Microsoft has officially announced Xbox All Access. It’s a program that offers an Xbox One X, Xbox Live, and Xbox Game Pass for $35 a month (around Rs. 2,450). Right now, it’s exclusive to the US. For $22 (roughly Rs. 1,540) users get an Xbox One S, Xbox Live, and Xbox Game Pass. While Microsoft hasn’t announced plans for an Xbox All Access India launch, we’ve reached out to the company and will update this story if we hear from it.
“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 head Bogdan Bilan said on Xbox Wire. “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.”
If you decide to opt out of the deal before the 24 month period, you have to pay the remaining cost of the hardware. Microsoft claims that this is a limited time offer restricted to “qualified customers”.
While a subscription-based plan for Xbox hardware seems like a logical conclusion for Microsoft given its focus on Xbox Game Pass, it will be interesting to see how this would benefit the current game development business model. Particularly with big publishers like Ubisoft sounding off on the disadvantages of such services to them.
“I actually view subscription gaming as inhibiting our progress, and I’ll give you two examples. One is with PS Now. I think that’s a great technology for getting streaming content to people, but we don’t make the money as a publisher — we don’t make the same amount of money as we would even just putting stuff on sale. So why bother, from a publisher’s standpoint?,” asked Ubisoft’s Chris Early in conversation with GamesBeat.
“The technology is great for a player. I can play anything anywhere instantly! It’s awesome technology, which is inhibited by the business model. So charge a PlayStation Plus add-on to be able to stream any game you own to any device you own. That’s a great service for the player. It’s going to start people adopting that streaming concept in more places. You’ll be able to get to a place where you have more people focused on streaming.
There’s a similar challenge with your business model. We see it works. We’re believers. You’ve capped it with a subscription plan, where publishers aren’t able to make money. On the other hand, you could just sell the game and let people have the five-minute experience while it downloads, or pay you an add-on price to be able to continue to have fast access in many more places. With subscription it’s just giving it away.”
We won’t be surprised to see specific games being unavailable on Xbox All Access going forward for business reasons like this. That being said, for countries like India, where the Xbox One doesn’t have a great market presence compared to Sony’s PS4, it could be a game changer.
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