Microsoft considering a cheaper, ad-supported Xbox Game Pass membership
A new survey suggests Microsoft is looking to supplement the subscription service with a more affordable membership option
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Xbox Game Pass ads
💰 It looks as if Microsoft is considering a cheaper tier of Xbox Game Pass, supported by ads
🤔 A recent survey sent to some Game Pass subscribers mentioned the new tier
👍 It would provide access to online multiplayer, and first-party Xbox games
🤨 But not the full Game Pass library or Xbox Cloud Gaming
A recent user survey of Xbox Game Pass subscribers suggests Microsoft is considering rolling out a cheaper, advert-supported tier of the game streaming service.
Shared on ResetEra (thanks, Windows Central), the survey is written in Spanish and outlines the features of a pared-down version of Xbox Game Pass. For €3 per month (about $3.20), subscribers would get access to online multiplayer (saving them having to purchase Xbox Live Gold) and a catalog of first-party Xbox games. Newly released Microsoft games would be added to the service on a delay, which could be up to six months or more.
Members would not have access to the full Xbox Game Pass library nor Microsoft’s streaming service, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and adverts would be shown before booting up each game, although there’s no suggestion of how long the ads would be, or how many would be shown.
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This cheaper, ad-supported tier appears more like a replacement for Xbox Live Gold than a full Xbox Game Pass alternative, and a much bigger change than that between Xbox Game Pass vs Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Missing the subscription service’s massive library of downloadable games, and only offering first-party Xbox titles, it looks to primarily cater to those players who want to go online but aren’t interested in downloading many of the best Xbox Series X games.
At only $3.20 a month, the new tier would substantially undercut Xbox Live Gold, which is currently priced at $9.99 per month, or $59.99 for an annual subscription. If you’re willing to swallow ads as part of your gaming set-up, it could net you a big saving.
Microsoft has not officially unveiled or publicly discussed the tier, and there’s no guarantee it will ever arrive. In its latest financial earnings report, Microsoft said it had failed to hit its Xbox Game Pass subscriber growth targets for the second year running, although expansion among PC players was still strong. New initiatives like an ad-supported tier may allow Microsoft to expand the service even further.
Other streaming services outside of gaming have experimented with ad-supported tiers. Earlier this year, Netflix introduced a cheaper subscription plan with Netflix Basic that, as well as showing adverts in the middle of shows, limits the quality of streams to only 720p and prevents you from downloading content to watch later.
If you’re currently an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, remember you can get three months of Apple TV+ and Apple Music as part of your membership. If you’re not signed up right now but are thinking of biting the bullet, use our Xbox Game Pass discount code for some money off.