Xbox All Access: Is It Really a Great Deal?

 

Recently, Microsoft revealed the Xbox All Access program; a new initiative that allows you to make monthly payments towards Xbox hardware and software.

It’s actually quite simple. For 24 monthly payments of $21.99, you’ll get an Xbox One S, 24 months of Xbox Live Gold, and 24 months of Microsoft’s Game Pass service (which lets you access a series of rotating games). For $34.99 a month, you get 24 months of Game Pass and Xbox Live as well as the world’s most powerful video game console, the Xbox One X.

You might think you’re overpaying for these consoles for the privilege of getting to make monthly payments, but that’s not actually the case. If you factor in the MSRP for Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, then you’re actually paying less than $2.00 a month for the Xbox One S and less than $15 a month for the Xbox One X. While Game Pass isn’t quite as “essential,” as Xbox Live Gold, it’s a fantastic deal for gamers that might be entering this generation late and are on a budget. In other words, it’s the perfect companion piece for this deal.

On the surface, All Access sounds like a perfect way for late-to-the-party gamers to get in on the Xbox One.  What it really is, though, is Microsoft’s Xbox One clearance sale.

Don’t get us wrong: this is a great clearance sale so far as Xbox One clearance sales go. The financial figures certainly suggest that this is a great way to get an Xbox One. You’re essentially paying for two services you’d probably subscribe to anyway, and you’re getting an Xbox One discount on top of that.

However, the number that matters most in the above deal is “24 months.” First off, that’s a long time to commit to monthly payments unless you really want something. The fact that you haven’t bought an Xbox One until this point suggests that maybe you don’t want one – or need one – quite that bad. At the very least, you maybe don’t want one enough to pay almost $530 or almost $840 over the course of two years for an Xbox One and two services.

While you are saving money on an Xbox One via this plan (at least if you also plan on getting the associated services), you’re not saving money if you weren’t really planning on buying one in the first place.

Besides, that 24-month timeframe is more telling than you might think. More likely than not, you’re still going to be paying for your Xbox One by the time that the next Xbox is already on store shelves. That might not matter to some (we imagine there are parents out there who consider this a great deal), but the money you spend over the course of 24 months via All Access could easily pay for the next Xbox (at least in theory).

It’s hard to fault Microsoft for rolling out All Access, and there are certainly people who will get a great value out of this deal. However, this is also one of those cases of Microsoft trying to maximize profits off of what is soon going to become outdated technology.

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Matthew Byrd

Matthew Byrd

Matthew Byrd covers the gaming industry including indies, consoles, PCs, iOS and Android apps, as well as topics related to entertainment and technology. He also writes for IndieGameSource and DenOfGeek, and has his own blog at PixelCritique.com.

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