When first unveiling the Xbox One all those months ago, Microsoft made a point about the number of timed exclusives and early access. It’s a nice feature, sure, but most likely not one to win over any sceptics.
This latest deal with EA, though, takes the concept to a whole other level. EA has announced EA Access – a subscription scheme exclusive to Xbox One. EA Access will offer gamers unlimited access to the Vault – a collection of ‘EA’s biggest games’.
Not only that, but you will also get early access to new titles, such as FIFA 15, Madden NFL 15 and Dragon Age: Inquisition five days before release (for a ‘limited time’, whatever that entails). If you enjoy the game you can then purchase it upon release with all of your progress saved.
There’s also a 10% discount on all EA digital purchases, too, including full titles. That means savings on both FIFA 15 and FIFA 15 Ultimate Team purchases, if you should be so inclined.
The service will cost a rather reasonable £3.99 per month. In the USA EA also offered a flat $30 annual fee for even further savings, so hopefully a similar figure will be offered this side of the pond.
The service is in beta right now and available for any Xbox One owners interested. The games currently available for download are Battlefield 4, Peggle 2, Madden NFL 25 and FIFA 14.
What do you think? The pricing seems reasonable, and it’s certainly an interesting concept for a service unlike any we’ve ever really seen before. Would you dive right in? Or would you wait to see how the available library evolves before coughing up your cash?
UPDATE: Just when you thought the offer couldn’t get any fairer, EA has revealed another crucial nugget of information: EA Access won’t require an Xbox Live Gold subscription!
That means that those only interested in offline gaming won’t have to shell out on an otherwise irrelevant service just to get the one which they do want. Naturally, if you wish to play any of the EA Access titles you download online then you will need a Gold membership.
This falls in line nicely with Microsoft’s recent 180 on how users can access online services. Up until May of this year third-party services on your Xbox (360 or One) which required internet access demanded an accompanying Xbox Live Gold subscription. So something like Netflix or Sky Player, which users were already paying a premium for, weren’t available until you coughed up to Microsoft. Fortunately, that requirement is no longer in place, and the trend looks set to continue with EA Access.