Upon yesterday’s announcement of EA Access, the service was quickly released to a select few users that had previously signed up for the Xbox One Preview Program. The Xbox One Preview Program allows you to check out newer versions of the Xbox One dashboard before everyone else. Being one of those people, I was given the opportunity to check out the service first-hand.
Access to the EA Access preview is given via a standard Xbox Live message from Microsoft. In the message is a code you can redeem that allows you to download the “EA Access Hub” application. Once you have the application, you can open it up and you’re then given the option to sign up for the EA Access subscription.
I quickly paid my five dollars because I figured that was a fair price to try it all out, seeing as how I could always opt to upgrade to the yearly option if I chose. The billing is all done through Microsoft and is just like subscribing to Xbox Live Gold. You can’t use Xbox Live cash to sign up, this must be from a credit card you have on file.
Once signed up, you’re taken to a simple interface showing what the service offers including Discounts and the Vault. Clicking on over to the vault shows you a handful of games, much of which are not available to download as part of the subscription. Below each game included for no extra charge is the text “Vault Game” to indicate you can download that game for free at this time.
To get one of these ‘free’ games, all you have to do is select the game and then choose the “Install” option. The rest is done and the game begins downloading. One neat feature is that any disc games you may have already installed can be played within seconds. The service will download a small license file and you’ll be able to play the same exact game, just with no disc required.
Discounted games are also offered in the Hub, with the prices reflecting a 10% discount as promised. As there are no Early Access games coming this soon, that feature is unavailable to test just yet.
Overall, EA Access is a pretty good service that seems to be decently priced offering a good value (at least for now), and it will be very interesting to see where EA takes this service into the future. The official launch seems like it should go off without a hitch though as the service appears ready for prime-time already.