If you don’t already own an Xbox One, Microsoft is making a bold and aggressive move to get you onboard with its new Xbox All Access financing plan. The publisher confirmed the All Access program in a blog post today. For 24 monthly payments, you will get an Xbox One X or Xbox One S along with Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass for less than you would pay if you purchase and subscribed to all of these Microsoft products separately.
That means you get the console, the online multiplayer service (with its Games With Gold program), and the Netflix-like Game Pass program all for one monthly payment. Game Pass, which lets you download games and play them whenever you want, has already established a reputation as an excellent value — especially compared to Sony’s streaming PlayStation Now alternative — but Microsoft is now amping up the value perception for all of its major gaming products.
This is the first time a console manufacturer has tried something like a major first-party financing plan in the United States, and it could find major success since so many people are used to paying monthly for things like their phones, video services, and more.
“For no upfront cost and one low monthly price for 24 months, Xbox All Access gets you a new Xbox One S or Xbox One X, access to more than 100 great games through Xbox Game Pass, and online multiplayer with Xbox Live Gold,” Xbox product marketing boss Bogdan Bilan said. “That’s more than 100 all-you-can-play games — including highly anticipated new Xbox One exclusives the day they’re released, plus more games added all the time on the fastest, most reliable gaming network and an Xbox One console.”
The financing goes through a Dell Preferred Account, and it is only available through Microsoft Stores. But because it works like a credit card or small loan (one with 0 percent interest), it should end up on your credit report. That means that if you do All Access and pay your bill on time, it should show up as a positive account when people investigate your credit score.
So, yeah, playing games can improve your credit.
The Xbox One S plan starts at $22 per month, and the Xbox One X plan starts at $35. This is not a leasing program. Instead, it works a lot like how we purchase smartphones from T-Mobile or other major carriers. That monthly payment covers the cost of the Xbox One, which belongs to you. And then the rest of the money pays for the services.
But unlike those phone plans, Xbox All Access is actually less expensive than purchasing an Xbox One outright and then subscribing to Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass for two years.
The Xbox One S plan in particular is shockingly good. Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass are $10 each per month, which means that you would end up paying $2 per month for the next two years to own an Xbox One S. Hell, I pay $2 a month so Gmail will let me keep getting emails. Microsoft says that this plan is a $130 savings, but I like to think that it’s paying $48 for an Xbox One S.
Of course, many people pay $60 for a year of Xbox Live at a time, which is a significant discount. So if you use that price, it’s more like you’re paying $7 per month for an Xbox One S. That’s still a price that is difficult to pass up.
At $35 a month, the Xbox One X plan is a bit more in line with retail pricing, but it’s still an awesome deal. Again, if you figure that Gold and Game Pass are $20 per month, you end up paying only $360 for an Xbox One X (at the monthly rate for Gold). Microsoft’s powerful 4K console usually sells for $500.
This deal also works with any Xbox One hardware bundle, which sweetens the pot even further.
So it breaks down like this:
- Xbox One X plan at $35 per month is $840 total over 24 months. A new Xbox One X with two 12-month Xbox Live subscriptions and Games With Gold is $860. If you were to pay for Gold monthly, the total is $980.
- Xbox One S plan at $22 per month is $528 total. A new Xbox One S with two 12-month Xbox Live subscriptions and Games With Gold is $640. If you were to pay for Gold monthly, the total is $760.
So what’s the catch? Well, if you want out of the deal before the 24 months are up, you’ll have to pay the remaining cost of the hardware and services. But that’s not much of a catch.
The reason that Microsoft wants to do this is because it’ll get more people into its ecosystem, and it has also found that people who subscribe to Game Pass are playing and even purchasing more games. The reason for that is because they are online more often and they see deals or they see their friends enjoying something and end up buying it as well.
All Access could serve as a smart way to serve audiences that grow around massive games like Fortnite. People are potentially getting into that game on their smartphone or Switch, and this plan will give them a way to play in 4K on their TVs while also getting access to a huge number of other games through Game Pass.
Finally, Microsoft does note that this is a “limited-time offer,” and it’s only for “qualified customers.” But for those of you who haven’t filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, Microsoft wants to give you an easy and affordable way to get an Xbox One X along with dozens of games.
Updated at 10:45 a.m. with link to the live blog and details about where the deal works.
Register for GamesBeat's upcoming event: Driving Game Growth & Into the Metaverse