Xbox is increasing the cost of Game Pass and adding a new tier – here’s what you need to know – WGB


As per rumours from earlier this year, Xbox has begun making sweeping changes to its subscription service. The biggest change is that day 1 releases of Xbox exclusives will only be available to those who pay the highest price. Skip to the bottom of the article if you want an easy-to-read chart.

The news isn’t very shocking as most of us had already assumed Microsoft would hike the prices up to help mitigate the cost of adding Call of Duty into the service. As it stands, Game Pass likely costs a lot of money for Xbox to run, and is widely assumed to not turn a profit. While the service has risen in price before, it has remained a bargain for the average consumer, offering instant access to hundreds of amazing titles. By far the biggest advantage was that for a low price subscribers could play the latest Xbox exclusive games. Just last year, for example, you could either buy Starfield for $70 or you could just grab a month of Xbox Game Pass for Console for $10 and play it.

So, what is changing?

First, Game Pass Core, which lets you play online and grants access to a small library of select titles., is going to stay at $9.99. The annual price is going to go up to $74.99 though, which is a substantial rise from its previous price of $59.99.

Xbox Game Pass for Console will no longer be an option for new customers. Current subscribers will be able to keep their subscription going however, and that includes day one Xbox exclusive games. From September 12, Microsoft will only allow Xbox Game Pass for Console users to stack up to 13 months of subscription. After that, Xbox Game Pass for Console will be phased out entirely.

From September onwards a new tier called Game Pass Standard will be introduced and will cost $14.99 per month. This will include Xbox’s massive back catalogue of games but it will no longer let players instantly access new exclusives on day one. It will, however, include Game Pass Core so that people can play online, unlike Xbox Game Pass for Console which required people subscribe separately to Game Pass Core if they wanted to play multiplayer games.

This new Standard scheme will launch “in the coming months” just before Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 lands in October.

PC Game Pass is also going to see a price hike, going from $9.99 a month to $11.99. Unlike Game Pass for Console though, PC Game Pass will retain access to day one titles, meaning PC gamers will be able to play the newest Call of Duty on launch day at no extra cost.

If you’re wondering why PC gamers seem to be getting a far better deal, it’s because console players have to pay extra to play multiplayer games, whereas PC players do not.

So, what if you play on console and want to get all of the latest Xbox games as soon as they are available? Well, you’ll need Game Pass Ultimate which will continue to bundle together PC Game Pass, Console Game Pass, day one games, EA Play and cloud streaming. In other words, Game Pass Ultimate isn’t changing but its price will be increased to $19.99.

All of these price increases will take effect on September 12, 2024.

Tier Selection of free games Multiplayer PC Games Library Console Games Library Day one access to exclusives EA Play
Game Pass Core Yes Yes No No No No
Game Pass Standard Yes Yes No Yes No No
PC Game Pass Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Game Pass Ultimate Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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