345
grove12345

anyone know if i sell my Xbox with these games downloaded, but delete my profile and everything else. The buyer would be able to play these games without needing my account info?

driftingsilvia
driftingsilvia

I'd rather rent a new game, then keep a game thats 7+ years old and garbage.

slainta
slainta

The difference is that Sony selects games no older than 2 years, often not even a year old, all with good Metacritic scores. MS gives out games 5-6 years old one can buy for peanuts anywhere. Sorry if I stick with the first. I am deleting games out of my 750GB HDD because of PS+ pouring new games to play each month. 

Oh, and PS+ gives games for all 3 platforms, not just the PS3. People can mark as bought the games for the other consoles as well via web browser and download them all at once they buy the new platform.

NFJSupreme
NFJSupreme

so MS is actually giving you the game and sony is really just renting it too you.  I get it.

grumpygamr
grumpygamr

all the xbox executives are a joke now. They feel they can get over on people. They have mislead a lot of people but it isnt gonna last. Kinect didnt turn out to be anything. the cloud isnt gonna be the magical thing there fans are hoping for. They havent delivered external storage support. They put an esram that is to small and to difficult to program todays games. they just keep pushing lies out. they would rather trick gamers then work with them. i guess some people have the need to watch tv in a little box in the corner and dont want to use the picture in pucture there tv and dvr had 9 years ago.

nighterrorx
nighterrorx

Spencer has to realize that a majority of the gamers actually do have money and will pay for a service (XBox Live/PS+) for as long as they have that system. I am sure most people who got a PS4 got PS+ and who picked up an XBox One picked up Live (sad reality of gaming these days) But I can't tell you when the last time I played my 360, so even though I got "all those games" they are just sitting there. If I had a PS3 and no longer playing it...guess what will happen to those games ... :).


As we move into the digital age, the days of showing off my giant box of Old NES and SNES games are over. Games are not "collected" like they use to.  


I appreciate XBox Live owners can "keep their games" after they leave the service. But On paper...Sony throwing darts -- I don't mind "renting" a game for 6 - 8 years LOL. So bring it Microsoft!!!! :)

Alecmrhand
Alecmrhand

Phil Spencer has the difficult job of trying to make XBox Live Gold sound as good as PS+, which it isnt. Xbox owners should thank Sony for pushing Microsoft to even create the program. Its another example of how the competition between the two companies ultimately results in a better situation for all gamers.



llantaeusll
llantaeusll

It is gonna differ from person to person. I personally enjoy ps plus because of the discounts, not the games they give. I been apart of plus since the beginning and while it has improved over the yrs, its still not the amazing thing people make it out to be.

I hardly play many of my plus games mainly because if I wanted to play these games I would have bought them. Its not hard to find games cheap. Amazon,gylde,Ebay,pawn shops

 I think plus is perfect for someone who has a limited game collection or has kids and can't afford to buy them many games.

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

I have no problem paying for online as long as the experience is worth it. I would like to see a move to dedicated servers and away for the P2P ones we have now.

Slvrshot
Slvrshot

Anybody having sign in issues? I cannot sign into my shiny new xbox one.

sonicare
sonicare

That is an advantage in theory.  Being able to "keep the game" without keeping the service is a nice feature.  But it really depends on the specific person.  Some people are collectors and like to go back to older games.  Others like to play a game for a short bit and then move on.  No real right or wrong.

theoasis77
theoasis77

Sony is a rental service. Once the service is dead or your console is dead... You don't have your so called games anymore. You are renting them and in the end losing money. As a collector this is a big no no, yet I still do it, but I know I'll have to rebuy some of these games later on for cheap.

jimmy_russell
jimmy_russell

It's a monthly subscription-based online game service. They are fundamentally the same things.

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

While I admit that being able to keep the game is fantastic; it appears people would rather play something more recent, even if they do not necessarily own it.  Perhaps they should try doing it like PS PLUS to see if it can better the reception of the 'Games for Gold' feature.  

They can experiment further with this.  Not many are even aware or mention 'Games for Gold.'

dbene
dbene

I'm a MS fan but I have to admit Sony is kicking our tail in this one department (in ONLY this one dept. IMO though). 

The biggest advantage is not only better games but also the fact that it is a building library. With Xbox Live you get the one shot at the game free and after the two week period it costs again....huge difference.

However, I think both of the services are overplayed as far as that go, because I would spend time playing an older game on either as there are so many new games or other old games that I want to play. I can see it being a big deal for someone new buying the games though. 

