Microsoft is planning on rolling out a subscription-based program that will not only let you subscribe to game services but to pay for a new Xbox gradually over time as part of the monthly fee, according to a recent report.
Windows Central reports that Microsoft will debut a new program called Xbox All Access that will charge customers a single fee to get an Xbox One system as well as a subscription to Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. The Xbox One S subscription will cost $22 a month, while the Xbox One X subscription will go for $35 a month. As with a cell phone plan, you’ll own the console outright once the contract is up, and it’ll end up being a little cheaper than if you paid for everything individually up front.
The catch with the program is where you’ll be able to sign up. According to the report, Xbox All Access will only be available in the U.S. at Microsoft stores and “possibly other retailers.” We’re assuming you’ll be able to sign up online and have the Xbox shipped to you, but that’s not entirely clear. What’s also unclear is what the minimum contract length will be. The report makes it sound like you’ll need to buy into a two-year contract, but obviously Xbox hasn’t confirmed that.
If true, it sounds like Xbox is fully committing to the subscription-based model before potentially launching a full-scale streaming service for its next generation of consoles. Previous rumors have indicated that the next Xbox generation will offer two different consoles—one “traditional” console and one that basically works as a streaming box.
Xbox All Access should debut sometime in the next few weeks, possibly before the holiday season in an effort to push additional software sales. The annual cost for the Xbox One S subscription would be around $264, whereas buying everything that you get with the bundle individually would cost around $430 MSRP, so there’s definitely value there. Whether consumers will accept this new strategy it is yet to be seen, but it was pretty cool when Blockbuster rented out Nintendo 64s, so I don’t see why this wouldn’t work out.