Microsoft may finally start offering a family plan option for Xbox Game Pass, its popular subscription service providing access to a rotating catalog of video games. The news comes from Windows Central’s Jez Corden, who believes that the new Xbox Game Pass family plan may launch later this year.
“From our information, paying on a higher tier for an Xbox Game Pass Family Plan will net access for five players for games across the entire library, and will be far cheaper than paying for five separate XGP accounts as is necessary today. Utilizing Microsoft’s Family Account system already in use for Office 365, players within the same country will be able to play together using a single XGP subscription managed by a central account holder, in much the same way as Netflix,” Corden wrote.
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It’s not clear yet if Microsoft will offer separate family plans for Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The latter is the $14.99/month all-in-one subscription providing access to Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate remains one the best deals in gaming these days, though it remains to be seen how affordable a family plan could be.
Currently, Xbox Game Pass subscribers can let other family members enjoy their subscription by configuring their Xbox console as their “Home Console”. After doing so, anyone who signs in to the home console will get access to the subscriptions and digital games paid for by the console owner. This is better than nothing, except that this doesn’t benefit family members living elsewhere.
Microsoft already makes it easy to share Office 365 with other family members with a Microsoft 365 Family subscription, so it makes sense for the company to do the same for its gaming subscription service. Xbox Game Pass crossed 25 million subscribers in January, and the introduction of family plans could well make the subscription service and the Xbox ecosystem even more attractive for budget-conscious gamers.