Microsoft is planning an all-singing, all-dancing subscription service for the forthcoming disc-less Xbox One S, it has emerged.
The company is combining Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass into a single $14.99 per month fee with a new service called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, according to Twitter user @h0x0d.
Those signing up for the new subscription, which will presumably be revealed alongside the Xbox One S All-Digital console later this month, will save around $5 a month compared to buying both platforms separately. The report does not indicate that Microsoft will be bundling-in the xCloud cloud streaming platform.
Microsoft currently charges $9.99 a month for Xbox Game Pass, which includes access to over 100 games. A one-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold, which enables online multiplayer and games every month, is usually $9.99 a month.
Of course, those savings diminish when you buy an annual subscription to Xbox Live Gold for $59.99 a year (or even less come the Black Friday sales). However, the Ultimate bundle will be beneficial for those who simply want to sign-up for a month, without committing to a year of Gold.
Related: Google Stadia
Microsoft has experimented with bundles before. The Xbox One X All-Access subscription cost $34.99 per month and included Xbox Live Gold, Game Pass and a brand new Xbox One X console. That locked gamers into a two-year contract, but they owned the console at the end of it. It’ll be interesting to see whether Microsoft puts a similar deal on the table when launching its Xbox One S All-Digital console next month.
The company is eschewing the 4K Blu-ray optical drive necessary to play physical Xbox One games, meaning the new console will be download and streaming only.
Microsoft is also preparing to launch its xCloud service in May, which is likely to be the competitor to Google’s recently-announced Stadia platform. Last month the company said it was preparing to “go big” in response to Google’s announcement, when it takes the stage at the E3 gaming expo.
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