Microsoft has announced Xbox All-Access, a brand new subscription service that will make it easier than ever to justify owning the very latest games console. However, the service also includes an option to upgrade your console when Project Scarlett launches, which has me and many others thinking about the future of games console releases.
Consumers pay between £17.99 and £24.99 for a subscription to Xbox All-Access. For £24.99 per month for 24 months, you can get an Xbox One X with no upfront cost, as well as a 24 month subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. At the end of 24 months consumers will be able to keep their Xbox One X, but if they want to upgrade, which is an option at 18 months with UK retailer GAME, then they will need to trade in their Xbox One X, or pay off the outstanding balance on the subscription, before the new console is theirs.
At £24.99 per month for 2 years, consumers will be paying £599.76 for an Xbox One X and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for the same period. With UK retailer GAME it’s possible to get an Xbox One X for £386.99. The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate would cost £263.76 for 24 months at a monthly price of £10.99, meaning it would cost £650.75 to purchase these items separately. As you can see, Xbox All-Access is a pretty great deal, particularly when you throw in the fact that you get Project Scarlett when it releases next year, as long as you trade in your Xbox One X.
Xbox All-Access is definitely the best way to get your hands on an Xbox One X and the latest games if you can’t afford to pay for it all in one go. It’s also similar to how most people pay a monthly fee for their phone, contract and device, and upgrade it when their contract comes to an end. More often than not, the upgrade is used to get the latest version of a certain smartphone, such as Google’s Pixel, or Apple’s iPhone. It’s definitely more beneficial for consumers, but what does it say about Microsoft’s plans for the future?
Project Scarlett is slated for a Christmas 2020 release window. Should Xbox All-Access subscribers all opt to upgrade to the new console, how long will it be until the next one launches? Xbox All-Access is a 24 month contract, meaning that once that contract is complete, subscribers can simply choose to pay for a monthly Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for the console they have now paid off. If Microsoft wants to make more money out of their consoles, and get more subscribers on board, then they’ll need a new Xbox within 2 years of Project Scarlett’s release.
The current console generation saw the release of mid-generation releases. These consoles, the Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, are more powerful than the base console models, offering a premium experience akin to that of the second iPhone release for a year, whether it’s the iPhone 8S or otherwise. Not all consumers bought into these new consoles, with the Xbox One X in particular having a much smaller install base than Sony’s Playstation 4 Pro. these mid-generation releases aren’t what consumers are used to, but they might become the norm with the Playstation 5 and Project Scarlett.
It might be that Microsoft is planning for a second, more powerful, Project Scarlett with the introduction of Xbox All-Access. If that’s the case then it seems likely that Sony will also be planning a Playstation 5 Pro. With consoles becoming more and more expensive, Xbox All-Access is definitely the better way to buy them, but with a new console launching every two years, will this mark the start of a new standard monthly outgoing for gamers?
We already have a number of services that provide games for a monthly cost, such as Uplay Plus, Xbox Game Pass, and soon Google Stadia. It’s not that much of a jump for consumers to begin paying a little more to ensure they have the latest console to play those games on.
Let us know what your thoughts on the subject are in the comments.