What Is Xbox All Access? Everything You Need to Know, Explained

Considering Xbox All Access to get a new Xbox Series X|S? Here's everything you need to know about the service.
What Is Xbox All Access? Everything You Need to Know, Explained

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Getting an Xbox Series X|S isn't exactly easy right now. It can be tough to find an electronics store that has any in stock, and even when they do, many of them have already been sold as preorders.

Microsoft's Xbox All Access program aims to solve both of those problems. Not only can this service help you track down a new Xbox, but it can help you finance your new console as well.

What Is Xbox All Access?

Originally introduced alongside the Xbox One X and Xbox One S, Microsoft's Xbox All Access is a combination of a bundle and a financing option for the gaming console.

Along with the ability to pay off your Xbox device over time, you get two years of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (which combines Xbox Game Pass with Xbox Live Gold), all for one low monthly fee.

The original goal of Xbox All Access was to let you pay for a new Xbox One X|S over the course of two years, with the option to upgrade to an Xbox Series X|S when those consoles hit store shelves.

Fortunately, Microsoft kept Xbox All Access around with the introduction of the Xbox Series X|S, and you can use the service with several retailers. Microsoft sells Xbox Series X|S bundles when it has them in stock, but you can also grab them at Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, and Walmart.

No matter which retailer you buy from, the bundle and financing you receive will be the same!

Is Xbox All Access Right for You?

The included Xbox Game Pass service offers more than 100 games to play on demand at any given time, including most of the games you would buy for Xbox Series X|S in the first place.

It's no secret that Microsoft is betting big on Xbox Game Pass, and why shouldn't they? It's a winner. Bundling it with Xbox consoles makes sense for Microsoft. But does it make sense for you?

Microsoft's tagline for Xbox All Access is "Xbox Console & Over 100 Games" fits well with its two offerings: $35/mo for Xbox Series X and $25/mo for Xbox Series S. That's a compelling offer!

In the age of Netflix and Spotify, we're used to paying a flat monthly fee for on-demand access to large libraries of media. Most of us don't care to "own" media anymore; digital access is good enough.

If you like playing video games but you aren't hardcore, Xbox All Access is a great option reminiscent of cable TV bundles that include a set-top box. Getting started is easy and you'll never run out of new games thanks to the ever-rotating selection of Xbox Game Pass.

For the more hardcore "gamers" among us, it's still a pretty good value since Xbox Game Pass is only getting better over time. The fact that it's one of the easier ways to actually get your hands on a hard-to-come-by Xbox Series X|S console doesn't hurt either.

How much do you end up paying for Xbox All Access?

Over two years, Xbox All Access will cost you either $840 (for Xbox Series X) or $600 (for Xbox Series S). However, don't forget that the included Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is itself valued at $15/mo, which comes out to $360 over those two years.

In other words, with Xbox All Access, you end up paying $480 (for Xbox Series X) or $240 (for Xbox Series S).

Getting Started With Xbox All Access

If you're ready to dive into Xbox All Access, the first step is choosing which Xbox gaming console is right for you.

The benefits of the Xbox Series X over the Xbox Series S include:

  • More SSD storage (1 TB versus 512 GB)
  • Stronger processor (12 TFLOPS versus 4 TFLOPS)
  • Higher resolution (4K versus 1440p)
  • Blu-ray drive for physical game discs

The next step is choosing your retailer. We're not going to suggest one over any of the others; realistically, the main consideration here is to see which retailers have bundles in stock.

The last step is to sign up for Xbox All Access financing, which is technically a loan for the full purchase price of the bundle. The retailer will walk you through the whole process.

Once you're approved for financing, you can finish the checkout process and wait for your brand-new console to arrive!

Setting Up Your Xbox and Game Pass

If you've set up an Xbox One before, setting up an Xbox Series X or Series S will feel familiar: Microsoft's Xbox app for Android and iPhone takes care of most of the process. Simply launch the app, power on your Xbox, and enter the code on the TV screen.

The Xbox app will guide you through the rest of the process, including connecting your Xbox Series X|S to your Wi-Fi network, transferring settings from an Xbox One (if you had one), and choosing the streaming apps you want installed on your Xbox.

Now all that's left is to activate Xbox Game Pass. For Xbox All Access, Game Pass is actually tied to the console itself instead of being included as a separate prepaid card.

One thing to note is that if you already have an active Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, the Xbox All Access credit will add 24 months on top, but only up to a maximum of 36 months!

So if you've already paid for a year or more of Xbox Game Pass, you may want to wait before activating the credit included with Xbox All Access to make sure you make the most of it.

If this is your first Xbox, no need to worry. Just activate Xbox Game Pass as part of setup and enjoy your new console!