Microsoft: Xbox Games with Gold lineup to improve

By Steve Watts, Mar 10, 2014 9:30am PDT

Xbox's Games with Gold program was largely seen as an answer to PlayStation Plus, but the reception hasn't been as warm as it was to Sony's subscription plan. Microsoft's Phil Spencer recently said that Microsoft's service is "fundamentally different," but did say he is working with the team to offer a better line-up.

"One of our issues with Games with Gold--not 'issues,' but differences between the other system we get compared to, is the fact that with Games with Gold, you get to keep that game, regardless of whether you continue to subscribe," Spencer said at a SXSW panel reported by Polygon. "And the business around Games with Gold, for us, is just fundamentally different from some of the other programs that are out there, which does put a different financial picture on a--you're gonna go buy a game that's brand new, the cost of putting that in, just to be kind of blunt about it."

Regardless of his taking exception to the comparison, though, he did seem to signal that he understands why some subscribers have not been thrilled with the line-up so far.

"That said, I have been sitting down, monthly now, with that team--some of the earlier months were already programmed--and playing a more active role in picking franchises that show up in Games with Gold, and I think you'll see at least something that feels, at least, more true to what I think Games with Gold should look like with the constraints that are there," he said.

Spencer had previously said that the Games with Gold program will be coming to Xbox One sometime this year, but didn't give further details on the timing of that expansion.

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