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Microsoft Announce Netflix-Like Service For Xbox, Retail Shares Dive

Today’s announcement by Microsoft Xbox head Phil Spencer that the company will now offer a $10 Netflix-style on-demand service that offers unlimited access to a library of over 100 games has sent share prices of video game retailers reeling.

Detailing the feature in a blog post on the company’s website, Spencer says that “today, we’re continuing our commitment to give you more options to diversify and expand your library of games with Xbox Game Pass, a new gaming subscription service coming later this spring. Xbox Game Pass gives you unlimited access to over 100 Xbox One and backward compatible Xbox 360 games – all for $9.99 per month.”

“With great games from top industry publishers such as 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK CORPORATION, THQ Nordic GmbH, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft Studios, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and you will always find something exciting to play across a variety of genres,” he says.

Spencer confirmed that the service will allow customers to download, not stream, games and that all Xbox One games in the catalog (along with any DLC) will be available to purchase at an exclusive discount for Xbox Game Pass members.

“Every month new games will cycle into the subscription with some cycling out, giving you a constantly updating library of games. Xbox Game Pass is your ticket to endless play,” he says.

It’s a bold play and one that, if it resonates with players, could very well force Sony and Nintendo to follow suit.

However, it’s also a move with dire consequences for those operating in the retail video game distribution world.

Reports have long circulated that US retailer Gamestop (who owns and operates EB Games in Australia) relies on the sales of secondhand video games for 50% of its profits.

The retailers shares have dipped 8% since the announcement.

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