I think the argument of Netflix being free etc.....is really bogus considering all of us making the debate points are already participating in a paid service. 

CPTCUDDLES
CPTCUDDLES

wow! keep great games for as long as your a member OR keep crappy games forever no matter what. Microsoft is wack. 

grumpygamr
grumpygamr

literally everyone that has xbox live and Ps+ is laughing at this. PS+ is so so much better.

naomha1
naomha1

There's good and bad to both sides. While PS+ doesn't let you keep the games, the games are of a much, much higher caliber than what MS is offering or has offered in the past. Online is free for the PS3, but now you have to pay for online with the PS4. MS and Gold is just a blatant rip off for accessing FREE internet. So is PS4's p2p. In the past few months on PS+ we've gotten Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Metro LL and quite a few other great games. To be honest, I can't remember the last really good deal I got out of my Live subscription. I got Shoot Many Robots for the kids and Dead Island for my oldest, but I can't really remember anything that just screamed "awesome" at me. PS allows you to stream your digital content for free. MS doesn't. I think someone already said this, but things like Netflix and Hulu. Also, with PS+ you get that instant game collection which is pretty nice. Some really great games in the mix there. PS hardware (say what you will Xbox fanboys) has always run better than MS. I've burned through 2 Xboxs with the RRoD. I still have my first PS oldboy. Runs like a champ too. Also, PS has a lot more exclusives for their system than Xbox does. Both could go either way, but I enjoy the exclusives on both systems. 

 All in all, both are really good solid systems now. With the release of the "next-gen" systems I"m thinking in another year or two all the kinks will be worked out and those systems will be solid as well. That "next-gen" moniker that they stick to the new consoles is a joke already though. Seriously folks. Don't be played by these corporations that want to sell you something that pc gamers have been enjoying for years already. There is absolutely NOTHING these consoles can do or have done that those of us on pcs haven't been doing for years. 1080p? How about 5760x1080? Yep. 60fps? How about 90-200fps? Yep. SSAO, HBAO, HDAO? Have had them for years. God rays, tesselation? So 5 years ago on pc. Don't get me wrong, as I've already said, I love my consoles. They're wicked fun at times. They are, however, just like a brand new car, so depreciated in value as soon as you put it in your car for the ride home it isn't even funny. Soon as you open the box, it's already 2 years behind in tech. 2 years folks. Don't believe the hype with "next-gen". When consoles can support 3 monitors in a row and can natively support 4k without killing themselves or melting, then we'll be in "next-gen". 

   To each their own though. Console gaming isn't dying anytime soon. A real gamer, one that enjoys the artistry that developers have crafted and made for our enjoyment, won't just lock themselves into one console or one gaming machine. You're really going to have to get both to enjoy their exclusives, maybe get the game that plays better on the other system, maybe plays at 1080p for that large screen tv you just got, whatever. The list goes on and on. Just game and be happy. 

dmdavenport
dmdavenport

Neither of these programs interests me enough to pay extra for them.

Ryster092
Ryster092

@grove12345  When you purchase digital content on Xbox, it's tied to both your console ID and your live ID. Therefore in theory, so long as the new owner doesn't delete them or do a full Xbox reset, they should continue to be able to play them because of the console ID link, just the same way that a member of your family with a live account logged onto your Xbox could.


I'm not aware of this being any different for the Games with Gold program, because to me that seems like just an adjustment of the purchase price to 0.00 when it detects you're a gold member. I'd imagine the regular digital content purchase policies still apply.

jark888
jark888

@slainta  I'm glad I read your note about buying free PS Plus game online to use later on the console I've not yet owned. Thanks a bunch. I wish I know sooner so I could get Outlast, last month free game, for PS4, . For those who's new about this, you can mark free games as bought  on store.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com.

KelpsterD
KelpsterD

@grumpygamr

Your comment has nothing to do with this article...

but keep up the trolling i guess? 

notfrylock1987
notfrylock1987

@nighterrorx  

Had my PS4 since launch and still have not gotten PSN+. Just don't need it for the type of games I play on consoles.

angrycreep
angrycreep

@Alecmrhand Well there's no denying that they are offering better games than the Xbox 360 ones. The bad part is that their not your games to keep like the Xbox 360, and you just borrowing them with your PlayStation plus subscription, and if your subscription runs out and you out of money, all those fancy games are all gone with the expiration of your PlayStation plus subscription. unfortunately there are allot people out there, that goes through bad times all the time, and others that just can't buy a subscription at all. All those games are not available for them. Sony is able to get better deals for their games, in their console, because their not giving you the game to keep and looks more than you just borrowing the game with your PlayStation plus subscription, and companies are more willing to let you barrow the game, rather than just giving you the game entire it for free, and not make any money. Microsoft is having a much difficult task, making deals trying to get better games, because they giving you the game for free and to keep weather you have a subscription or not, and Companies don't want to give you a game for free and not make any money for that game. If Microsoft would have done the same thing Sony is doing, the quality in games would have been just as good as the PlayStation plus games.

