Xbox Game Pass gets a major overhaul, and not necessarily for the better

Pricing and tier structure changing forever

Xbox Game Pass at E3 2019
(Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Quick Summary

The price of Xbox Game Pass has gone up. New subscribers will have to pay extra from today, while existing members will see their prices rise in September.

In addition, Microsoft has shuttered Xbox Game Pass for Console, with a new standard plan replacing it.

Microsoft is about to change its Xbox Game Pass service forever. One of the popular subscription tiers is being scrapped, while prices are soaring across the board.

The changes will affect all users, although those currently subscribing to Xbox Game Pass for Console will be impacted most – the tier is being ditched entirely in favour of a new Xbox Game Pass Standard plan.

The main difference between them is that the new tier will not get new games on day one – that will be exclusive to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate going forward.

Existing Xbox Game Pass for Console members will be able to stick with that plan for the time being, including access to day one releases, but new members will no longer be able to sign up to it.

In addition, if subscribers on that tier fail to renew their payments (ie. aren't on automatic payment) they will lose that membership and will be required to sign up to the new plan or one of the others.

Xbox Game Pass Core, PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will remain with the same benefits as before, but prices are rising for each.

As of today, Wednesday 10 July 2024, new members will be charged more.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate now costs £14.99 / $19.99 / €17.99 per month – a raise of £2 in the UK and $3 / €3 in the US and EU respectively.

PC Game Pass now costs £9.99 / $11.99 / €11.99 per month, and a 12-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass Core will now set you back £55.99 / $74.99 / €69.99.

Existing members to each of those tiers will continue to pay the current, lower prices until 12 September 2024.

Players will be able to stack codes for Xbox Game Pass for Console for up to 13 months.

What do you get with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?

Clearly, the best deal available is still via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Although its has raised in price for new members, it offers 100s of games, all Xbox's own new releases on day one – including Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 – and some from third-parties, Xbox Cloud Gaming access, PC Game Pass, EA Play, and online play privileges. You also get exclusive discounts on the Xbox Store.

Xbox recently launched Xbox Cloud Gaming on Amazon Fire TV Sticks, so you can play full versions of games on your TV via the Fire TV Stick 4K or 4K Max – you just need a Bluetooth controller.

We suspect it'll arrive on other streaming devices soon, too. So, these price rises are no coincidence considering the player pool could increase significantly soon.

For us, the best way to play Xbox games is still on an Xbox Series X. But who knows what the future will bring? One thing's for sure, it'll be a touch more expensive.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.