Following a series of rumors over the last few weeks about a new program to get hardware and services into the hands of gamers at one monthly price, Microsoft this week confirmed their new Xbox All Access service for customers in the United States.
Fans of the companies gaming consoles have long asked for a single bundle that brings together the hardware and services for the Xbox ecosystem. Xbox All Access brings it all together with special 0% APR financing for a 24 month period to do just that.
The two year bundle includes your choice of an Xbox One S or an Xbox One X along with two years of Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. That means on day one of owning Xbox All Access you have a library of more than 100 games at your disposal plus the multi-player features that are part of Xbox Live Gold. Of course, you also get additional benefits like Games with Gold which gives you free games every month plus Deals with Gold that deliver weekly discounts on other gaming titles.
Here is how it works:
- Head into any brick and mortar Microsoft Store in the U.S. and select your console (S or X).
- Apply for a Dell Preferred Account for the 0% APR financing of the bundle
- Upon approval – complete your bundle with the console, Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass
The bundle for the Xbox One S will be $22 per month while the Xbox One X option will be $35 per month over that 24 month period. After the two years are over, you own the console outright and just need to renew Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass to continue your gaming experience.
When you lay out the monthly cost of Xbox All Access and what the MSRP price tag is for these consoles and services, you come out saving approximately $91 on the Xbox One S bundle and about $21 for the Xbox One X option.
Getting an overall savings with a program like this makes it very attractive. However, the bigger benefit is that this allows someone looking to start their Xbox gaming experience without laying out several hundred dollars up front to get started.
This is one of the aspects of Xbox All Access that Microsoft is highlighting as part of the marketing for the new service.
One thing we do not know is what about current Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscribers. Since those two services are part of the bundle, it is unclear in all of the documentation whether or not these gamers could just finance the hardware to upgrade from an Xbox One S to an X. I suspect this is more of an effort to get new users into the ecosystem versus helping current owners upgrade their hardware.
The only other major question about Xbox All Access is the limited time offer label. That pretty much gives Microsoft the flexibility to end the program at anytime or to keep it around as it is fruitful.
Note: The Dell Preferred Account is a retail revolving credit account and APR will jump to anywhere between 19% and 30% after the 24 month promotional period depending on your credit score. Like any revolving retail account, there is a minimum payment allowed and so if you get to the end of the 24 month period and have a balance left, you will see interest charges hit the account right then and that can get very expensive. It can also eliminate any savings you might have received with the bundle purchase in very short order as interest charges stack up. Be smart and savvy when it comes to credit like this and do not extend beyond that promotional period to get the full benefits of the offer.
Are you considering this as an option to get into the world of Xbox One?