It is increasingly clear that Microsoft is pinning its gaming future on Xbox Game Pass and the Xbox Cloud Gaming platform attached to the Ultimate subscription tier. However, not everyone can afford or even wants Ultimate. Microsoft wants as many people as possible to access Game Pass, so may offer a free cheaper Xbox Game Pass Lite tier in the future.
A post on a ResetEra thread highlights a recent survey Microsoft sent to a subset of Xbox users. It is asking them how they would feel about a new tier of Game Pass that would be more affordable and have ads.
This new subscription level would cost $3 per month and offer access to the Game Pass library. All first-party Microsoft games would also be included, which means games like Call of Duty when the company's $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through. However, those first-party games would not arrive until 6 months after launch.
Of course, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate features would not be available, notably EA games and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Although, it would offer online access through Xbox Live Games with Xbox Gold.
Xbox Live Gold Charges
Considering Microsoft charges $10 per month for Xbox Live Gold on its own, this seems like a hot deal. If true, Microsoft is obviously betting on the ad revenue and larger user base to offset any losses.
While the economics are confusing, the ad tier Xbox Game Pass Lite makes sense for many other reasons. Game Pass will increasingly become available more widely.
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