Xbox Game Pass price hike is here, console tier removes day-one access to first-party games

Microsoft has confirmed that Game Pass subscription fees are increasing, and on console the standard plan removes access to day-one first-party games.

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Microsoft's subscription-based Xbox Game Pass for consoles and PC Game Pass for Windows have been game changers in recent years. Offering a library of games to download and install, with day-one access to all first-party Xbox titles, it's one of those things where it's hard to imagine owning an Xbox console without having a Game Pass subscription to go with it.

Xbox Game Pass Standard replaces the $15 tier, removing access to day-one first-party titles.

Xbox Game Pass Standard replaces the $15 tier, removing access to day-one first-party titles.

That changed this week when Microsoft confirmed a confusing pricing increase and tier restructure for Game Pass. Console gamers are being hit the hardest as the Xbox Game Pass for Console subscription tier (which doesn't include PC Game Pass or EA Play titles) is being replaced by Xbox Game Pass Standard. This $15 USD monthly subscription will no longer include access to first-party Xbox titles on day one.

That's right, no day-one access to Age of Mythology Retold, Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, Avowed, or Indiana Jones and the Great Circle this year, and no day-one access to DOOM: The Dark Ages, Fable, Perfect Dark, South of Midnight, Gears of War: E-Day, and more in 2025.

The good news is that those with Xbox Game Pass for Console subscriptions will continue to gain access to first-party games on day one. However, this will no longer be available as new subscribers will be on the Xbox Game Pass Standard tier.

Xbox Game Pass price hike is here, console tier removes day-one access to first-party games 3

Those wanting access to first-party games, arguably the biggest selling point for Game Pass, will need to shell out Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes PC, Cloud, and access to certain EA games. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate's price is increasing from $17 to $20 monthly starting September 12.

On the PC side, things aren't as bad, as PC Game Pass is seeing its monthly fee increase from $10 to $12. So yeah, it looks like when it comes to Xbox gamers, Microsoft is pushing new subscribers to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier. As you can imagine, the response among Xbox fans has been negative, thanks in part to Xbox finally delivering on its first-party game promise of delivering new titles throughout the year. Also, the fact that this is happening a few months before the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 doesn't look good.

Here's a breakdown of the new Game Pass pricing structure.

  • Xbox Game Pass Core ($10 per month, Available Now) - Access to multiplayer gaming and a curated list of around 40 games on Xbox consoles.
  • Xbox Game Pass Standard ($15 per month, TBC) - Access to hundreds of games, with access to Xbox first-party games arriving sometime after launch. Available on Xbox consoles.
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($20 per month, September 12) - Access to all console games, including first-party Xbox releases on day one, plus PC Game Pass, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and EA Play.
  • PC Game Pass ($12 per month, September 12) - Access to all games, including day-one first-party games and the EA Play library - limited to Windows devices.
NEWS SOURCE:windowscentral.com

Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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