Xbox Game Pass Ultimate now includes EA Play — free

EA Play’s library of games is now available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, at no additional charge.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers get access to EA Play’s 89 games immediately. Access will also be good for subscribers on Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X, when those launch in November.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate costs $14.99 a month, and includes Xbox Live Gold (ordinarily $9.99 per month/$59.99 per year) and Xbox Game Pass for PC access. EA Play (formerly EA Access) costs $4.99 a month and $29.99 a year.

EA Play members on Xbox One get access to a library of 89 titles. They also get a 10-hour free trial for select new releases (typically EA Sports’ newest launches), plus a 10 percent discount on any digital purchase of EA’s DLC or microtransactions. Microsoft’s announcement this morning confirmed both the trial and discount perks would carry over.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate’s library currently offers 246 games to Xbox One subscribers. Titles enter and leave that library every month. When EA Access originally launched on Xbox One in 2014, EA said that any game placed into its “vault” stays there forever for its subscribers. Some titles have been pulled since then, usually sports releases and usually for licensing reasons.

Microsoft seems to be perpetually offering Xbox Game Pass Ultimate’s first month for $1 to new subscribers. After that, it’s $14.99 per month; Microsoft does not offer an annual purchase option, although some retail stores offer cards redeemable for multiple months.

Wednesday’s announcement followed Microsoft’s notice that pre-orders for the Xbox Series X and Series S will begin on Sept. 22. In addition to confirming the Series X’s cost is $499, the company announced a purchase plan, getting buyers the console and Xbox Game Pass on a monthly payment program of $24.99 per month, for 24 months.

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