Xbox All Access Looks Like a No Brainer Game Changer (Premium)

Microsoft appears to be taking another step towards its cloud-based gaming future with a rumored new subscription called Xbox All Access.

If true, and it seems reasonable, Xbox All Access is yet another game changer---literally---from our most gamer-centric console maker. Indeed, Microsoft's response to its market share ills in video games has been nothing short of breathtaking. And Xbox All Access takes things up a notch. Purportedly.

So what is this thing? According to the latest rumors, Xbox All Access is an affordable subscription that combines both hardware and services. More specifically, it will provide consumers in the United States with an Xbox One S or Xbox One X and subscriptions to both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass for just $22 or $35 per month, depending on which console you choose, over two years.

Let's do some math.

Today, an Xbox One S costs $300, Xbox Live Gold is $60 per year, and Xbox Game Pass is $10 per month. So the total price of these items purchased separately---for two years in the case of the subscription---would be $660. So the All Access version of this bundle would save you about $130 over that time period.

The standalone total cost of an Xbox One X ($500) plus Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass over two years is about $860. But the Xbox All Access version of the same items would cost about $840. So it's a bit less of a savings, but still a savings. Plus you get to space out the payments over two years, which makes this product more accessible for many.

There's a lot to like about this rumored subscription. But for me, it accomplishes two clear goals: It continues Microsoft's industry-leading strategy of giving gamers what they want today while setting up its user base for a future in which there is a single Xbox-branded subscription and games are delivered via the cloud to virtually any device. It makes sense both today and in the future.

And for the Xbox One X, in particular, it makes a very expensive device more affordable for users. Xbox One X is important because it's technologically superior to the PlayStation 4 Pro, and because it literally makes every game you play better in some way that they are on other Xbox consoles. There's never been anything quite like it in the console space. And more people need to experience it.

So we'll see whether Microsoft goes live with Xbox All Access later this month as rumored, and it's worth pointing out that time is running out for that to happen. And that some reports suggest that "there are no guarantees" it will ever happen.

I hope it does. Xbox All Access makes tons of sense for both Microsoft and for the gaming audience it serves.


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