Microsoft to launch ambitious new subscription service
Gamescom was certainly busy for Microsoft, who announced some new games, new controllers, and a whole bunch of new bundles. However, perhaps the most exciting news to come out concerned the future of the Xbox One X.
Since launching nearly a year ago, the One X has been a relative success, enticing gamers with its promise of unrivalled power and graphical abilities that outstrip those found on even the PS4 Pro. Since the One X’s launch, Microsoft have also introduced Game Pass, a Netflix-style subscription service that gives users the ability to access an enormous library of games for the cost of a small monthly membership fee. Game Pass’s library has been quite impressive and is growing rapidly, with many major new titles, including Forza Horizon 4, launching directly on the service the day of release.
Many have speculated that Game Pass is the future of gaming. At E3, Microsoft fueled this speculation by announcing that their next generation console would probably come in two versions. One will be a classic console on which you install digital games and play physical games via disc. The other will operate purely as a streaming device, with a limited capacity and lower price point.
At Gamescom, Microsoft announced an initiative that could well be a precursor of this second console.
Microsoft will soon (so far, there’s been no confirmed launch date) be offering a service called Xbox All Access. Within the bundle, you’ll get an Xbox One X, Xbox Live Gold membership (required to play against others online) and Xbox Game Pass. The difference from classic console bundles is the entire package is funded by monthly payments, like a subscription service.
The service is slated to cost $34.99 a month, with the subscription contract lasting 24 months, after which you’ll own the Xbox One X console out of right. Details are thin on the ground, and there’s been no word on whether you’d need to go back to paying Xbox Live and Game Pass regularly after the 24 month period.
The One X has a $499.99 RRP currently, while Game Pass costs $9.99 per month and a 12-month Xbox Live subscription will set you back $59.99 at full price (though deals are fairly easy to find). This means that to buy the parts individually for 2 years would cost you $859.73. Meanwhile, the full Xbox All Access package would cost slightly less, coming in at $839.76. The real incentive of the All Access will be not having to put up a big chunk of the money upfront.