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Electronic Arts unveils $4.99/month subscription offering for Xbox One

Electronic Arts on Tuesday unveiled a new offering for Xbox One gamers. For $4.99 (£2.94, €3.72) a month, or for $29.99 (£17.68, €22.36) a year, subscribers in the U.S. will get access to a collection of EA’s most popular games. Initially the offering only works in the U.S., but eventually it will extended to other markets and, perhaps, even to other platforms.

EA Access membership unlocks The Vault, a collection of EA’s titles on Xbox One ready to download and play. During the beta, gamers will have unlimited access to four EA games: FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4, with more titles to be added shortly. The service is being rolled out in beta to a limited number of players today, but it will launch for everyone on Xbox One soon, according to EA.

Besides the games in The Vault, EA Access members will save 10 per cent on purchases of EA digital content for Xbox One offered through the Xbox Games Store. In addition, membership in EA Access lets gamers experience trials of new EA games up to five days before the release date.

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Amazon and GameStop will sell EA Access memberships for Xbox One gamers across Europe, EB Games will sell the subscriptions in Canada.

The decision to rent games to Xbox One owners instead of selling titles makes a great sense for new-generation game consoles in general. For now, the subscription model will improve competitive positions of the Xbox One platform, but eventually EA will likely offer the same service to owners of Sony’s PlayStation 4. What remains to be seen is whether the company will also offer something like this to its customers who use PCs.

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KitGuru Says: The subscription-based model has a lot of pros and cons. What do you think? Is it better to own a game forever, or just play it and then forget it? Share your thoughts with us!

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