Microsoft has upped its bid for console buyers’ attention by adding a future upgrade to Xbox All Access. Now, not only can you lease an Xbox One console from Amazon, but you also have the option to upgrade to the mysterious Project Scarlett console when it eventually comes out next year.
All Access is essentially an easier way to buy an Xbox, paying for it monthly installments until you’ve paid it off while still using it — no dropping hundreds you might not have all at once. Microsoft today announced it was “relaunching” All Access in more countries, including the US, UK, and Australia. When you buy one, you get an Xbox One and a two-year subscription to Xbox Game Pass. You can get an Xbox One X, One S, or One S Digital if you’re in the UK or US (Australia players have the option to get a One X or One S with Forza Horizon 4 bundles).
Back when All Access was first announced, I said that the likely purpose behind it was a last-ditch effort to eke more sales out of the Xbox One, as well as cultivate a little brand loyalty before Project Scarlett came out. Turns out I was right in a more literal sense than I could have known.
To sweeten the pot and get more buyers on board, Microsoft is now offering the option to upgrade to a Project Scarlett console when it eventually comes out. The still-somewhat-mysterious next-gen console is set to launch in Holiday 2020. Jeff Gattis, Microsoft’s GM of Platform and Device Marketing, even admits in the announcement that the company’s deliberately trying to tempt those staying on the fence until the next-gen consoles launch:
We realize buying a console is an investment and some players are waiting to make the jump to the next generation with Project Scarlett when it launches in Holiday 2020 alongside “Halo Infinite”. This is why as a limited time offer this holiday season, players in the U.S. and U.K. who purchase an Xbox One X with Xbox All Access through December 31, 2019, have the option to upgrade to the next Xbox console in as few as 12 months and once Project Scarlett has officially launched.
As he mentioned, this appears to be limited to American and UK users, and you must qualify with Microsoft’s financing partner (which, though they don’t directly say it, I’m assuming means a credit check).
This iteration of All Access also fixes one of the major caveats before — namely, when it was originally announced, you could only participate by going to one of Microsoft’s physical locations. Because there are several states in the US alone where there are no Microsoft stores, that made it untenable for a large number of people.
Now, according to Microsoft, the deal is available through “select consoles and retailers.” For US users, this includes an online option from Amazon, while UK and Australian users can get their consoles at GAME and Telstra, respectively. It’s nice to finally have some options.