Microsoft is looking to make it even easier to get into its gaming ecosystem with Xbox All Access. This new limited time program lets you finance a new Xbox console with online gaming services for a single monthly price. You’ve got your choice of the Xbox One S or Xbox One X, but you can only get this deal in a Microsoft Store.
The Xbox All Access bundle has everything you need to start playing games out of the box. In addition to the console, you get Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. This is a financing offer with 0% APR, so you’re actually paying off the console and online services monthly over the course of two years. It’s similar to the way most mobile carriers sell phones now.
The Xbox One S starts at $21.99 per month with online services, and the Xbox One X is $34.99 and up. Those are just the starting prices because you can choose any bundle version of the consoles you want. Those versions, which often include a custom hardware theme and one or more games, might cost a little more when purchased up front. It’ll be a negligible difference when spread out over two years, though.
Xbox Live Gold is Microsoft’s online services platform, which is required for multiplayer in games. You also get a handful of free games with a Gold subscription for $9.99 per month. Game Pass is a newer offer that also costs $9.99 per month. It includes a catalog of 100 games that you can download and play as much as you want on your console. They’re mostly titles from at least a year or two ago, but there’s some good stuff in there. You can also get 20% off purchases of any Game Pass titles to keep forever (games rotate on and off the list sort of like Netflix).
If you were planning on subscribing to Game Pass and Live Gold, then All Access is a good deal. The subscriptions would run you $480, so you save around $250 with the One S bundle compared to buying the console and 24 months of subscriptions. The One X option saves about $140 off the full price.
Because this is a financing arrangement, Microsoft says that only “qualified customers” can take advantage of it (i.e. there will be a credit check). If you can get a regular post-paid mobile account with a financed phone, you should be able to get Xbox All Access. Now, the only problem is finding a Microsoft Store, of which there are just a few dozen in the US.