Microsoft Xbox Game Pass Friends And Family Plan Is A Killer Deal But There's A Caveat
Effectively Microsoft seemingly is testing the waters for this service. The service is somewhat similar to the Nintendo Switch Online Services. Nintendo was one of the first to implement sharing console subscription services en masse when it released the online service for Nintendo Switch in 2018. It allows you and up to eight other people to have access to Nintendo Switch Online services, online gaming, and even some classic console access. Sony Plus for PlayStation, and Xbox Live Gold both previously only allowed sharing of services if a subscriber account was signed into a device and that device was allowed usage.
The benefits of Game Pass Ultimate outweigh Nintendo's pretty heftily even if it covers three fewer people. Game Pass Ultimate includes all of the monthly Games for Xbox Gold as well as dozens of other regularly cycling games that owners have access to so long as the subscription is retained. It also includes the minimum tier of EA Games' own version of a monthly service, EA Play. Xbox Live Gold access for online play is included. Ultimate grants access to games on Windows PCs via the Xbox app and stronger support for PC to Xbox and vice versa play if a game supports cross-play. You even have some access to some cloud gaming features. Lastly, Xbox Game Pass subscribers sometimes get discounts on games purchased through the Xbox platform.
There are, of course, some limits to this service. While you can invite anyone you like to be part of your Game Pass friends and family group, only the holder of the primary account has control to add or remove people. So, if you and your buddy who has been sharing the service have a falling out, you might lose your benefits! Account holders can only invite up to four people simultaneously. The limit on accepted invites maxes out at eight people per year, so you cannot randomly cycle buddies just because they came to hang. A user can only join the same group twice in one year.