Microsoft Announces Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Posted on April 17, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Xbox One, Windows 10 with 3 Comments

As rumored, Microsoft will combine Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass into a single monthly subscription called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. (Both services will still be available separately as well.)

“Thank you for taking the time to help us continually improve the service [as] your feedback directly contributes to the evolution of Xbox Game Pass,” Microsoft Head of Gaming Services Ben Decker wrote. “A top request you have shared from day one is to provide an option to get Xbox Game Pass and the most advanced multiplayer network, Xbox Live Gold, in a single membership.”

Xbox Game Pass will cost $14.99 per month, but Microsoft is not yet stating whether it will offer subscriptions in other time-frames (three or six months, perhaps, or one year), while it does do so for the separate Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. Today, a one-year subscription to Xbox Live Gold will set you back $59.99, while one year of Xbox Game Pass costs $119.99. So one year of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, billed monthly, amounts to about $180, the same price as the two subscriptions combined.

It’s actually worse than that, of course: Xbox Live Gold is often on sale, and you can currently get three months of Xbox Game Pass for just $1. So my hope is that Microsoft offers lower costs with longer Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions as we get closer to launch: The service isn’t expected to become publicly available until “later this year.”

To be fair, Xbox Game Pass—which basically requires Xbox Live Gold—is an unparalleled value. Gamers gain access to over 100 mostly-high-quality game titles, including all first party (Xbox Studios) games as they’re released at retail.

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Microsoft Announces Xbox Game Pass Ultimate”

  1. will

    Why announce this now? This seems way early and the pricing is all wrong.

    Why not wait till E3 and then talk about bundles?!

  2. mestiphal

    Maybe if the Pass Ultimate also goes on sale from time to time to say.. $100 for one year of both services. but as it stands, I've been a gold subscriber since the 360 era, and I have never paid more than $45 for a year subscription. Not worth it.

    Also, Microsoft has sales every season, and often the game pass is either one month for $1 as is the case right now, or three months for $10. Either way, cheap, if you get the single month for $1 four times a year, that's already 1/4 of the year.

  3. faustxd9

    I would counter that Xbox Live Gold is the unparalleled value in gaming since you get at least 24 games a year for $60 on top of all the other multiplayer capabilities. Unfortunately for me, as slow as I am in getting through games combined with my current game backlog, it does not make sense for me to jump into the Game Pass arena yet.