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Verizon starts selling Xbox consoles as another example of 5G ‘innovation’

Verizon starts selling Xbox consoles as another example of 5G ‘innovation’


The carrier dives even deeper into gaming with new Microsoft partnership

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The white Xbox Series S and black Xbox Series X consoles standing side by side.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Did you know that Verizon sells game consoles? The carrier has stocked the PlayStation 5 on its online store at times, and today, it announced a partnership with Microsoft that will see Verizon offer both the Xbox Series X and Series S through the All Access monthly financing program.

Both will be available starting July 28th, and Verizon is offering deals like 50 percent off an Xbox Elite 2 controller to sweeten the somewhat strange notion of buying an Xbox subscription from your phone company.

To Verizon, none of this is strange at all. If you’ll mostly be playing from the couch, the company says its home internet offerings — Fios and 5G Home — are the perfect solution for multiplayer gaming. And if you want to take advantage of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and pick up the action on your phone or tablet, Verizon is happy to sell you on its 5G mobile data plans and promote the lower latency and faster speeds that they provide. Verizon also sells various accessories and gamepads (including those that attach to your phone).

It’s a sensible move, but Verizon’s press release goes just a little too far by proclaiming “today’s announcement that we’re joining forces with Microsoft builds on Verizon’s promise of 5G growth and innovation across multiple platforms, including mobility, nationwide broadband and the most popular consumer offerings.” I’m not sure signing people up for a financing program is consequential for the progression of 5G.

Plenty of retailers sell Xbox All Access, and like many of them, Verizon is using Affirm to handle the monthly payments, which start at $24.99 a month for 24 months. There’s really nothing different here, nor is All Access integrated with your monthly Verizon bill. Maybe that’s a good thing since carriers keep finding ways to increase those as is. Xbox Series X / S consoles will be available online and also in “select” Verizon retail locations on July 28th.