Microsoft just turned the Xbox into a subscription service and will sell it like Apple sells iPhones

  • Microsoft is now selling the Xbox One S and Xbox One X through monthly installment plans.
  • That means you can buy it like you would an expensive phone, paying off the cost over two years.
Microsoft's Xbox One X console.
Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Microsoft's Xbox One X console.

Microsoft just turned the Xbox into a subscription service and will sell it like Apple sells iPhones.

Here's how it works: You can pick either a Microsoft Xbox One S or the more powerful Xbox One X. Instead of buying it outright, however, as you might typically have with any other game console, you'll pay a small monthly fee for it. The Xbox One S costs $21.99 per month for 24 months while the Xbox One X costs $34.99 per month for 24 months.

After two years, you own the console. The monthly payments also include access to Xbox Live Gold, which is required for playing multiplayer games online. It also includes Xbox Game Pass, which gives you access to more than 100 games you can download.

Alone, the Xbox One X costs $500 while the subscription services cost $10 per month each.

This means Microsoft has turned Xbox into more of a recurring revenue service. After two years, it can offer upgrades to newer models of the Xbox, similar to how Apple and wireless carriers offer upgrades to phone buyers, keeping them locked out from competitors.