Microsoft's Xbox All Access subscription leases you a console, games, and a path to Project Scarlett

You'll need to commit to Microsoft's Xbox platform for about two years.

xbox project scarlett
Microsoft

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On Monday, Microsoft launched Xbox All Access, a monthly subscription that will provide gamers access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and even an upgrade path to Project Scarlett, the next-gen Xbox due in holiday 2020.

The  price of Microsoft’s new Xbox All Access program depends on which console you choose. Prices range from $19.99 per month for 24 months ($479.76) for a an all-digital Xbox One S to $30.99 per month for 24 months ($743.76) for an Xbox One X. Each subscription comes with 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which allows users access to a library of free games both on the Xbox and on the PC. A controller is included.

xox one all access Microsoft

Microsoft’s Xbox All Access plans.

Xbox All Access goes live on Nov. 18, via Amazon in the United States.  There is no up-front cost, Microsoft said.

Each program also comes with a bonus: the option to trade in the Xbox that comes with the lease for the new Project Scarlett, the next-generation Xbox due in holiday 2020. Normally, all of the plans require 18 months of payments before the console can be exchanged—in other words, summer 2021 if you act now. For a limited time, however, Microsoft is saying that the Xbox One X option can be swapped out after just 12 months.

Because you will need to swap out the existing Xbox console for Scarlett, that will pose a small inconvenience to U.S. customers: You’ll need to hold on to the original Xbox packaging and ship it back to Amazon, via a special package that you’ll be sent. You’ll also need to send back the console, controller, and power cord in good condition.

There’s another small catch: You won’t be able to pay for Microsoft Xbox All Access with a credit card. Instead, Citizens Bank will provide credit financing, and you’ll need to go through the application process with the Citizens One service, Microsoft said.

Essentially, Xbox All Access is Microsoft’s attempt to lock customers into the Xbox game platform (which officially, now straddles the PC and Xbox console) for about two years. It’s a bet that you’ll believe strongly enough in its upcoming games library to buy in, now and in the future. 

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