Updated Jan. 23, 2020, 12:15 a.m. ET: Early Saturday morning, Microsoft announced it was rolling back the Xbox Live Gold price hike it revealed the day before. Prices will stay the same — $9.99 for one month, $24.99 for three months, $39.99 for six months, and $59.99 for 12 months. Microsoft also revealed players will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play free-to-play games on Xbox. The original post is below.
Microsoft has announced plans to increase its Xbox Live Gold subscription pricing, a controversial move as the company looks to migrate its users to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
While Xbox Live Gold was once its definitive online membership, in recent years, Microsoft has also scaled up Xbox Game Pass, a Netflix-style service with access to hundreds of Xbox games. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the latest addition, bundling Xbox Game Pass for Xbox and PC, EA Play, and Xbox cloud gaming into a single $15 monthly membership. And with the recent Xbox Live Gold changes, Microsoft is assumedly hoping more will flock to the value of its all-inclusive tier.
But with Xbox Live Gold codes stocked by most retailers, you can still find Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at $60 for 12-month codes, ahead of the price change. While stores are expected to adopt new pricing imminently, the days ahead could be your last opportunity to take advantage of the "old" price.
Xbox Live Gold soon doubles in price, as the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription becomes increasingly central to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. With pricing expected to change over the days ahead, you can still top up your membership with original pricing at some retailers, as stock allows.
Microsoft will offer Xbox Live Gold for $11 per month moving forward, with three-month memberships costing $30 and six-month memberships costing $60. Microsoft removed its 12-month Xbox Live Gold memberships online back in July 2020. You also have the opportunity to upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes Xbox Live Gold and access to hundreds of games on Xbox consoles, PC, and Android devices, for $15 a month. You can convert your existing Xbox Live Gold membership to the same period of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate through a current promotion. However, it's worth stressing that you can no longer access promotional Xbox Live Gold pricing online once you accept this offer.
The changes to Xbox Live Gold pricing don't immediately impact online subscribers, with those with auto-renewal enabled grandfathered in with discounted pricing. That means if you're paying for Xbox Live Gold six-month or 12-month memberships, this increase won't immediately hike your payments. But for those with shorter renewal periods or purchasing pre-paid Xbox Live Gold codes, prices will change over the coming weeks.
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