Microsoft has expanded the availability of the Friends and Family plan for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to six additional countries after its initial pilot in Ireland and Columbia last year. The Friends and Family plan is also available in New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Hungary, Israel, and Sweden and allows Xbox Game Pass members to share the benefits with up to four other friends or members of family.
Each individual in a Friends & Family membership receives their own unique access to the entire Game Pass Ultimate library across Xbox and PC, EA Play, and other benefits such as exclusive member discounts. Pricing for each new region varies and is not publicly disclosed by Microsoft. For context, however, the plan is currently available in Ireland for €21.99 per month (approximately $23) compared to the average cost of €12.99 per month ($14.99) for a standard Xbox subscription. Game Pass Ultimate. That works out to less than €5 per month per person to share all the usual benefits of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Existing Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can upgrade their accounts to a Friends and Family plan without losing any value
There are some caveats to signing up, though. First, Friends and Family memberships can only be shared with people who live in the same country as the account. Second, if you already have an Ultimate subscription and convert to a Friends and Family membership, then the remaining time of your membership will change based on the amount of money. So, for example, if you have a full month left in Ultimate, it will give you 18 days of Friends and Family. This conversion is not available for four guests invited to join a Friends and Family plan, however, so non-account holders must cancel their own memberships before joining the a shared account. Microsoft also noted that Xbox All Access subscription members are not eligible to participate in Friends and Family plans.
No word yet on when the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Friends & Family plan will be available in other regions like the US, UK, or Canada. Based on current plan pricing, though, it’s likely to be around $25 a month when it comes to the US, which is an absolute steal when shared by five people. Microsoft’s move to introduce an affordable user-shareable subscription like this is in contrast to Netflix’s efforts to prevent password sharing. The streaming giant admitted last year that it was losing about $6 billion in annual revenue due to password sharing, and recent efforts to stop it have not gone down well with subscribers.