Telstra teams up with Microsoft for Xbox All Access

Telstra will be the exclusive provider for Microsoft's new Xbox All Access package in Australia.

Arriving locally this week, Xbox All Access is a monthly post-paid plan that bundles together an Xbox, Xbox Live and Games Pass. Essentially, you're able to get Microsoft's gaming console and all its online services on a plan in the same way that you can a phone like the Pixel 4.

Telstra say that customers will be able be able to buyout their hardware at any time and that there will be "additional upgrade options" when Project Scarlett launches.

They say more news on this will be shared in early 2020.

Two tiers are available. Paying AU$27/month gets you an Xbox One S, Games Pass Ultimate, a single Xbox One wireless controller & a digital copy of Forza Horizon 4 (plus the Lego Speed Champions DLC). Upping your dues to $38/month gets you an Xbox One X (plus all the same extras).

If you're a Telstra Plus customer, you'll also get a bonus Xbox One Chat headset.

Telstra Group Executive Consumer & Small Business Michael Ackland says that the telco “have proven success in bringing network-enabled entertainment experiences to our customers and we want the gaming experience on Telstra’s network to be the best."

"We have lowered the barrier to entry to great gaming experiences with Xbox All Access and as online mobile gaming matures, we expect to see an explosion of even more content from developers.

“Xbox All Access with Telstra will do for gaming what Netflix and Spotify did for the content streaming market. When we first introduced Telstra TV, more than half of our customers had never streamed TV shows or movies before. Today, we have around 1.5 million Telstra TVs in Aussie homes,” Mr Ackland said.

Telstra say their entry into the gaming category is part of a longer-term strategy "that will ultimately bring gaming to the mass market through exclusive partnerships, backed by the country’s favourite network."

Noting the importance of the telcos fixed network as well, Telstra say that they'll be looking to introduce a fixed broadband product "that will help optimise customers’ gaming experience" in 2020.