Microsoft Begins Testing Family Plan for Xbox Game Pass in Select Regions

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Microsoft wants to make it easier for Game Pass subscribers who want to share the perks of the service with family members.

As detailed in an Xbox Wire post from earlier this week, Microsoft has launched a preview for a new Game Pass offering that will allow “multiple people to share Game Pass Ultimate benefits.” The plan allows subscribers to add up to four people to their subscriptions, “all with their own unique access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate games, content, and benefits.”

The new Game Pass Ultimate family plan is currently available only to Xbox Insiders who reside in Colombia and Ireland, but here are some bullet points pertaining to the preview, per Microsoft.

  • The people you share your membership with do not have to be Insiders but must reside in the same country as you. Enrollment is limited and will remain open while the offer is available.
  • Joining the Game Pass – Insider Preview will convert the time remaining on your membership to time in the new plan, based upon the monetary value of the old membership. For example, a full month of Ultimate will be converted to 18 days of membership for this plan. This way you won’t lose any of the remaining value on your existing subscription upon conversion. Conversion is final, and users must wait for their new membership to expire before returning to a previous membership.
  • Conversion is not available for invited group members. Before joining a group, a group member can cancel their existing subscription or wait for it to expire. If they do not have a Microsoft account, invited friends and family will have to create a new Microsoft account and sign in with it to participate.
  • Members with Xbox All Access won’t be able to participate in this preview.
  • In Colombia, parts of the copy for the preview have not been localized and might be displayed in English.

Microsoft has also shared the following list of issues that testers might run into with its new Game Pass offering.

  • Invited members with an existing subscription may encounter an error when accepting an invite. We’re working on enabling these members to cancel immediately to accept the invitation.
  • Attempts to upgrade twice within 24 hours will be blocked. For example, upgrading from Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will work, but attempts to then upgrade from Ultimate to Xbox Game Pass – Insider Preview will be blocked for 24 hours. There is currently a generic error code shown when this is attempted.
  • Microsoft account family members will not receive an email when automatically added to a group. Primary account holders can share benefits with Microsoft account family members automatically. We’re working on sending a confirmation email, and family members do not need to explicitly accept an invite to get access.
  • A Primary account holder may see a “Something went wrong” error when trying to share directly to two or more Microsoft account family members at once after purchase. Please wait a short time and try again. Alternatively, try sharing via email or link.
  • Error while trying to purchase Xbox Game Pass – Insider Preview plan. If you’re blocked from purchase with this error code: PEX-CatalogAvailabilityDataNotFound, please report a problem following the steps outlined in the Insider subreddit here. You may be able to work around this by restarting the Microsoft Store and trying to purchase again.
  • Subscription sharing “Get help” link on links to the home page instead of a specific support article with sharing help.
  • Invitation and group management related emails are currently only in English. We are working on additional languages for these emails.

There doesn’t seem to be any indication as to when Xbox might be rolling out its Game Pass family plans to other regions. Microsoft hasn’t elaborated on the potential pricing of these plans, either, but Engadget did a little math and suggested that the plan could cost around $25 a month ($4 per person) in the U.S.

Game Pass Ultimate costs $14.99/mo. and includes a couple of great perks beyond the standard console tier, such as Xbox Live Gold and EA Play, which is described as a “library of top Electronic Arts titles on console and PC, exclusive rewards, and member-only content.”

Game Pass for PC, which costs $9.99/mo., also includes EA Play.

Source: Xbox Wire

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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