We've seen Microsoft get more and more committed to the idea of game streaming, and a new leak suggests the company is taking another step in that direction. It appears that Xbox Live memberships and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions will soon be combined into one service. This service will be called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
The existence of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate was revealed by WalkingCat, a leaker who specializes in Microsoft-related secrets. They tweeted a simple description of what the service will be and how much it will cost. Legitimacy was added to the tweet when Brad Sams, a prominent Microsoft journalist, replied "ahhhhhhhhhh you beat me to this."
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate = Xbox Live Gold + Xbox Game Pass.— WalkingCat (@h0x0d) April 5, 2019
$14.99/month, special price for Insiders = $1/month until release.
With such a simple description, there's not much in the way of details. Will this Ultimate service replace the two other options, or will it simply be an upgraded tier? What's the deal with the price?
Currently, Xbox Live Gold costs $9.99 a month. Xbox Game Pass, meanwhile, also costs $9.99 a month, although it runs several deals as well as savings on long-term plans that rarely see users paying that. This Ultimate plan, then, doesn't really offer much in the way of savings. Monthly subscribers would save about $5 a month, although we imagine most Xbox service subscribers don't do so on a month-to-month basis.
Those who would save are the Xbox Insiders. If WalkingCat's information is accurate, Insiders would get to have Ultimate for $1 a month during some sort of beta period until the service launches in full.
The benefit, it seems, is simple convenience. Consumers who are all-in on Xbox can now combine these two services into one monthly payment. It would also become much easier for Microsoft to advertise such a service. Nothing brings in new buyers like the promise of a complete all-in-one package.
There's also that rumor going around that Microsoft will be releasing a disc-less Xbox. An enhanced digital gaming service would be a great companion to such a machine. The big question, of course, is "will it work?" Does this deal tempt those of you without Game Pass to give it a try? Or are you too committed to giving Steam support against the growing threat of the Epic Store?