Microsoft expands the availability of its Friends & Family subscription for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in six additional countries following the initial pilot last year in Ireland and Columbia. The Friends & Family subscription is now also available in New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Hungary, Israel and Sweden and allows Xbox Game Pass members to share benefits with up to four other friends or family members.
Each individual with a Friends & Family membership gets their own unique access to the entire Game Pass Ultimate library on Xbox and PC, EA Play, and other benefits such as exclusive member discounts. Prices for each new region vary and has not been made public by Microsoft. However, for context, the subscription is currently available in Ireland for €21.99 per month (about $23) compared to the typical cost of €12.99 per month ($14.99) for a standard Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription . That works out to less than $5 per month per person to share all the usual Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefits.
Existing Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can convert their accounts to a Friends & Family subscription without losing value
However, there are a few caveats to signing up. First, Friends & Family memberships can only be shared with people who live in the same country as the account holder. Second, if you already have an Ultimate subscription and switch to a Friends & Family subscription, the time remaining on your membership will be converted based on the monetary value. So, for example, if you have a full month of Ultimate left over, you’ll get 18 days of Friends & Family. However, this conversion is not available to the four guests invited to join a Friends & Family plan, so non-account holders must cancel their own membership before joining a shared account. Microsoft also notes that Xbox All Access subscription members are not eligible to participate in Friends & Family subscriptions.
It is not yet known when the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Friends & Family subscription will be available for other regions such as the US, UK or Canada. However, based on the current price of the plan, it’s likely to be around $25 a month when it arrives in the US, which is an absolute steal when shared by five people. Microsoft’s move to introduce such an affordable user-sharing plan stands in stark contrast to Netflix’s efforts to tackle password sharing. That’s what the streaming giant claimed last year loses about $6 billion in annual revenue due to password sharing and recent attempts to put an end to it, didn’t exactly go down well with subscribers.