Microsoft: Xbox Games with Gold lineup to improve

Microsoft's Phil Spencer has explained that the company sees Games with Gold as a different kind of service than other programs like Plus, but did acknowledge that he's taking steps to improve the line-up.

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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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From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 10, 2014 9:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Microsoft: Xbox Games with Gold lineup to improve.

    Microsoft's Phil Spencer has explained that the company sees Games with Gold as a different kind of service than other programs like Plus, but did acknowledge that he's taking steps to improve the line-up.

    • reply
      March 10, 2014 9:34 AM

      the game choices have been improving, but honestly, it's 2 free games a month. I don't play much xbox right now, but I keep subscribing to gold because it's giving me games I wouldn't otherwise get.

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      March 10, 2014 9:36 AM

      That's good news. The last thing I downloaded that I actually went back and played (again) was Crackdown. I'd forgotten how much fun that game was!

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        March 10, 2014 9:37 AM

        i have an unplayed copy of crackdown 2. is it good?

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          March 10, 2014 9:38 AM

          I don't think it's quite as good as the first, but it's not terrible by any stretch.

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          March 10, 2014 10:03 AM

          It's decent but probably not worth your time. Id shelve it until you get desperate. Playing it after SR III really had me struggling to stick with it.

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          March 10, 2014 2:28 PM

          It's not as good as Crackdown 1.

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          March 10, 2014 2:54 PM

          It's more of the first game so if you are just starting out its not a bad one to start on.

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        March 10, 2014 9:52 AM

        More like non-news.

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      March 10, 2014 9:51 AM

      I'm glad they are listening to the rumbles, but yea, they do have a point. You get these games to keep even if you stop Gold... which why would you stop Gold at this point?

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        March 10, 2014 10:29 AM

        That is awesome. At the same time, most of the games they've offered are games most 360 gamers have played. Also, to your point: I don't foresee cancelling PS+ ever. Not only do I get free games, but I get multiplayer (on PS4) and, more importantly to me, cloud storage for my save-game files. I'm kind of OCD about save-game files. :(

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        March 10, 2014 2:23 PM

        There are potentially 30 million 360 owners out there who do not subscribe to Gold (48 mil subscribers vs. 78 mil consoles sold), who could take advantage of the system should MS decide to change their game offerings to be more in line with Sony's, sans the active subscription requirement. I don't blame MS for being gun shy.

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      March 10, 2014 9:52 AM

      I don't think that there are many people who prefer having the (possible) chance to download Gears of War in 10 years (lol at 360s working in 10 years) vs having "temporary" rights to something relevant. He's right that the services are different. Plus feels like a value where you are getting something for the money, and Live feels like extortion.

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        March 10, 2014 10:02 AM

        Yes I don't see how getting 5+ year old games that you could get for a couple bucks from the bargain bin (even if you could keep them) is supposed to motivate people to sign up for Live.

        If you don't want to shower people with your practically "first-party" games like Crackdown and older Halos,
        that are ancient anyway, just because people could cancel the sub and keep them, don't even bother with free games (even newer indie or arcade titles), then, try free music or movies or other incentives. Cut a deal with Netflix, sports leagues... SOMETHING.

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          March 10, 2014 10:05 AM

          People could also buy those games used for significantly less than the (tiny) monthly Live fee. So their point is even less relevant.

          It's weird to see how strongly Sony managed to turn the perception of Live against Microsoft. A year ago, Live was the best thing for console multiplayer. Party chat, cross-game invites, flawless downloading and updates.

          Now it's somehow a liability to most people. The perception is 'Oh, that shitty thing I have to get to watch Netflix. No thanks. I'll watch it for free on my PS3.' It's weird how quickly that turned.

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          March 10, 2014 10:18 AM

          Yeah if Live got me a sub to that music service they have or a movie a month or something it'd be totally different.

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      March 10, 2014 9:57 AM

      all i know is that i got 2 free games with plus at the ps4 launch as well as 1 free ps4 game per month since the launch of the system. has MS given anything for the one yet?

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        March 10, 2014 10:01 AM

        Their Twitch client is better than the PS4 and about to be improved. Their Netflix client is better too. Killer Instinct was "free". Besides that they've given me frustration and irritation.

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          March 10, 2014 10:55 AM

          yeah i havent bothered with sharing streams. i dont want to play my game in a big frame and people said there was no sound and the picture quality was too poor. MEH

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        March 10, 2014 10:01 AM

        Nope, other than the "free" games for people having bad disc drives. Which I already have a second drive failing.

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        March 10, 2014 10:03 AM

        Do they have to? Sony was in the position where they had to grow their subscriptions, but if Live subscriptions are not slipping by much then there is little point.

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        March 10, 2014 10:05 AM

        how much gaming did you get out of Outlast and Dead Nation?

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          March 10, 2014 10:20 AM

          My wife played Contrast all the way through and I like games like Dead Nation and they have that cool Twitch interaction thing I want to try. Just got busy with South Park all weekend. Outlast was dull, but I never like playing horror games that aren't Condemned or Resident Evil.

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            March 10, 2014 10:35 AM

            Nice. How the fuck do you guys have so much time to game?

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              March 10, 2014 10:50 AM

              They just make time for it. :D

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              March 10, 2014 11:14 AM

              It's what we do on the weekends instead of going outside or socializing or having children. It's pretty rad. We order Italian in most Friday nights and binge streaming videos and video games until Monday.

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          March 10, 2014 10:59 AM

          20 minutes of outlast (not really my type of game), an hour and a half so far for dead nation. played some with mittense last week when it came out but haven't had time to play more.

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          March 10, 2014 11:17 AM

          Outlast is super creepy :( makes me want to put my controller in the freezer

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            March 10, 2014 11:23 AM

            lol, that's the best description of something I've heard in a while.

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          March 10, 2014 12:23 PM

          I'm having a lot of fun with Dead Nation

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        March 10, 2014 11:56 AM

        You get a lot of free workouts in their fitness app, which actually feels like a use-case that totally justifies the addition of Kinect to the system.

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      March 10, 2014 10:05 AM

      Games with Gold must have been awesome for the two guys in the universe that don't have Gears of War.

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        March 10, 2014 10:38 AM

        I've enjoyed it. Off the top of my head I've played a bunch of Dead Rising 2 and Civ Rev thanks to it.

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        March 10, 2014 12:22 PM

        I tried playing Gears of War on PC once. It was terrible. *insert picture of tard the cat*

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      March 11, 2014 6:21 AM

      ""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.""

      Uhh...could someone please translate this into actual English?

      I already have my own opinions on both services, I consider them to be almost exactly the same if you're already committed to paying for either one, but I have read and re-read this and I still don't get the point Spencer is trying to make. You gotta pay for Gold if you want access to future free games, so while you get to keep the games regardless of membership, you can't get them in the first place unless you're paying, and MS's goal isn't to get you to stop paying. There's no real difference between the services if you're committed to paying for either one, other than at the moment Sony offers newer 'free' games, more of them per month, and far better discounts. MS can easily catch up in this regard if they just become a bit more generous (and work out better deals with third parties).

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      March 12, 2014 4:23 PM

      I still have 6 monthly codes I bought with a dozen copies of Kinect Disney waiting to be used when good games come up. I bought KD for only 1c a copy and got as many as I could from the shop.
      I have already used half of my codes when I wanted to use something that requires live. I rather do it this way since I have 3 consoles in different places around the house and have different logins for each.