According to a new report, it might get a lot easier — and cheaper — to provide the entire family with Xbox Game Pass as Microsoft plans to launch a five-person option later this year.
Windows Central reported earlier Thursday that, after spending nearly a year planning and figuring out the details, Microsoft is ready to announce and launch a family plan for Game Pass. According to the report, this new plan will work for up to four additional people who live in the same country as the family plan owner. Members of the family plan will have full access to the entire Game Pass library. It’s reported that this plan will be “far cheaper” than buying five separate Game Pass subscriptions. Currently, it costs $US15 ($21) a month for a single Game Pass Ultimate plan. However, the actual pricing has not yet been reported, so it’s clear how much of a deal this could be for smaller groups.
The reported family plan, which hasn’t yet been confirmed by Microsoft, will be similar to options offered by Netflix and Disney+. According to Windows Central’s sources, this new plan will use Microsoft’s existing “Family Account System,” which is used by Office 365.
No specific date for a potential launch was given in the report, but it appears Microsoft is planning to roll out the Game Pass family plan “sometime this year” now that it’s figured out various details, including how licensing would work with third-party companies and royalty payouts to devs and publishers.
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“We are always looking for ways to improve the Game Pass experience and add more value for members, which includes regular testing and refining features based on community feedback. However, we have nothing to announce at this time,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Kotaku.
Meanwhile, over in PlayStation country, Sony recently announced its (long-rumoured) own Game Pass competitor. Sony’s plan revamps its existing PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now memberships by combining the two and adding paid tiers, which will offer players access to a large library of games and the ability to stream PlayStation 3 titles if folks are willing to pay more. It’s launching sometime this year. Notably, the plan won’t include big Sony first-party games, like God of War Ragnarok, when they release. This is very different from Microsoft, which adds all-new first-party games to Game Pass the day they launch.