Microsoft raises Xbox Game Pass prices — changes also include overhauled tiers, and the new bottom tier can no longer play Day 1 games

Source: Tom's Hardware added 10th Jul 2024

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Suppose the Xbox Game Pass’ Day 1 release model has seemed unsustainable to you. In that case, you aren’t the only one— yesterday, Microsoft announced the abolition of the Xbox Game Pass for Console to be replaced by a future Standard tier and a price increase of $5 for Game Pass, an ultimate total of $19.99 per month, instead of its current $14.99. These figures assume you’re reading this from the United States, but Microsoft has a dedicated PDF for Game Pass users from other countries who want to see the exact price change for their currencies.

These aren’t all changes to the Xbox’s subscription business models. However, this story’s most immediately notable aspects are the price increase to Game Pass Ultimate and the removal of Day 1 games from the base Game Pass. But let’s narrow in on the erasure of Xbox Game Pass for Console, the changes to Xbox Game Pass for PC, and the upcoming Xbox Game Pass Standard tier.

First, existing Game Pass For Console subscribers will keep their subscriptions as long as auto-pay remains enabled. Existing Xbox Game Pass for Console codes should stay redeemable “until further notice.” As of September 18, 2024, the maximum subscription extension limit for Game Pass for Console will be 13 months, past which (~November 2025) users will likely be required to switch.

Next, the entry-level PC Xbox Game Pass—or PC Game Pass—will be bumped up to $11.99 from $9.99. However, as a silver lining, this tier will keep access to Day 1 release titles at only a minor price increase from the previous entry-level. The competition from Steam, etc., on PC, is likely a factor in the decision to keep PC Game Pass as cheap as possible.

Finally, Xbox Game Pass Standard is set to be introduced as a new entry-level tier replacing Xbox Game Pass for consoles. Xbox Game Pass Standard will cost $14.99 and include Xbox Live Gold membership. But most pressingly for those using Xbox Game Pass for cheap access to Day One Xbox games, this membership tier will no longer include Day One games, only back catalog titles.

Confusingly, on the note of Xbox Live Gold, it seems that Microsoft is now renaming it Game Pass Core, even though it is still just for online multiplayer. Additionally, the month-to-month pricing of Game Pass Core will remain in line with current Live Gold pricing at $9.99. Still, the annual bundle pricing has increased from $74.99 to $54.99, eliminating many savings from buying it in a yearly package.

Ultimately, it’s not surprising to see Xbox start raising Game Pass pricing, considering it’s hiring disastrous management while providing games for a relative steal. Something had to give.

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Christopher Harper has been a successful freelance tech writer specializing in PC hardware and gaming since 2015, and ghostwrote for various B2B clients in High School before that. Outside of work, Christopher is best known to friends and rivals as an active competitive player in various eSports (particularly fighting games and arena shooters) and a purveyor of music ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Killer Mike to the Sonic Adventure 2 soundtrack.

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media: Tom's Hardware  

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