Xbox Game Pass could be getting a whole lot cheaper

Would you be willing to endure ads if it meant Game Pass got a lot less expensive?

Xbox Game Pass logo
(Image credit: Microsoft)

You know that Xbox Game Pass is an absolute bargain. But what if it was even more of a bargain, delivering a high quality gaming catalogue for even less money? Apparently that's a question Microsoft is asking, and taking seriously enough to be surveying potential customers about it.

As spotted by Windows Central (opens in new tab), what appears to be a Microsoft-sponsored survey has been asking gamers how they'd feel about an additional ad-supported tier of Game Pass – with a price tag of just three dollars, euros or pounds a month.

There is, inevitably, a catch. 

Super-cheap Game Pass: what's the catch?

The leaked survey image compared the new, super-cheap Game Pass with the 21.99-Euro friends and family plan I'm personally waiting for. The differences are considerable.

Where the family plan gives you five users, the cheap one is for one person only; where the friends and family plan includes EA Play, the cheap one doesn't. It would include online multiplayer, which I think is an essential feature, but it's only available on your console and not on your other devices such as your phone or PC.

The biggest limitation is the most important one, though. According to the survey, new additions to Game Pass would have a six-month delay before becoming available to users of the cheapest tier.

It's an interesting prospect, although it does make me wonder what plans Microsoft has for the existing Xbox Gold service, which currently costs more and presumably brings in plenty of money. This new service would be better value, so perhaps Xbox Gold is on its way out.

As ever with rumours and leaks, it's important to take everything with a pinch of salt: I've no way of verifying whether this particular image is real or fake. But given that gamers aren't immune from the cost of living crisis and all kinds of online services such as Netflix and Disney are going down the ad-supported route too, I don't doubt for a moment that Microsoft isn't giving an ad-funded, more affordable Game Pass some serious consideration.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).