Microsoft Unveils The All-New Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Microsoft combined the features of Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass into one nifty subscription system.
Microsoft looks to dominate the digital game marketplace with its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Microsoft looks to dominate the digital game marketplace with its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Microsoft

Microsoft is trying to take over the digital marketplace, and its looking good for them following their announcements on the Inside Xbox presentation.

The affair held several surprises for Xbox players, as the tech giant announced the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, a discless Xbox One S that retails for $249, $50 less than the regular Xbox One S. The console itself is very much the same as its One S brother, from its internal hardware down to the accessories it supports. The only difference is the absence of a Blu-ray player. That is part of Microsoft’s push into the digital territory, one it believes it can dominate, even with the ever-looming Google Stadia in the near future.

To supplement this new discless console, Microsoft also announced that it will be combining its existing Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass services into one massive feature that spells convenience for the solely-digital users: the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. If you’re not aware, Xbox Live Gold is a feature similar to PlayStation Plus, which is a service needed in order to play online. The Xbox Game Pass, on the other hand, is very much like a “Netflix for video games,” a subscription service designed to test the waters for Microsoft’s move into digital territory. As of now, there are more than a hundred games available on this service, with more being added in steady intervals.

Combining these two services into one is Microsoft’s way of making its newest console much more attractive. The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition carries a 1TB hard drive, and the only way for it to play games is to download them from Microsoft’s store. The Ultimate Game Pass is their selling point for that, making sure that not only are you always available to play online, you can also get whatever games you want for as long as you’re subscribed.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has tried bundling its services together. In fact, just last year, it launched its All Access subscription plan that includes a leased Xbox One X console, Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass for just $34.99 a month. While that was just a limited time offer, it looks like Microsoft is moving forward with the Game Pass Ultimate as its future in terms of digital services, and will offer it to Xbox players for a monthly cost of $14.99.

The service is set to launch this year but is now currently in beta testing within the Xbox Insider community. It will likely be released alongside the Xbox One S All-Digital in May.

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