Video games is a very, very unique industry in its own way. In fact, there are few sectors that can boast such a constant and marked evolution, with a truly incredible quantity of innovations which, moreover, does not seem to pause. In short, gaming has changed and is changing, and we users more often than not just have to watch and ask ourselves where we can go.
There is clearly no answer, but at the same time we are facing a theme that lends itself to a thousand reflections: if some time ago we spent a few words about the new generation of video games, which from a certain point of view seems to be struggling, today we will go to perform a sort of reverse path. Like? Talking about one of the biggest news of recent years, and how it has changed the way of experiencing the video game forever. In short, we are going to talk about Xbox Game Pass.
Xbox Game Pass: question of… Approach?
Let's start from a necessary premise: this article does not intend to criticize or glorify what, today, is the approach with which we all approach the videogame medium. What we want to do is analyze, in a totally impartial way, how the advent of Xbox Game Pass has inevitably changed things in several respects.
Today each of us can, with a minimal expense, access a large and constantly updated catalog of games: a daydream, as well as a totally unimaginable show until a few years ago. Of course, Microsoft is not the first to try their hand at what we now easily call Cloud Gaming, and in one of our articles we have already explored this aspect a little better.
However, Game Pass is revolutionary as the first real service capable of supporting such an important and content-rich infrastructure: in fact, we are facing a platform that has given way to something much bigger. Something that no longer makes sense to label as the future, but which is in all respects the most important part already of the present. Like any innovation, we clearly find who is in favor and who remains on a more polemical position. On the other hand, both sides, if we can define them that way, have their motivations: let us not forget in any case that absolute truth does not exist, and that it is always and always a question of personal opinions.
On the one hand we find users who finally feel they have complete access to the fantastic world of video games. Thanks to Xbox Game Pass we can in fact play where and when we want, and in any title we want. Without limits, of any kind. This perception brings many advantages, above all related to the possibility of being able to (re)discover many products, whether present or past.
Think of all those games which, due to the thousands of releases that populate the market every year, are likely to quickly end up being forgotten or even to go completely unnoticed. Publishing on such a platform gives them the opportunity to expose themselves to a very large audience who, taking advantage of the fact that they can access the title at no additional cost, will probably be more inclined to invest a few hours of their time. And this also applies to games from five, ten or even twenty years ago: works that, in this way, manage to live a second life also reaching a new generation of users.
The other side of the coin gives us a much more cutting approach and, if we want to define it that way, almost catastrophic about the future of this medium. The fear on this side is that such an approach is, over time, going to negatively influence the perception of the video game. In short, having everything available immediately could lead players to appreciate less and with less attention the works that cross their path.
And the very term "cross” makes the idea behind this vision perfectly: the video game is no longer a sought-after experience, but something that happens in a totally random way and with an increasingly less marked meaning. In practice, the risk is that of undergoing a binge of titles where it is not the general quality that is lowered, but the way of approaching the experiences themselves. As mentioned, these are pure and simple opinions which, on balance, should not in any case influence our very personal way of living an experience as rich as that of a video game. Never.
The video game is dead, long live the video game!
A vision like the one just described could make us think that, within a few years, the video game industry will limit itself to churning out products with the sole aim of selling, with no more room for quality, imagination and experimentation. Observing the scenario with a more rational eye, however, such a panorama appears unlikely and perhaps even "dystopian" from many points of view.
Xbox Game Pass has certainly not killed the gaming medium, and we're pretty sure it won't for years to come, either. The response from the public, which is gradually getting used to this way of enjoying experiences of this kind, is positive also and above all in the light of the goodness of the service offered: an opportunity to experience the video game from another perspective, completely new and unprecedented.
As mentioned, this is an approach that can help us discover new titles from every era: think of how many small pearls have succeeded, precisely thanks to Game Pass, to be known and appreciated even just in the course of the last year. Titles such as As Dusk Falls and Road 96, for example, risked being forgotten after a short time, and instead here they are receiving the right recognition from the public and critics.
Another revolutionary aspect refers to what we could call the "Netflix Model", i.e. finding yourself with a rich and varied catalog available simply by paying a monthly or annual fee. A subscription with a minimal cost, when compared to the amount of content that is offered to us: on Netflix as on Game Pass, PlayStation Now and on all other platforms it is almost obvious that there are many forgettable or even poorly made productions.
At this point the ball passes between the player's feet: it will be up to him to invest even just a very small part of his time in seeking, in the way he prefers, those experiences that can be truly significant for him. Within the chaos of titles of all kinds, the quality is there, just know how to search.
Fundamental is always keep a critical eye why yes: the catastrophic approach is certainly far too exaggerated, but the user must never forget that he is always an active user of the medium he finds himself in front of. A very minimal effort is required to achieve truly exceptional results, in short, finding that experience that seems designed especially for us. And living it, regardless of our approach, with all the love we have always reserved for that spectacular medium that is video games.