One of the best deals in gaming is about to get even better. Today, Microsoft announced that multiple versions of Xbox Game Pass will soon come with EA Play, another subscription service run by a completely different publisher, at no extra cost. Starting "this holiday," anyone with the PC version of Game Pass, which currently costs $4.99 per month, or Game Pass Ultimate, which is $14.99 per month, will also be able to log into the service that was formerly called EA Access and Origin Access. EA Play currently costs $4.99 per month on console and, depending on how many games you want access to, either $4.99 or $14.99 per month on PC.
In short, that's a lot of value. In a blog post, Microsoft confirmed that Game Pass Ultimate and PC subscribers will get access to "more than 60 of EA's biggest and best console and PC games," including Need for Speed Heat and FIFA 20. They'll also be able to play select new releases, like the upcoming FIFA 21 and recently-released Madden NFL 21, for 10 hours before deciding whether or not to buy the game outright. If you have Game Pass Ultimate, you'll also be able to stream "some of the best EA Play games" -- we've asked Microsoft and EA to clarify which ones -- on Android devices.
If you need a refresher, Game Pass Ultimate now includes: the console and PC versions of the subscription service, which are functionally similar but have slightly different libraries, Xbox Live Gold, another subscription required to play console games online, xCloud game streaming, and the basic version of EA Play. Phew! Now more than ever, it's clear that Microsoft sees Game Pass as the future of Xbox. Sure, the company wants to sell consoles, but it's obvious that the company is reshaping its entire business model around subscriptions. That's why every Xbox Game Studio title is released immediately on Game Pass, and why Microsoft has offered so many deals -- like a single month for $1 -- to coax people into trying it.