New Xbox Console will Offer Backwards Compatibility; Ubisoft to Launch Subscription Service


TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the trending stories in gaming. In today’s news: New Xbox console will offer backwards compatibility; Ubisoft to launch subscription service; and Google Stadia will support publisher-specific subscriptions.

New Xbox console to offer backwards compatibility

Microsoft announced that all Xbox 360 games will be able to be played on Xbox One; big news, and something Xbox players have been demanding for a long time. Yesterday (10 June) Microsoft released the news on their official ‘Inside Xbox’ video series that a back catalogue of 600 titles would be playable on Xbox One, but more than that, everything that is playable on Xbox One will also be playable on the new console, codenamed ‘Project Scarlett’.

What this does mean, however, is this is now the definitive list of all backwards compatible games in the catalogue. As part of the evolution of backwards compatibility, no additional, original Xbox or Xbox 360 games will be added to the 600+ catalogue, with all attention now shifting to Xbox One and Scarlett compatibility.

Ubisoft to launch subscription service

UPlay+ will give users unlimited access to over 100 Ubisoft games for USD$14.99 per month. Launching 3 September, the subscription service will allow users to download games directly to their PCs, as well as give them access to upcoming releases and premium content. To give gamers a taster, Ubisoft is offering a free trial throughout September, for anybody signing up before 15 August.

If the fragmented US TV industry is anything to go by, Ubisoft will no doubt be one of many developers/publishers to offer direct-to-consumer access to its content via a subscription service.

Google Stadia will support publisher-specific subscriptions

In more subscription news coming from E3 this week, on top of Google’s announcement about the Stadia Pro subscription model for USD$9.99/£8.99 per month, Phil Harrison, head of Stadia has divulged that the platform will support publisher-specific subscriptions. Not much information was offered up about the new subscription model, but the parallel to buying HBO on top of your existing cable TV package was given.

If you’re thinking this would be perfect for Ubisoft’s UPlay+, then you’re right, as it has already been announced the service will be available on the Stadia platform in 2020. It’s not quite clear if Stadia will allow users to manage publisher-specific subscriptions, if they are signed up to the free Base package, or if it will only be available on Pro. Either way, a clever move from Google to help users manage their growing subscriptions list, and have access to a wealth of second-party gamer data to help monetise and improve its own product.