Microsoft is notorious for constantly changing and renaming things around. Like retail stores moving isle locations around from time to time to keep you in the store. Although Microsoft’s purposes are a little different, it does feel similar. It feels like theirs is more to keep you confused more than anything. This is the case with changes coming to Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass subscriptions this September.
Specifically, the company is doing way with the more affordable Xbox Live Gold subscription. Something we all saw coming from a mile away. God forbid you make anything affordable these days. Something that ran $9.99/month but could be found cheaper if you paid by the year (or if purchased during certain sales events).
Now the company is replacing it with what will be called “Game Pass Core”, adding a new tier to the Game Pass subscription list. It too will be $9.99/month, but no more will you see those discounts when ordering in bulk outside of certain sales events (ie, Amazon has a small sale on Game Pass Ultimate at the time of writing this). All of these tiers are their price per month no matter how you subscribe (time-wise).
It does come with some perks though as it will basically be Xbox Live Gold + access to a limited number of games online (25 or more). So a mini Game Pass in other words. Of course, if you only care to play the games you own, this comes right back to the (no more bulk discounts, sadly).
This will make a total of four tiers to choose from when subscribing to Game Pass starting September. If you just need the basics to get online and play with your friends with the games you have and a short list of others, Game Pass Core is your option. Then you have Xbox Game Pass ($10.99/month) and PC Game Pass ($9.99/month) for access to an extensive list of games you can play on either consoles or PC depending on the one you choose (you just don’t get multiplayer). Then there is Game Pass Ultimate that the company is clearly promoting more than anything as you get console, PC, cloud (to other devices), multiplayer, and more for $14.99/month.
Again, the changes should be coming in September and you’ll likely see whatever Xbox Live Gold subscription you have left automatically converted over.