Microsoft has finally revealed the details of its upcoming Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family program. Instead of paying for multiple Game Pass subscriptions, one for each account in your family circle or friend group, you will soon be able to save money by only paying for a single pass. However, there are some restrictions in place that may prevent everyone from taking advantage of this new offer. Perhaps more importantly, this is just the start, so it will be some time before everyone can participate.
Instead of splurging on specific titles, Xbox Game Pass provides access to a large number of them in exchange for a monthly subscription fee. New titles are added on a regular basis, though Xbox removes some every month. Microsoft competes with Sony, which provides a similar service via its PlayStation Plus program. The addition of Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family could give Microsoft an advantage in this particular competition.
Game Pass memberships are normally $14.99 per month. When fully operational, the Friends & Family plan will raise that price, but splitting it among five players means that each will only have to pay a small amount. The new Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family membership will include all of the benefits of the Ultimate membership, including online play, access to Xbox Live, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and even cross-platform gameplay with the PC Game Pass.
The program starts out small
To begin, Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family will be available in a very limited capacity — call it a test run. It will initially be available in Colombia and Ireland, but Microsoft has stated that additional countries and regions may be added in the coming months. The plan will cost €21.99 per month ($21.92) in Ireland (compared to €12.99 for a single membership), and 49,900 COP (about $11) in Colombia. Microsoft hasn’t announced pricing for other regions, but it’s safe to assume it’ll be in the $20-$35 range.
The new plan allows up to five people to share the same account, but there is a catch: everyone must live in the same country. As a result, sharing with friends and family all over the world is no longer an option. If you already have a Game Pass subscription and upgrade to the Friends & Family plan, Microsoft will convert your remaining subscription time to the new plan. 30 days of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is equivalent to 18 days of Friends & Family; 30 days of console membership, Xbox Live Gold, or PC Game Pass is equivalent to 12 days of Friends & Family; and 30 days of EA Play is equivalent to only six days of Friends & Family.