With its announcement of Xbox All Access, Microsoft is making it easier than ever to buy an Xbox One S or Xbox One X. In fact, it’s probably the easiest it’ll get without Microsoft lowering the cost of the console.
Revealed this morning by Xbox Wire, Xbox All Access is a monthly subscription service that gets you everything you need to get gaming with Microsoft’s console. That is, for one monthly price, you take home a console, Xbox Game Pass for two years, and Xbox Live Gold for two years. An Xbox One X with Xbox All Access costs $34.99 a month; the Xbox One S costs $21.99 a month through the service.
These aren’t bad prices considering all that you get. If you paid for everything that Xbox All Access for Xbox One X includes separately, you’d spend $859, roughly $20 more. The savings is a little more dramatic for Xbox One S buyers. Buying all this stuff separately would cost $132 more.
But, as with all things, there are a few catches. First, should the console break after 90 days, it’s your responsibility to get it fixed and still make your monthly Xbox All Access payments. Second, once the regular return window at the Microsoft Store closes, you’re stuck with the payments forever. This isn’t the cancel at any time free-for-all that other entertainment services are. Finally, you’ve got to pass a credit check for a Dell Preferred Account because that’s who is handling the financing on Microsoft’s behalf. Fail to pay off your Xbox All Access subscription and you can expect rates of interest to fall somewhere between 19.24% and 29.99%. I’d expect your credit score to fall a little too.
There are some good things too. Mainly, the console is yours to keep forever after that two years of payments. That’s a stark contrast to some of the diabolical schemes — I mean payment plans — most smartphone carriers offer these days. Also, again, there’s no interest.
I’m still gathering my thoughts on all this, so expect a new chapter of the Xbox One Handbook on Xbox All Access soon. In the meantime, it seems Microsoft is lowering the up-front cost and complexity of getting an Xbox One just before parents start deciding what gifts to spend their holiday bonuses on. Well played.