Microsoft has been at the forefront of developing successful subscription services within the gaming market. The company revolutionized online gaming with Xbox Live and produced the most viable Netflix-style streaming service for games to date with Xbox Game Pass. Now, Microsoft is reportedly working on the next logical progression in gaming subscription services, and it includes Xbox hardware.
Dubbed Xbox All Access, the new service will supply users with subscriptions to both Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass along along with free Xbox hardware for a monthly fee. Sources within Microsoft confirmed to Windows Central that the service does require a two-year contract, but users will be able to cancel their subscription after that period and keep their Xbox systems for free.
Xbox All Access will offer two price points depending on which Xbox system users desire, with those receiving a Xbox One S paying $22 a month and those wanted the additional power under the Xbox One X’s hood ponying up $35 a month.
While used and refurbished models of Xbox One hardware offer cheaper alternatives, Xbox All Access does appear to save consumers some cash when compared to current retail pricing. The $528 total for the Xbox One S tier is a good amount cheaper than the $590 retail cost for the same package of hardware and subscriptions. The Xbox One X tier looks to be less of a deal as the $840 price tag is only $20 lower than the current retail cost of the same package.
There is also the concern of possible future price reductions for Xbox One consoles impacting the viability of the service by undercutting any provided savings. No details addressing these concerns have been reported.
The service will reportedly only be available in the U.S. at launch, which explains why it wasn’t featured in Microsoft’s Gamescom presentation earlier this week.
Xbox All Access’s offerings mark the gaming field’s next step in adapting mobile phone market strategies to its own business model. With both Xbox and Sony forgoing the traditional console cycle in favor of producing beefed-up iterations of current consoles, it appears that adapting the contract model is the next experiment in the monetization of games.
While details surrounding Xbox All Access are always subject to change, consumers won’t have to wait much longer to analyze what Microsoft is selling. According to sources within Microsoft, Xbox All Access is slated to be revealed later this month.