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It turns out Xbox All Access is real and, as rumored, it includes an Xbox One console, Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass for a low monthly subscription and no up-front cost. If you're looking to finally get into Xbox gaming, this method seems like the most friendly route in terms of kindness to your wallet.
Rumors started kicking around last week about a program called Xbox All Access, Microsoft's all-inclusive take on subscription-based gaming. One of the biggest barriers to entry when it comes to modern gaming is the initial cost, and the All Access program does away with it completely.
Usually, you would need to spend several hundred dollars on a console, another $60 on access to Xbox Live Gold for a year and another $10 per month for Xbox Game Pass. Instead of forking over all of that dough from the onset, All Access lets you spread the burden, and save a few bucks, over the course of two years.
As reported on the Major Nelson blog, Xbox All Access is a limited-time offer only available in the U.S. right now, and you'll want to hit up a Microsoft Store to take advantage of the deal. There's a handy link in the original post to find the closest store, if you're interested.
If you decide to take advantage of this promotion, you'll walk out of the Microsoft Store with an Xbox One in hand and access to both Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, all without spending a dime at checkout. Instead, what you're agreeing to is a sort of subscription plan, where you instead pay a monthly fee for the next 24 months. And there's a 0% APR for those 24 months, so you won't even get hit with interest rates.
There are two flavors of the program available, depending on whether you want an Xbox One S or an Xbox One X. The former will set you back $21.99 per month while the latter is $34.99 per month. Savings on the One S bundle is $130 over the course of the two years, in case you were curious.
If you join All Access, your first bill will arrive within a month of signing up, and then you've got two years of the much smaller monthly fee as opposed to paying for everything at once. As a reminder, Games with Gold gives subscribers access to four games at no additional cost per month, with Game Pass offering a library of more than 100 games, ready to play with no limit. That library includes pretty much the full Halo saga, some Gears of War, new titles like State of Decay 2 and, when it arrives, Crackdown 3.
I don't want to tell anyone how to spend their money but, if you've been on the fence considering jumping into Xbox gaming, this certainly seems like a solid way to go about it.