Microsoft Announces Launch Date, Pricing, Subscription Plans for Next-Gen Xbox Consoles

Microsoft confirmed even more Xbox rumors today after it revealed pricing and launch info for its Xbox Series X and Series S game consoles. In short: The higher-end Series X will retail for $499, while the less-powerful Series S gets the previously announced $299 price tag. Both launch on November 10th and preorders start on September 22nd.

Perhaps the most notable bit of info in today’s release, however, is the official announcement of a new subscription plan that spreads the cost of a new console over the course of two years. Known as Xbox All Access, the new plans start at $24.99 per month for those 24 months. That price gets you the Series S at no upfront cost, plus two years of Xbox Games Pass Ultimate, which offers access to a library of Xbox and PC games, and the ability to streaming for gameplay via the cloud to Android phones and tablets. If you’ve got your eye on the higher-end Series X, you can sign up for the All Access plan at $34.99 per month for two years.

On its own, Microsoft says the Game Pass Ultimate service costs $14.99 per month. Here’s how things stack up if you do the math:

  • Xbox Series S Without 2-Year Plan: $299 + Two Years of Game Pass Ultimate ($14.99/month) = $658.76
  • Xbox Series S With 2-Year Plan: $24.99/month for 24 months = $599.76
  • Xbox Series X Without 2-Year Plan: $499 + Two Years of Game Pass Ultimate ($14.99/month) = $858.76
  • Xbox Series X With 2-Year Plan: $34.99/month for 24 months = $839.76

So, assuming you were planning to pay for the Ultimate tier of Microsoft’s Game Pass service, you could save around $20 to $60 after two years — depending on the console you choose. By the way, you’ll need to be approved by Citizens One to score the two-year financing deal.

It’s worth pointing out that a Game Pass subscription isn’t required to enjoy either console — and cheaper tiers of the service are also available with fewer perks. However Microsoft is clearly working hard to demonstrate the value such a plan offers. And if you’re wondering why Microsoft would offer a lower-cost deal, it’s likely the company hopes a large percentage of folks continue on with monthly Game Pass service well after the two-year contract expires.

We’ll certainly learn more about both consoles as we near that November 10th launch date, but we’re still waiting on key details from rival Sony and its PlayStation 5 console. As for the streaming app capabilities for these next-gen consoles, it’s relatively safe to assume they’ll be at least on par with their current-generation counterparts. But it’ll be interesting to see how their high-speed storage could improve the overall streaming app experience. In any case, we’ll continue to keep an eye out for more details.

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