Growing up, I was always a Nintendo and PlayStation kid. I was never a stranger to Xbox, in fact, some of my earliest and fondest memories include playing the old Green Giant, Duke and all with my cousin, but it was never a system I had in the house. Over the years, as the turn of the generation came, I bet on Nintendo to continue the charge with the Wii U, and what PlayStation showed of the PS4 did little to grip me. Xbox’s 2013 showing spoke for itself. By the time PlayStation announced Uncharted 4 would be directed by the Last of Us guys instead of Amy Hennig, I swore off the PS4 entirely as I was not a fan one bit of that game (Funnily enough, I would later come to realize that A. Last of Us, while nowhere near what it’s hyped up to be, is far from a bad game, B. many of that same team worked on Uncharted 2, my fave and C. Uncharted 4 is a pretty alright game)
Flash forward to 2018, I once again bet on Nintendo, and I was starting to see some warning signs. A lot of Wii U ports, not a ton of new stuff. I also started writing for a quiz site and found I needed to step outside of my Nintendo bubble. I tuned into E3 that year and was absolutely blown away by Microsoft’s commitment to diversity of titles, new acquisitions and day one Game Pass releases.
I started to save up, and when it went on sale, I crunched the numbers, and for the price of 3 scaled down Switch ports, I could get an Xbox One, Game Pass, Live Gold and RDR2. As a Spider-Man fan, going away from PlayStation seemed a bit risky, but the rumour of Obsidian (a favorite studio of mine) sold me.
When I got home, I jumped into Game Pass, and I started off with the comfort food. SRPGS, WRPGS, Third Person Shooters, Rare Replay (actually bought that one), Fighting games, etc.
But then, I started stepping outside my comfort zone. I rekindled an old love for point and click titles. I got really into racing games (especially Forza Horizon 4).
Finally, I managed to try out first person shooters, a genre I despised as a kid and got motion sick from. After getting some help from Era, I learned how to adjust settings and I loved them. I started playing (and buying) more and more of them.
And then immersive sims. And stealth titles. My horizons were expanded even more. Sure, there are some odd exceptions (no amount of Game Pass titles in the genre will make me Git Gud at Soulslikes and Roguelikes) but on the whole, I went into the ecosystem with a list of like 6 genres I liked, and now have so many on there, my list of dislikes is less than 5.
That’s before we even get into legacy franchises outside of Rare’s catalog I came to love like Halo, Gears, Forza, Fable and Ori. Or titles I tried on a whim like Golf With Your Friends, Tetris Effect Connected and Goose Game.
Game Pass has quite literally changed how I consume games. I play more, I buy more, I enjoy more. The only I guess downside is that my backlog is bigger and I am a bit more discerning for day one releases outside of GamePass (but less so for later down the line).