Phil Spencer, Xbox chief, yesterday pointed out just how crucial the Xbox All Access initiative could be when launching a new console in economically uncertain times. “I think Xbox All Access is going to be critical to both our launch for Xbox series X as well as overall this generation.”
Speaking yesterday evening as part of the Gamelab conference, Spencer was very positive about the upsides of the programme, which allows consumers to pick up a console plus Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass for no upfront cost, instead paying a competitive monthly fee spread over two years.
“Xbox All Access this generation has been something that we’ve trialled we put into market and limited kind of capacity in certain areas. It’s just a path for us to learn and see if there’s signal from customers on this. And it’s been great.”
But that strength will really be shown given the challenging economic environment, when many will likely want to defer paying in full for the console upfront.
“And we should also just understand the economic, the global economic situation that we’re going to see this year. We’re seeing it today. And I think having more pricing options for consumers. It’s frankly, just a thoughtful thing for us as industry to think about.”
The cherry on the cake is the inclusion of those monthly services, such as Xbox Game Pass. which allow the company to actually sell the hardware and services bundle at a cost lower than their combined RRP, so unlike so many finance schemes, there’s no real downside.
“As you have services that are attached to those devices that people love, it just becomes an easier way to bring a great product to customers.”
All that means Xbox is planning on expanding the programme.
“We want to bring our whole customer base along and we want to offer options and opportunities and learn when we can. So as you said, The response that we’ve seen, where we’ve tested Xbox, all access has been great, but as you said, it’s been limited in terms of the market. So you’re going to see a much broader market and retail support for Xbox All Access.”
Phil Spencer was speaking to Seth Schiesel as part of the gamelab conference, which continues today.