Monthly financing isn’t an entirely new concept in the world of Xbox. Microsoft offered a similar plan for the Xbox One S a few years ago. The idea is pretty simple: pay a monthly fee for hardware and software for two years until you outright own the device. What’s new here, however, is that the company is introducing the plan for its brand new consoles due out later this year.
Along with its Series S announcement, Microsoft detailed two new plans designed to get the consoles in the hands of those unwilling or unable to shell out $299 or $499 for a new system up front. It’s a move that greatly expands the accessibility of the system, even beyond the recent announcement of the low-cost model.
The move is in line with a recent rekindled interest in a hardware as a service model. We’ve seen a number of companies like Zoom embrace this to varying degrees. Though really, the rent to own model shares a lot with smartphone contracts — even as those have begun to fall out of favor in the U.S. to some degree in recent years.
Here, $25 a month will get a Series S console, bundled with Game Pass Ultimate. For $35 a month, meanwhile, you get Game Pass Ultimate plus the Series X. There’s nothing to pay up front. Given how central the Game Pass streaming service is to the next-gen console, it’s a pretty solid deal. After all, Game Pass Ultimate will run you $15 a month without hardware access thrown in.
With estimates around PlayStation 5 pricing ranging from around $450-$550, Sony’s got a tough act to follow in terms of aggressive pricing. Even though the PS5 has arguably drummed up considerably more excitement thus far than the next generation Xbox, a $25/month entry point is tough to compete with.