What you need to know
- Xbox Game Pass Core is replacing Xbox Live Gold tomorrow.
- The pricing structure is identical, complete with the same annual subscription discount and game deals.
- As part of Game Pass Core, you'll get a range of solid titles to give you a taste of the full-blown Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions.
- Read on for the full list.
How the time flies. I'd totally forgotten that Xbox Game Pass Core launches tomorrow, effectively ending the "Xbox Live" brand once and for all.
Xbox Game Pass Core essentially replaces and updates Xbox Live Gold, Microsoft's subscription service for online multiplayer. The pricing structure is virtually identical to Xbox Live Gold, with a $59.99 annual cost or a $9.99 monthly cost. It also includes online multiplayer for Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S consoles, as well as exclusive deals and discounts that both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass members will be familiar with. Users with existing Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will be automatically converted to Xbox Game Pass Core.
The main difference, ultimately, is that you'll get a little taster of the full fat Xbox Game Pass library with Xbox Game Pass Core. Xbox Live Gold previously had a "Games with Gold" freebie every month, giving you a free copy of two current-gen games and two past-gen games. The quality began dropping rapidly once Xbox Game Pass launched, however, Microsoft prioritized its subscription game service library over the aging Xbox Live Gold service.
Today, Microsoft shared the full list of games coming to Xbox Game Pass Core with its initial offering. It's as follows, and contains some pretty sweet deals.
Microsoft clarified that some of the games in this list may vary by region, and the library is subject to change over time.
- Among Us
- Dead Cells
- Dishonored 2
- DOOM Eternal Standard Edition
- Fable Anniversary
- Fallout 4
- Fallout 76
- Forza Horizon 4 Standard Edition
- Gang Beasts
- Gears 5 Game of the Year Edition
- Golf with your Friends
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Wars 2
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Human Fall Flat
- Ori & the Will of the Wisps
- Overcooked! 2
- Payday 2: Crimewave Edition
- Powerwash Simulator
- Psychonauts 2
- Slay the Spire
- Spiritfarer: Farewell Edition
- Stardew Valley
- State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
- Vampire Survivors
Bye bye, Xbox Live Gold
Xbox Live Gold was a key innovation of Microsoft that helped it solidify a place in the competitive console market alongside PlayStation and Nintendo. Since its inception, both Sony and Nintendo followed suit with their own similar services, which may have contributed to the rise of server-oriented subscription services in general. Microsoft innovated again with Xbox Game Pass, bringing Netflix-like all-you-can-eat gaming to console, PC, and mobile devices via cloud gaming, helping it maintain a unique selling point during a very dry content cycle for its platform.
Many of the best upcoming Xbox games and best upcoming PC games are also heading into Xbox or PC Game Pass on day one, which leads many to call the service "the best deal in gaming." Games like Starfield, Lies of P, Forza Motorsport, and other additions should see the service hit record numbers this quarter, although we won't know for sure how the service is doing unless Microsoft shares its figures — something it has historically been reluctant to do.
It's a tad bittersweet to see the Xbox Live brand sunsetted, but the future for Xbox clearly revolves around Xbox Game Pass, wherever you might be playing.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!