Xbox Game Pass just got an unexpected upgrade — from Apple

Xbox Game Pass on smart TVs
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Game Pass — in particular Xbox Game Pass Ultimate —  has been a great deal for a while. There’s no other service in gaming that gives you access to awesome games on a wide range of devices for just $15 a month. But now, it’s getting even better.

First reported by Eurogamer, Microsoft announced that Xbox will now offer three-month free trials to two killer Apple services: Apple TV Plus and Apple Music. This is part of its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Perks program, which has been around for a couple of years. Typically, the perks it offers are cosmetics or in-game content, but now you can use your Game Pass Ultimate subscription to sign up for three free months of Apple’s premium streaming and music services. That’s a major upgrade for existing users. Act fast though — this perk is only available until March 31, 2023. 

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: first month for $1 @ Microsoft

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: first month for $1 @ Microsoft
New users can get a month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for just $1. Xbox Game Pass gives you instant access to hundreds of games and you get Xbox Game Studios titles the same day as release. After your first month, you'll pay $9.99/month for PC membership, $14.99/month for Ultimate membership, or $9.99/month for Console membership. 

If you don’t have Game Pass Ultimate yet, don’t worry. There’s a good deal for that too. Right now Microsoft is offering new users one month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for just $1. It’s the best deal we see for the service right now, but we’re hoping for more as Black Friday deals really get rolling. So sign up now, enjoy the games, shows, movies and tunes, and then keep an eye out for potential Black Friday deals for potential savings on future months.   

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: What’s included? 

xbox cloud gaming

(Image credit: Microsoft)

At this point, users get a lot with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. First, you get Xbox Live Gold automatically so you can play games online and get free Games with Gold each month. Then, you get access to hundreds of games that you can play on your Xbox Series S, Xbox Series S, gaming PC or even on your smartphone through Xbox Cloud Gaming. Plus all first-party Xbox Games Studios games automatically launch as playable with your Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

And you get access to more than just Xbox games and services. Game Pass Ultimate users get access to EA Play, which is a library of Electronic Arts games that you can play as part of your Ultimate subscription. While EA Play often makes you wait to play new EA games, if you’re patient it can be a big win. Currently, you can play last year's big sports titles such as FIFA 22 and Madden 22 along with critically acclaimed hits like Mass Effect Legendary Edition and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Apple One

(Image credit: Apple)

Of course, now Xbox has partnered with Apple to give Ultimate subscribers even more third-party content. Granted, after three months you’ll have to pay. So if you like Apple TV Plus and Apple Music after those three months I recommend checking out Apple One, which gives you both services plus Apple Arcade and 50GB of iCloud storage. Even if you don’t use the Arcade and iCloud storage, you still save a little compared to TV Plus and Music a la carte. Given that Apple Music is our current winner in the battle between it and Spotify and Apple TV Plus is one of our best streaming services, there’s a good chance you’ll stick around after the three months are up.

Oh, and if you need an Xbox there’s good news! Right now you can get an Xbox Series S for $50 off at Adorama for Black Friday. So don’t miss out and stay tuned for our latest Black Friday deals.  

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.