Is Microsoft exploring a cheaper, ad-supported Xbox Game Pass ‘Lite’?

What do you want to know

  • A purported survey posted on ResetEra suggests that Microsoft may be exploring an ad-supported Xbox Game Pass tier that also grants Xbox Live Gold.
  • The cheapest tier would include Xbox’s entire library of exclusive games, including major first-party titles six months after launch. These games, however, would run ads at launch to help fund the level.
  • Microsoft also recently patented personalized ads for display in games, which seems oddly timely given this investigation.
  • It may also be nothing.

A recent confluence of events has led some (including me) to speculate that Microsoft may be exploring a cheaper, ad-supported tier of Xbox Game Pass.

A pole buried in a ResetEra The thread appears to show a recent survey that was sent out to some Xbox users asking what they would think of an extra tier of Xbox Game Pass.

If real, the alleged tier would cost $3 per month and provide access to a variety of Xbox Game Pass content with fairly generous limitations. It would include an EA Access-like vault of old first-party Xbox games, with a similar 6-month delay for new Xbox games to hit the service. Those who accessed these download-only Xbox games through this tier would be prompted to view an ad before the game started rolling.

The survey suggests Microsoft is exploring a $3 per month Xbox Game Pass tier that would include online multiplayer Xbox games after six months, supported by ads. (Image credit: AImalexia @ResetEra)

Assuming the table above is real, this tier also includes online multiplayer access, which is currently $9.99 per month and offers no games beyond the heavily discounted Xbox Live Games with Gold program. Games with Gold now typically only includes two Xbox One indie titles per month and has been the subject of criticism and derision for some time.

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