Don’t look now, but one of the best-reviewed games of the year is coming out today. No, it’s not Spiderman or God of War, though those weren’t exactly slouches where Metacritic is concerned. This time it’s coming from the Microsoft camp: Forza Horizon 4 is widely regarded as a top-tier racing game, currently sitting at a 91 on Metacritic and releasing today. Which is great for Xbox and PC fans of racing games, but as is now the case with Microsoft exclusives, there’s a little bit of a wrinkle here. You can get Forza Horizon 4 for $10, or even for free.
Forza Horizon 4 is included with Xbox Game Pass starting today, like all first-party Microsoft releases starting with Season of Thieves back in March. That means that if you already subscribe to Xbox Game Pass you can plunk yourself down in front of your console and get to downloading, no extra price or anything involved.
Even if you’re not a member it would still be pretty cheap to try this game out if you’re so inclined. All you need to do is sign up for the service, which costs $10 a month: it will add up in the long run, but you get a ton of other games along with it. And considering the fact that Forza Horizon 4 is currently $60 at retail–like most new AAA releases–you could buy yourself a full six months of Game Pass for what you’d pay buying the game a la carte. So the only scenario in which it makes sense to buy this game in a box is the one in which you really want this game, know you want to play it for more than six months and are ultimately disinterested in all the other games in Game Pass, including future new releases. Or if you just really like boxes. There are certainly people to whom this scenario applies, but I can’t imagine it’s the majority stance.
And that’s if you want to pay for Game Pass, or if you’ve already used up your free trial. If you haven’t used up your free trial, all you’ve got to do is go sign up here and you can start downloading Forza Horizon 4 for no money down, as well as a ton of other games to boot. In this economy, you can’t afford not to.
Game Pass was an impressive offering when it first showed up, but it’s only getting better as more games enter the lineup. Microsoft may not be as dominant this console cycle as Sony, but it’s a much larger company on the whole, and this is what you can do when you have the financial flexibility offered by owning Windows. In a strange way, Microsoft has turned its less impressive exclusive lineup into an odd sort of strength because it’s given the company the freedom to experiment with a new pricing model that feels well-geared towards a future where local hardware becomes less important.
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