“There’s just too much TV!” is a classic refrain these days, with a glut of streaming services swamping our capacity to enjoy the best the small screen has ever had to offer. But can you have too many games? When you have to download hundreds of gigabytes of game files over many hours just to see if you’re into it, then maybe.
When you can get instant access to over 300 games, with pretty much something for everyone from the world of gaming, then such arguments go out of the window. And that’s the glorious promise of Xbox Cloud Gaming, part of the Microsoft Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
Sadly, that does make it $14.99/month for the privilege, which might feel like a lot to spend out on a games sub if you’re not sure how much you’ll use it. But you can grab a fresh sub for just $1 for the first month, and if you don’t want to carry on after that first 30-day period then you can just cancel recurring billing and not pay another penny than your initial one dollar down.
That said, it’s not just cloud gaming, because with Game Pass Ultimate you get both Xbox and PC Game Pass, as well as EA Play, too. Which means even if a game isn’t available via the Xbox cloud servers there are thousands you can just download to your device and enjoy… so long as you keep on paying Microsoft its sub money.
But it’s the Xbox Cloud Gaming feature that makes Ultimate Game Pass so, well, ultimate. It means you can log on from practically any device—including a Steam Deck—and be playing some of the latest Xbox games in minutes. The streaming is good, thought the resolution is limited to 1080p at best.
Personally, I think GeForce Now has the superior actual streaming quality (opens in new tab), but you do actually need to own the games to play them on Nvidia’s service. With Game Pass everything you see is fair game.