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Xbox Game Pass Continues Push to Be Everywhere While Also Pushing Prices Up


Microsoft has announced price increases for its Xbox Game Pass subscription service and introduced a new tier without "Day One" games. Read on to learn about the changes and Xbox's strategy for Game Pass.

Game Pass Prices Increased and New Subscription Tier Announced

Starts July 10 for New Game Pass Members, September 12 for Existing Ones


Xbox increased the prices for its Xbox Game Pass subscription service, as announced today in an update on the company's support page. The price increase impacts Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, PC Game Pass, and subscriptions to Game Pass Core.

Below are the changes and price adjustments taking effect:

 ⚫︎ Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: The top-tier subscription, which includes PC Game Pass, Day One games, back catalog titles, online play, and cloud gaming, will increase from $16.99 to $19.99 per month.

 ⚫︎ PC Game Pass: This tier will see its monthly price increase from $9.99 to $11.99, retaining all current benefits including Day One releases, membership discounts, PC game catalog, and EA Play membership.

 ⚫︎ Game Pass Core: This will have its annual price increased to $74.99, up from $59.99, but remains at $9.99 per month.

 ⚫︎ Starting on July 10, 2024, Xbox Game Pass for Console will not be available for new members.

These worldwide price changes will go into effect immediately on July 10, 2024 for new subscribers of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Xbox Game Pass Core, and PC Game Pass. Changes apply to existing members starting September 12, 2024. If your existing membership lapses, you will need to choose from the updated plans. New prices take effect on the next recurring billing charge after September 12.


Meanwhile, current subscribers of Game Pass for Console will be able to retain their membership, including access to Day One games, as long as they do not let their subscription lapse. If at any time your membership lapses, you will no longer have access to Game Pass for Console and will need to join one of the other updated plans.

Xbox Game Pass for Console codes will continue to be redeemable until further notice, confirmed Xbox. "As of September 18, 2024, the maximum extension limit of Game Pass for Console will be 13 months," the company stated. "This will not impact any time you currently have stacked on your account that exceeds 13 months and will only impact your future ability to stack more than 13 months after September 18, 2024."

Rolling Out Xbox Game Pass Standard Soon


Microsoft also announced a new Game Pass tier called Xbox Game Pass Standard, priced at $14.99 per month. This tier provides access to a back catalog of games and online play, but does not include Day One games and cloud gaming. Day One games are brand new games in the Game Pass catalog that become available to play the same day they release.

The Xbox Game Pass Standard tier offers numerous games and includes benefits such as online console multiplayer and select member deals and discounts, although some titles exclusive to Game Pass for Console might not be available in the Standard tier.

Xbox said it intends to share more information, such as definite release dates and availability of box Game Pass Standard, soon.

"We created Game Pass to offer players more choice in how they discover and play games," Microsoft stated in relation to the changes taking effect. "That includes offering different prices and plans, so players can find what works best for them."

Xbox Execs Previous Comments on Game Pass

Speaking last December during a presentation, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said, "When I think about investments in things like Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, cross play, and cross save, and ID@Xbox, all of these things — I want us to continue to innovate, so people on our console feel like we're making investments in console that matches their commitment they're making to us."

According to statements made by Xbox CFO Tim Stuart during the Wells Fargo TMT Summit 2023, Xbox Game Pass, along with first-party games and advertising, is considered a high margin business for Microsoft, driving the company's expansion into these areas.

You Don't Need an Xbox to Play Xbox

In related news, Xbox recently premiered a new ad video as part of its marketing campaign of Xbox Game Pass' debut on Amazon Fire Sticks—a media streaming device which converts your normal tv to a smart tv and enables users to play games. Interestingly, Xbox’s latest ad tells you that you don’t need an Xbox console to play their games.

By simply using Amazon's fire TV stick and subscribing to Game Pass Ultimate, you can play hundreds of games like Forza Motorsport, Starfield, and Palworld.

While it is evident that Xbox has fully commenced their strategy on expanding their gaming subscription service, Spencer said that the next strategy for them is to continue launching and introducing bigger titles to Xbox Game Pass.

Speaking in an interview last year, Phil Spencer stressed how Xbox’s goal is to share a wide range of games and enable their customers to play the games they want, anywhere they want. "What we want to offer is choice," Spencer said at the time. And while acknowledging that Xbox isn't just about Xbox Game Pass, the real success of Xbox is that "more people play Xbox, whether it's on Xbox consoles, on PC, in the cloud, or on other consoles", said Spencer.

Xbox's strategy does not hinge on going all-digital


Earlier this year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed queries about Microsoft potentially moving away from hardware, confirming that they do not plan on abandoning their hardware business. He additionally asserted that there is still room for hardware expansion.

Moreover, Xbox confirmed earlier in February that they will continue to offer physical copies of games as long as there is a demand. Likewise, it was reported in the same month that Spencer informed employees that Xbox has no plans to stop making consoles during an internal town hall.

In an interview earlier this year, the Xbox boss pointed out that gaming consoles have become "the last consumer electronic device that has a drive." He said at the time that this was a "real issue," he continued, "just in terms of the number of manufacturers that are actually building drives and the cost associated with those."

However, he affirmed that Xbox's strategy does not hinge on going all-digital. "Getting rid of physical, that's not a strategic thing for us," Spencer stated.

Game Pass updates announced July 2024
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Game Pass Core, and PC Game Pass Price Changes

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