Here’s Why I Bought XBox Game Pass

So many games, so little time…

Not strictly true, especially in lockdown, but you get the gist. When I’m playing a game, I often think I should be doing something else– like earning money for example. However, when Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) appeared on my radar, it was one of those I must have that game! moments and I’ve been drooling over the in-game footage ever since. However, the game is expensive at $60 for the standard version, rising to $120 for premium, so I would have to be careful. I usually wait for games to go on sale, but for some AAA titles, it’s a must-have. Only recently, Microsoft struck a deal with Steam, so I had a choice– either buy direct from Microsoft or go with Steam. However, I’d been tempted by Game Pass several times before and since it’s a games-as-a-service (GAAS) arrangement, it’s an excellent deal when budgeting because you pay a monthly subscription and get access to over 100 games.

How Much Does Game Pass Cost?

It’s quite a while since I played any kind of flight simulator — not since the early 2000’s in fact — so it’s entirely possible that the learning curve with only a keyboard and mouse won’t cut it. So I decided to go for the $1 first month deal, rising to $4.99 thereafter. To me, that’s a good deal because if things don’t work out I can always cancel. Having said that, whilst waiting for Flight Simulator to become available today, 18th August, I’ve been playing other Game Pass games like Rage 2 for which I would have to have paid the full price of around $60 elsewhere. Not bad for $1 I would say, and there are plenty of others to choose from.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

This is the real reason I chose XBox Game Pass and as I write, the game is downloading– all 127GB. But that’s only half the story because most of the game content is accessed via the cloud. Here’s how:

Flight Simulator uses Asobo’s in-house developed game engine, and leverage [sic] Bing Maps data, accessing over two petabytes of data from the cloud on demand. Azure AI analyzes map data and photogrammetry to generate photorealistic 3D models of buildings, trees, terrain, and so on.

That’s impressive and I can’t wait to take my first flight, especially since my scheduled trip to the UK next month was cancelled due to the pandemic, so at least I’ll have a chance to simulate it. Here’s the launch trailer and I’d be very surprised if you are not impressed.

I’d like to think that this is a win-win, so once the game/simulator is fully installed and I’ve had time to crash fly a little, I dare say, I’ll be writing a mini-review, so please check in again soon.


2 thoughts on “Here’s Why I Bought XBox Game Pass”

  1. Great post ! Can’t wait for your mini-review and what your hardware might be to run MSFS “smoothly” ! I guess the burden of the purchase price is the least of one’s concern?

    1. Indeed, Colin.
      In my book, to be able to fly anywhere in the world is worth the entry fee that Microsoft is charging for Game Pass.
      And yes, I probably will pen a mini-review for MSFS 2020 with the emphasis on mini, because it’s such a huge and incredibly visual project and to do it any justice, I’d need to do a video review.

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