Tech

Microsoft Poll Suggests Game Pass Could Get Ad-Supported Level Up

Rumor mill: The survey isn’t all that important, but Microsoft sees Game Pass as the backbone of its gaming platform and has confirmed it’s trying to expand the service with new plans. The plan outlined in the survey would significantly undermine Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus.

ResetEra User general a Spanish survey implying that Microsoft is exploring a cheaper ad-supported tier for a Game Pass subscription. In addition to access to the Game Pass library, the proposed basic plan will include online multiplayer games for just €3 per month, making it one of the cheapest online multiplayer subscriptions on the console market.

Online multiplayer for free games on Xbox is currently $10/month with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, or $15/month with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription. The cheapest PlayStation Plus plan also costs $10 per month.

Lowering the €3 (about $3) minimum monthly cost of online multiplayer online multiplayer with a Game Pass subscription could convince a much larger proportion of Xbox owners to try the service. The only multiplayer console subscription that’s cheaper is Nintendo’s $20/year plan for the Switch.

The proposed new tier will allow users to choose between downloaded games on Xbox or PC, similar to current Game Pass plans. However, the ad tier will not include cloud games and users will have to watch ads before launching the game. It will also delay access to Microsoft games for six months after launch and will not include EA Play or purchase discounts.

A €3 subscription will not only undermine other online gaming services, but also other game catalog subscriptions. Apple Arcade’s $5 monthly price and EA Play $5 plan are currently the cheapest services offering new games.

Nintendo is even more accessible overall, but only gives access to vintage games from the 80s and 90s. Also, none of the game subscription companies have yet tried ad-supported levels, so it’s unclear how customers will react.

The Microsoft survey compares the ad-supported plan to the Family Sharing tier Microsoft began testing in Colombia and Ireland in August. Currently available to Xbox Insiders, this plan allows up to five accounts to share Game Pass features. Microsoft hasn’t revealed the final price of the family subscription or hinted at whether it will roll out globally, but the survey says it’s 22 euros per month.


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