Xbox Live Gold pricing is going up to $60 for six months in the U.S, also adjusting in other regions [Update]

Xbox Live Gold
Xbox Live Gold (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Xbox Live Gold allows players on console to play together online.
  • Xbox Live Gold is going up in price across different regions, including the U.S.
  • A one month subscription is going up by $1, while a six month subscription is now $60.

Updated Jan. 23, 12:51 a.m. ET: Very early Saturday morning, the Xbox team announced that it would be rolling back the price hike on Xbox Live Gold following negative feedback. Prices will stay the same for Xbox Live Gold Members — $9.99 for one month, $24.99 for three months, $39.99 for six months, and $59.99 for 12 months. The announcement also revealed that users will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play free-to-play games on Xbox. Our original news story is below.

Xbox Live Gold, the online service that allows Xbox console players to connect and play together online as well as a few free games per month, is seeing a price hike. As detailed on Xbox Wire (opens in new tab), the one month plan for Xbox Live Gold is being increased by $1, while three months is now $30 and six months is $60.

If you're currently subscribed on an existing 12 month or six month plan, you'll keep your current price whenever you renew your subscription. You can convert your remaining Xbox Live Gold time into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at a one-to-one rate, so if you have five months left on your subscription, you'd get five months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Considering that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox Cloud Gaming, this is a pretty easy choice to make.

Unlike its PlayStation counterpart, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold is required to play free-to-play games online, such as Fortnite. Xbox Live Gold is not required for PC players to play games online. These discrepancies have been the subject of much criticism from Xbox players, especially since Xbox Live Gold rarely gives away the best Xbox games month to month.

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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • They dumped regular game pass? You can only get game pass ultimate now?
  • They still have regular Game Pass, though its separate for Xbox and PC. So if you plan to play on both PC and Xbox it's still a better value proposition to get Ultimate, even if you have no interest in Xbox Live.
  • Wow, after dropping the 12 months option, they basically double the price of Xbox Live Gold? (1 year was 60e a couple months ago)
    With this kind of little nasty move, they are going to annihilate all the good efforts they've put through their "customer caring" marketing attitude during the last few months. I am sure I am not the only one not liking this
  • Still a good price just for the included 'free' games.
  • Some *are* free: you can play them even if you drop XBL while others can only be played while subscribed to XBL. They really want to convert everyone to ultimate in the worst way and that's how they're doing it. Now, if the article is correct and everybody on XBL *now* gets to renew at the old price *indefinitely* it only impacts newcomers, most of whom were probably headed to GamePass anyway. And if Gamepass will still offer up the freebies, and if it *is* converting on a one to one basis, it becomes more palatable once xcloud lets you play PC games on console. It may not really be horrible but the optics aren't good. Too many ifs.
  • I want to be mad at this but I kinda don't care. For a while now, I've suspected that MS was going to kill Gold. Microsoft wants their future revenue to come from Game Pass Ultimate and that's been obvious for a while now. Gold is the legacy thing they want to get rid of but have too many subs to justify outright killing it. While Microsoft knows plenty of people will drop Gold because of the price increase, they're also betting that those who switch to Ultimate will make up that lost revenue.
  • What they should have done is say all gold subscriptions become game pass subs on a month for month conversion. And stop selling new GOLD subs. Let it quietly wither.
    This railroading only produces bad headlines.
  • I'm glad Microsoft reversed track on this silly decision as it was completely unnecessary. The damned bean counters need to be reigned in.