After Microsoft announced their new, but not surprising, Xbox One S All-Digital system on Monday, they confirmed that their Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription service was real. Rumors about the service started showing up online earlier this month, but it made sense that this was coming. After all, they had their discless Xbox rumor running around with expectations that it was going to come out in May. So, this is not surprising and maybe more welcoming than the discless Xbox One.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers your both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass for a bundled price of $15. For those of you keeping score, that is a $5 savings. I know during out podcast, Adam joked that wasn’t much of a deal, but that is usually deals people get with their cable or phone providers. Bundle services and save a couple of bucks. This would give you access to Xbox Live Gold, which allows players access to multiplayer functionality, Games with Gold freebies, discounts on games, and all that.
Xbox Game Pass has always been a bit of a harder sell. It is their free gaming service that features over 100 games at a time. Some come and go, much like they do with Netflix. This last week, Microsoft began offering new and former customers an option to try the service for 3-months for the price of $1. This is to allow people more time to see if the service is worth their $9.99/month asking price. There are a slew of popular new and old titles that should offer you a great example of how it works.
The offerings is mixed in regards to benefiting consumers. Depending on how you purchase both could cost your $180 to nearly $240. For $180, you would pay the Xbox Live 12-month option for $60 and the Game Pass year for $120. For the $240 price, you would be paying $9.99/month for both services. Bundling the service will bring you to the $180 price, which is getting Xbox Live for half price, or vice versa, depending on how you wish to look at it.
It is rumored that Microsoft will be offering a streaming service option, but given how they are moving toward this bundle – it could be a while.
It is almost hilarious that Microsoft got their thunder stolen from the announcement of specs for Sony’s PlayStation 5. While most people are awing over that, they were unimpressed by confirmation of stuff we have known for months now. A reworking of an existing system and offer, doesn’t usually go over well. However, with Google’s Stadia coming out later this year, that puts Sony and Microsoft in a harder position.
In the end, the bundle works in conjunction with their discless Xbox One S, which is slated for release on May 7th. In the prior report, Microsoft will be offering 3-months of Game Pass for $1 for consumers of their new console. As for when Game Pass Ultimate will be released, there are no hard dates. They simply said that it will be released later this year, while some Xbox Insiders are being offered the option. So, we will most likely be following up this story at a later time.