Microsoft’s Xbox One Games with Gold program finally gets underway in June 2014 with two free games. Considering it’s the first time Microsoft’s kicking off the free games model with its next-gen console, the Xbox One Games With Gold list for June is pretty solid.
The Xbox One Games With Gold program operates a bit differently than the Xbox 360 version. The Xbox 360 Games With Gold program allows any Xbox Live Gold member to download a game and keep it essentially forever. This was unique to Microsoft’s platform compared to Sony’s PlayStation Plus offering. The Xbox One Games With Gold takes a page from Sony’s PS4 and PS3 playbook, offering games on a subscription basis.
The difference is big, but nuanced. Both Games With Gold programs require a subscription to get the games, but the Xbox One Games With Gold program requires you to stay an Xbox Live Gold member in order to retain access to the games. In other words, if you download the entire Xbox One Games With Gold list of free games next month, you’ll only be able to keep playing them next June if you’re still an Xbox Live Gold member.
By contrast, the Xbox 360 Games with Gold program has offered — and will continue to offer — up two free games for every month. Those games are yours to keep and play even if your subscription lapses. And yes, you’ll be able to re-download any free game you had previously downloaded. That all changes with the Xbox One Games With Gold program.
So what exactly is on the June 2014 Xbox One Games With Gold list? Two surprisingly solid games, actually.
First is Halo: Spartan Assault, the franchise’s recent strategy outing that also had a Windows Phone 8 version. The second game on the June 2014 Xbox One Games With Gold list is Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, which we’ve long since espoused as one of the best games on Xbox One so far.
It’s unclear which of the two games will be available for free when. Microsoft has traditionally released one Xbox Games with Gold title for free for the first two weeks of the month, followed by the second game during the last two weeks.
The two games above are the only freebies available on the June 2014 Xbox One Games With Gold list, but there are also some discounts on the way. Starting in June, Xbox One owners will have access to “Deals With Gold” sales that have been on Xbox 360 for a while now.
The first Xbox One games to be discounted through “Deals With Gold” will be Forza 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome. Microsoft has said there will be “a few other surprises” as well, though it’s unclear what those will be. If Xbox One owners are lucky it’ll be a demo based on an E3 preview build of an Xbox One game.
Yes, that’s a bit of a pipe dream. But if Nintendo can pull off nationwide E3 demos at Best Buy, there’s no reason Microsoft couldn’t pull a rabbit out of the hat with its new Xbox One Games With Gold program.