Microsoft has officially confirmed that Xbox Game Pass will be getting a unique Friends & Family Plan following limited testing in Ireland and Colombia. The service will allow users to gain all the benefits of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate while sharing the subscription between multiple people, across multiple households.
Local pricing details have not been revealed yet, but the service cost €21.99 (AU $32) per month and 49,900 COP (AU $16) during its testing phases. This works out to be roughly AU $10 more expensive than the basic version of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
The plan will allow users to share subscription benefits with up to four other people in multiple households. While you will need to be in the same country, this appears to be the only limitation. If you’ve got pals on Xbox who are willing to split the cost, you could end up paying as little as AU $6 a month for full access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
This includes access to cloud gaming on PC and console, the full EA Play and Xbox Game Pass library, and access to Xbox Game Studios releases on day one. Effectively, it could mean playing titles like Redfall and Starfield for only AU $6. It’s a wild deal, and one that’ll certainly ease the financial blow of new releases.
According to a brand new Q&A, the Friends & Family Plan will involve one ‘primary’ account holder granting access to other users in the plan. Up to four people can be invited to join your plan, and members can only join a group two times per year (even if they leave and join the same group). It appears everyone can be online simultaneously, which means no member will be locked out if someone is already playing a game on Xbox Game Pass.
The service is currently in the pilot phase, and is planned to be rolled out to other regions in the coming months – although there’s no word on a launch date yet. Should you wish to transfer to a Friends & Family Plan in future, Microsoft has upgrade options available – with 30 days of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate being work 18 days of the Friends & Family Plan.
Once you initiate a transfer, you’ll be able to take advantage of the new Friends & Family benefits immediately – at the cost of time left on your subscription.
Stay tuned to the Xbox blog to hear more about the global launch of the new service.