Unveiled on Aug. 27, Xbox All Access (codenamed "Project Largo") is a "limited time, in store only" and US-only deal. Customers can opt for the $34.99 per month option, which comes with a new Xbox One X 1TB console; or the $21.99 per month one that includes an Xbox One S 1TB console.
Both options include the option to forego any upfront costs and pay 0 percent APR for 24 months. Both options also come with 24 months of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold.
Microsoft has been experimenting with subscription bundles for years. Remember the Work & Play bundles? The 2014 version brought together Office 365 Home, Skype Unlimited World and Wi-Fi, Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Music Pass for $199 for a one-year subscription. But there was no hardware included as part of those bundles, nor was financing part of the arrangement.
Xbox All Access isn't a leasing offer; it's primarily a financing one. Those who subscribe are not leasing a gaming console; they are paying for it over an extended period of time, the same way users pay for phones when buying them from mobile retailers.
Microsoft recently launched its "Surface Plus" subscription/financing offering, which, like Xbox All Access, was really all about opening up the market for its Surface devices by making them more affordable.
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Microsoft is working on another hardware/software/services financing and subscription program, currently known as the "Microsoft Managed Desktop." That offer, if and when it's ultimately unveiled, will provide customers the ability to lease a Windows 10 device that's automatically provisioned for them and have the operating system kept up-to-date and more for a single monthly fee, my contacts have said.