Google's alternative to Apple Arcade is finally available to customers outside the United States.
Unveiled in September last year, Google Play Pass is a subscription-based service that bundles together "hundreds" of apps and games from the Google Play Store. Like Apple's gaming subscription, the sell here is that you're getting mobile games devoid of in-app ads, purchases or other up-front payments.
Play Pass is officially available on Android devices in Australia as of this week.
According to Maria Sayans, CEO of Ustwo games, "Play Pass helps encourage people to try new experiences they would not have otherwise."
Ustwo's Monument Valley is only one of the many big mobile games included here. Other titles include Stardew Valley, Terraria, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
Back when the service initially launched, PC World's Leif Johnson wrote that "Apple Arcade is all about the games. It’s right there in the title. But Google Play Pass’s roster for more than 350 apps includes both apps and games, so you’ll also popular apps like AccuWeather and Facetune mixed in with games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Old Man’s Journey. Presumably, with the service, these apps are free of the ads and microtransactions you’d get with their normal version. That makes Google Play Pass a more robust service, with the notable caveat that most of the included apps are already well-established."
Google are also playing up the integration of Play Pass within the existing Google Play Family Library. Using this feature, a single Play Pass subscription can be shared with up to five other family members.
To sign up using the Google Play Store app, tap the menu at the top left and look for the Play Pass button.
For those looking to spin up the service, Google are offering a one-month free trial. After that, you're given the choice of either paying $7.99/month or $49.99/year.
Google Play Pass launches in Australia this week.