realshooter305
realshooter305

@theoasis77  so what i rather rent a game or new games till i beat them than to own a shiny turn anyday

theprismhead
theprismhead

@theoasis77 It'd be worth it even if they were just demos. I remember spending more p.a. on mags with demos in them than just $50.

The_luv_rocket
The_luv_rocket

@jimmy_russell Except you get to keep the game... that is a fundamental difference, meaning they are not the same. That is like saying all fruit is fundamentally the same thing.

northArrow
northArrow

@VegasAceVII For me it's not the old games they give away that's the problem, it's the bad ones. Even though the AAA games are from the early days of the console, that doesn't mean they're low quality


What angers me is when they give away the games from their "arcade" category. There's no nice way to put it, these games are fucking terrible and have no business being on a console. These games are the same quality as the FTP crap on mobile devices.


October's giveaway, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes is quite possibly the worst game I've played since the NES. Shoot Many Robots, Iron Brigade and Toy Soldiers aren't much better. There are plenty of good games on the 360, I have no idea why they can't begin offering those

grumpygamr
grumpygamr

once they try they will be hooked

3D3
3D3

@dbene lol are you kidding me? PlayStation exclusives demolish Xbox exclusives and they keep on coming. 360 has nothing left while the PS3 is still getting games. Same thing will happen for the PS4.

grumpygamr
grumpygamr

i was a huge xbox fan but i think they lost all their gamer executives for money hungry executives. i am saddened by the company. hell the guy they put in charge of xbox wanted to get rid of it. ya he is a gamer i bet. what a joke. brand loyalty is bad.

cherublvl99
cherublvl99

@dbene  - Say this for the bunch of stupid maintences that PSN has, whatever if the game is new or not, Xbox Live GIVE you this, isn't like PSN, witch lends you some games. And by the library, Xbox 360 had much more games, and much much much more Indies games. PSN is a silly network man...

just_hit_x
just_hit_x

@dbene  graphics and power and indie developers and sales and install base and system reliability. looks more like these 7 departments

grumpygamr
grumpygamr

if you like gaming and have a ps i really recommend PS+. i didn't get it at first. i was a hardcore xbox fan but the value is so amazing i cant imagine and PS+ subscriber is disappointed in anyway. It is best subscription service out there i believe. Including great ones like Netfix or Amazon Prime. way way better then xbox live. Live looks like a joke in comparison.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

You got as far as "high calibur", why not just continue to read the rest.

nikon133
nikon133

@angrycreep @AlecmrhandDifferent approaches for different customers. My gaming time is limited as I'm balancing it with work/family/other hobbies, so as general rule, I'm not revisiting games. I do play multiplayers longer, but rarely longer than a year. Life is short and there are always good new games to be enjoyed. In this light, PSN+ works better for me. I can focus on buying on-line games I want to play, and getting single-player games from PSN+ (some of them, at least).


Live Gold approach has it's benefits, but only as long as they are giving games I like and haven't already purchased. I wasn't too impressed with games they have offered so far, but for those who are, well, good on them.

Slvrshot
Slvrshot

@theprismhead @SlvrshotYea that would be bad. At least the Kinect and TV function work as advertised. Very impressed. Gotta be patient though.

grumpygamr
grumpygamr

you obviously are talking from a almost zero knowledge on the subject. xbox 360 was better. xbox live was never better, it did a lot that Ps3 wasn't as capable of. updates did suck the energy out of the room. but its a new generation and sony fixed the issues. xbox stagnated and came out with a weaker machine with antiquated xbox live attached and literally useless Kinect.

DEATH775
DEATH775

@grumpygamr Agreed, I rather pay for a year subscription, you get tons of great game. Why would you want to keep the games when you can play the games until your bored of it and delete it. Plus you get Vita games too, which I happen to own. If you have a PS4 next year you can expect to get better line up of games for it on PS+

nikon133
nikon133

@SIDEFX1 I give gaming same treatment as my other hobbies; I try not to overlook any, but I also try not to overdo any as well. At the end, balance is required in pretty much everything in life.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Life is short to be staying home inside playing games.