Microsoft seems to be throwing around the idea of selling consoles for no money down. The news about the “Xbox All Access” service was recently released in a report by Jez Corden on Windows Central.
The basic idea is that Microsoft will sell an Xbox One S or X bundled with one year of Game Pass and Xbox Live. All the customer needs to do is then pay a predetermined monthly amount over two years. Just like with most major phone carrier plans, you will own the device after two years. Corden believes this wasn’t shown at Gamescom because “Xbox All Access” is slated to be US-only to start. He also did the math and determined the $23 per month One S and $35 per month One X are better deals than buying the console outright with the bundled services. This sounds like a great idea, but it may be too late in the life of the console for it to matter.
Next-Gen is Coming
There are a few issues with releasing a service like this so late into the life of a console. The first is that the next generation is coming sooner rather than later. Scarlett has been talked about since Phil Spencer announced at E3 that Microsoft is working on the next generation of Xbox consoles. Since then, the news about Scarlett has been steady. The consensus seems to be that the console will be out some time around 2020. I think it’s more likely that it will come out in 2019, which you can read about here.
Either way, the payment scheduled doesn’t work in the favor of team Xbox. It’s fair to assume that the next Xbox will release in November of whatever the release year is. That means a new Xbox will release at most two and a half months after the Xbox One has been paid off. I’m assuming here the customer got their Xbox One today, but we don’t even know when “Xbox All Access” will become available. Of course, there’s always the possibility that it won’t ever see the light of day. It just seems like very poor timing any way you look at it.
The Next Xbox
I like to think that I’m a generally positive person. You may not believe me based upon those last couple paragraphs. I swear it’s true. I’ll prove it here: “Xbox All Access” can win the next generation for Microsoft.
While rumors about what Scarlett is or isn’t swirl around the internet there’s one thing that nobody is talking about. Releasing “Xbox All Access” with Scarlett could give the new console a shot at breaking the fastest selling console record in the US set by the Switch in 2017. I’m not even sure if I completely believe that, but if anything gets close it would be a zero money down next-gen Xbox. That would be the most ridiculous Black Friday deal of all time.
Since the price of the next Xbox is not yet established it’s hard to talk numbers. However, if it launches at the same price as the Xbox One then it will fall just under $32 per month. I feel like that price point is attainable for a wide range of incomes. When you consider the inclusion of Game Pass then it becomes a no-brainer. The sheer volume of games available on Game Pass and the easily attainable price could pull the next-gen Xbox out to a huge early lead like the PS4 had this generation.
What do you think about the viability of “Xbox All Access” for the current gen? How do you think it will impact the sales of the next-gen Xbox if it comes out now versus in a few years? Let us know in the comments and on social media. Don’t forget to keep rolling with CoG for all your gaming needs.
Omar is an Editor at Culture of Gaming. He started his covering gaming back in late 2014 and has written for a handful of publications since then. Nintendo is his field of expertise, but he has been seen dabbling in PlayStation and PC gaming as well. Follow him on Twitter for dry humor and pictures of his cat, Jiji.