Xbox Game Pass Update: Life is Strange 2, Ark, and More For January

Six brand new games are being added to the Xbox Game Pass collection this month.

Before we get into the six new titles, it’s important to mention December’s late arrivals. Life is Strange’s entire first season was added to Game Pass on the 20th, and the prequel, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, was added one week later on the 27th. After you finish up both of those, which are excellent, by the way, you can appreciate one of January’s new additions a little more.

Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 hits Xbox Game Pass tomorrow, January 3, and episodes 2-5 will be added to Game Pass when they launch, making the entire Life is Strange series available on the service.

Alongside Life is Strange 2 are online multiplayer dinosaur survival game Ark: Survival Evolved and Farming Simulator 17, which is pretty self-explanatory. These arrive on January 3.

The week of January 7 brings online martial arts RPG Absolver to the service, with the explosive Just Cause 3 and brand new team-based shooter Aftercharge following on January 10.

Xbox Game Pass is currently available for $1 for your first month and features instant access to a library of over 100 games, including every Microsoft first party title, like the incredible Forza Horizon 4, Halo Master Chief Collection, and the upcoming Gears 5 and Crackdown 3.

Will you be playing anything on Game Pass this month? Be sure to let us know down below, and stay tuned to Circle Square Games for all things Xbox.

Microsoft Reportedly Releasing Fully Digital Xbox One in 2019

A recent rumor reported by Thurrott suggests that Microsoft may be planning to release a version of the Xbox One without a disc drive.

This console wouldn’t be the next generation Xbox Scarlett, but rather a device similar to the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, just another device in the Xbox One family. The rumored console is expected to release sometime next year, maybe even as early as spring, and should retail for $200 or less. 

Alongside this rumor also comes the news of a revised Xbox One S. While the S will keep its disc drive, cheaper components will be used to cut costs and allow Microsoft to sell the console for cheaper.

Microsoft is also reportedly planning a “disc-to-digital” program, in which owners of physical Xbox One games would be able to take the discs to participating retailers like the Microsoft store and trade them for a digital download.

An all digital Xbox One would be a perfect fit for the Xbox ecosystem. Microsoft has been continually pushing for a connected family of devices with content accessible anywhere. The Play Anywhere program, cross-play, Game Pass, and the upcoming Project xCloud streaming service give a console without a disc drive serious potential to become a strong pillar in the Xbox One family of devices. Microsoft’s recent initiatives have all been about options (Xbox One S vs Xbox One X, Game Pass vs purchasing day one, console vs PC, etc.), and this new Xbox, whatever it may be called, is just the next step in Microsoft’s plan for an interconnected gaming platform.

Are you interested in a completely digital console? Where do you stand on the physical vs digital debate? Be sure to let us know down below, and stay tuned to Circle Square Games for all things Xbox.