Microsoft is looking into a free, ad-supported Game Pass streaming tier

by Danny Craig  · 
Microsoft is looking into a free, ad-supported Game Pass streaming tier

Tim Stuart, Xbox's chief financial officer, has revealed that the company is currently investigating a potential tier of Xbox Game Pass that would allow for free game streaming in exchange for watching ads.

The details:

  • Stuart discussed the possibility of an even cheaper and potentially free version of Game Pass in some regions last month at the Wells Fargo TMT Summit (via TweakTown). "The vision I like to talk about is we have xCloud game streaming, so you can subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate and you can stream hundreds of games to really any endpoint that has a browser experience," Stuart explained. "For models like Africa, or India, Southeast Asia, maybe places that aren't console-first, you can say, 'hey, do you want to watch 30 seconds of an ad and then get two hours of game streaming?'"

  • The CFO explained that the new addition would be ideal for regions such as Africa, where half of the population is 23 years old or younger and may have mobile devices but lack the disposable income to pay for Game Pass' current tiers. A less expensive model would then allow Xbox to provide its service in areas "we would never have been able to address."

  • The model appears to be more than just an idea, with Windows Central claiming to have seen evidence that the new tier could enter production soon. Title_OS, a security researcher, also claims to have discovered code from the Xbox OS indicating that Microsoft may offer Game Pass access in 15-minute increments on an "Earned Time" basis.

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