You’ll soon be able to get all your Xbox services from one subscription
2019 is the year of the subscription bundle.
Apparently, Microsoft has been working on a new subscription, which will combine Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass into one single monthly charge. Called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (I’m glad they avoided the ‘Plus’ designation), the $14.99 a month subscription will likely be revealed alongside the disc-less Xbox One S console which should be unveiled later this month.
First spotted by Twitter user h0x0d, there’s one other piece of interesting information – the new Ultimate subscription will only cost one dollar per month to Xbox Insiders until the service is launched. With the current separate subscriptions, a pay-monthly subscriber would be paying $19.98, so a $5 saving is nothing to sniff at. It’s likely that once Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is launched, Microsoft will have discounted packages if you pre-pay for 3, 6 or 12 months, just like with the existing services.
The new bundled subscription is probably aimed squarely at making the disc-less Xbox One S easier for new converts to Xbox
Buying a new console is enough of a wallet hit without the additional costs of multiplayer service, games and other subscriptions. That bar to entry just got lowered slightly, which might be all that’s needed to tempt any gamers who are currently undecided between the consoles.
This isn’t the first time that Microsoft has bundled its services together like this. The short-lived Xbox All Access subscription consisted of a leased Xbox One X, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Game Pass and cost $35 per month. When that program ended in December of last year, Microsoft told Thurrott.com that the service would be returning in 2019, in a different form.
With that piece of information, I expect we’ll see a bundled disc-less Xbox One S console with all the associated subscriptions announced at the expected event at the end of this month
With all new Xbox Game Studios titles such as Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, and Forza’s upcoming games all arriving on Game Pass at the same time as the retail release, it’s clear that Microsoft isn’t going to back down from game subscriptions any time soon. With the xCloud game streaming service in the works, the future of Xbox looks more and more like Xbox-as-a-Service, instead of a dedicated console.
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