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Xbox All Access is Like a Cellphone Plan for Your Game Console – Here are the Details

by Eric Frederiksen | August 27, 2018August 27, 2018 9:30 am PDT

Microsoft is looking for new ways to get people into a brand new Xbox with all the extras, and has confirmed following rumors that it will launch a program called Xbox All Access. It’s a subscription plan that will bring you an Xbox One S or X, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Game Pass all for one monthly price – and it’s less than you’d pay for everything if you bought them a la carte.

Gamesbeat has reported on a post that was meant to go live on Microsoft’s Xbox Wire site, though that post has not gone live for some reason just yet. The Microsoft Store page for the product is live, however.

“For no upfront cost and one low monthly price for 24 months, Xbox All Access gets you a new Xbox One or Xbox One X, access to more than 100 great games through Xbox Game Pass, and online multiplayer with Xbox Live Gold,” writes Xbox product marketing head Bogdan Bilan in the yet-unpublished post. “That’s more than 100 all-you-can-play games – including Xbox One exclusives the day they’re released – plus more games added all the time on the fastest, most reliable gaming network and an Xbox One console.”

Let’s break down the math.

For an Xbox One S – a solid console that packs a 4K, HDR Blu-ray player and compatibility with countless streaming services on top of all those games – you’ll pay $22 a month. For an Xbox One X, which has all that coupled with a beast of a game console, you’ll pay $35 a month. At the end, you keep the system and decide whether you want to continue subscribing to Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold.

The Xbox One S deal is bonkers, and the Xbox One X deal is still better-than-retail. To get the worst possible math, let’s assume you’re paying for Xbox Live Gold by the year – that’s $60. Xbox Game Pass is $10/month – or $120 a year (about the price of two new games). Between just those, you’re already looking at $360 for the best possible deal. Split across 24 months, the Xbox One S deal comes out to $528 total, while the Xbox One X deal comes out to $840. If we knock the $360 off both of those, the remainders come out to $168 and $480 respectively toward the console itself. The Xbox One X cost, then, is just barely better than the system’s $500 retail price, but the Xbox One S, as it’s priced right now, will see a roughly $115-$150 discount depending on what time of year you jump in at, pending no price cuts.

Note that if you pay for Xbox Live Gold by the month, it costs $10 every 30 days, or $120 a year, making this an even better deal. In fact, it might be the better analog because you’re paying for this whole thing monthly, not yearly. In that light, you’re looking at the consoles costing $108 and $420 total – from a certain point of view.

The deal works with any Xbox One S or X hardware bundle, too, so you could end up with a couple extra games in the mix, making the deal even sweeter.

Microsoft is hoping that, once the two-year period is up, you’ll be so into Game Pass and Live that you’ll want to keep the party going. Xbox Game Pass is a pretty neat way to get gaming for cheap, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this deal nets a few extended customers.

But is it right for me?

What’s the catch? Well, if you want out of the deal, you’ll still be responsible for the remainder cost of the hardware. That’s hardly surprising. You’ll also have to go to your local physical Microsoft Store to grab the deal. If you’re in Wyoming, for example, you have a long drive ahead of you. This is also currently listed as being a limited-time offer for “qualified customers,” so it’s anyone’s guess how long it’ll last.

How good this deal is assumes that you have a strong, fast internet connection and that you want to play online. If you are the kind of person who sticks with one game – Fortnite, PUBG, Madden, Call of Duty – then Game Pass might not be right for you. If you’re the kind of person who plays Fallout 4 for literally thousands of hours (I know you’re out there), then Xbox Live Gold may not be particularly enchanting. If you’re on a sluggish internet connection, the ability to play DOOM without paying extra doesn’t mean much because it’ll take literally a month (or at least a few days, anyway) to download all 70GB of the game install.

Two years is also a long time in the console world. By the time the deal comes to an end, the Xbox One S could be a $150 system and the Xbox One X could be $350. Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold could be combined into a single service that’s cheaper than the individual services.

In other words, do the math to decide if Xbox All Access is right for you. But for some of us, it’s going to be an absolutely bonkers deal that nets us a game console and more games than we could ever hope for at our finger tips.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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