Microsoft is planning on launching a new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription that combines Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass into a single monthly charge. Twitter user h0x0d first revealed the new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and it claims the service will be priced at $14.99 per month. That would line up with reports of Microsoft likely unveil this service alongside the company’s new disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital edition later this month.
The combination of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live subscriptions into a single monthly charge means Xbox owners will save around $5 per month compared to the $19.98 monthly subscription price for an existing combination of the two. It’s not a massive savings, but the new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offering will make a lot of sense for Microsoft’s new disc-less Xbox One S since this console won’t include a Blu-ray drive and will rely heavily on digital downloads and Xbox subscription services.
Microsoft has previously experimented with bundling services and even Xbox hardware together into single subscriptions. The company briefly launched an Xbox All Access subscription that offered a leased Xbox One X, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Game Pass all together for $34.99 per month. It was only a limited time offer, but it was clearly an experiment to test the demand for subscription bundling.
Microsoft has been aggressively touting its Xbox Game Pass, a monthly subscription service that provides access to more than 100 Xbox games. Even Xbox Game Studios titles like Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3 are available immediately at launch on the service, and Microsoft recently added Minecraft to Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft is also working on an xCloud game streaming service that will stream games to PCs, consoles, and mobile devices.
Microsoft is in a great position to offer Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Sony, having removed free games for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, are only offering 2 free games a month as incentive for the PlayStation 4. Microsoft still offers four games a month and the ability to download games for their Game Pass service. Unlike Sony, which requires you to be connected to essentially stream their game.