Why it matters: Microsoft is the latest company to jump aboard the financing bandwagon. It's a smart move and in a world of copycats, it's a strategy that we'll likely see the competition adopt in the near future.
Device financing is no longer a mobile thing. Microsoft has confirmed that its rumored Xbox All Access financing program is indeed legitimate and is coming to a Microsoft Store near you (well, maybe not, considering there aren’t very many Microsoft retail stores in the wild).
Xbox All Access allows qualified buyers to score an Xbox One S or Xbox One X as well as 24-month subscriptions to Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold for as little as $21.99 per month (for the Xbox One S bundle). If you want the Xbox One X, expect to pay a minimum of $34.99 a month.
Notably, these aren’t leasing programs. Much like smartphone installment plans, the hardware is yours after 24 monthly payments.
Surprisingly enough, you actually come out ahead by purchasing a bundle. Take the Xbox One S bundle, for example. At $21.99 per month, that works out to $527.76 over the course of two years. On a monthly basis, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold sell for $9.99 each which comes out to $479.52 over two years. Subtract that cost from the bundle and you’re paying just $48.24 for the Xbox One S – not bad.
Granted, lots of people pay less for Xbox Live Gold (a 12-month subscription can be had for $60) but even at that discounted rate, you come out ahead on the All Access bundle.
The biggest shortcoming I see with the offering is that, according to Microsoft’s website, it has to be purchased at a Microsoft Store. Also, financing is done through a Dell Preferred Account so you’ll need to go through an approval process for that although Microsoft says you can purchase with other payment methods and pay the total cost of the bundle upfront.
The FAQ also highlights that the 24-month financing option is time-limited and will only be offered through the end of the year.