Skip to main content

Xbox Game Pass is getting a price hike alongside complicated tier overhaul

Characters from some of Xbox Game Pass' featured games.
Microsoft

Microsoft just announced some price hikes and tier changes for Xbox Game Pass, its video game subscription service. The changes, which go into effect on July 10, were quietly announced on Xbox’s support site before being noticed by Wario64 and Windows Central.

The most notable change is that Microsoft will no longer allow people to purchase Game Pass for Console. While existing subscriptions won’t be affected, people will have to instead opt for Xbox Game Pass Core or the new Xbox Game Pass Standard tier, which is launching “in the coming months.” Xbox Game Pass Standard will cost $15 a month and give subscribers access to online multiplayer on consoles, but won’t support cloud gaming or have immediate access to “some games available with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on day one.”

More importantly for current subscribers, price hikes are coming. These take effect on July 10 for new subscribers and September 12 for existing members. Here’s the breakdown of how each tier is changing in price in the United States:

  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will go from $17 a month to $20 a month.
  • PC Game Pass will get a price hike from $10 a month to $12 a month.
  • A 12-month Xbox Game Pass Core subscription will go up in price from $60 to $75.

2024 is shaping up to be a big year for Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft just brought the service to Amazon Fire TVs, and it’s getting plenty of exciting day-one games this year. Next week, Capcom’s Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess will launch on Xbox Game Pass. Later this year, first-party titles such as Age of Mythology: Retold, Avowed, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will also be added to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as day-one titles.

Microsoft seems to think this is enough to justify a price hike and some significant changes to its popular subscription service. Personally, I find these changes very confusing and wish Xbox were clearer in its messaging about all this outside of saying that “these changes will enable us to bring members more value and more great games to Game Pass.”

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
Xbox Game Pass’ new horror game is like a playable John Carpenter movie
A flesh monster appears in Still Wakes the Deep.

As someone who loves both gaming and cinema, I'm always excited when those two worlds connect. Sometimes that's with great film adaptations of games or vice versa, but I'm even more interested when I can feel the influence of cinema history in a game's DNA. Something like Until Dawn, for instance, calls back to the golden age of gory slasher flicks with memorable results. It's rewarding for me as a fan of both mediums, letting me draw direct connections between them.

I recently got that experience thanks to Still Wakes the Deep, a new horror game from developer The Chinese Room now available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC (it's also available on Xbox Game Pass right now). While it's a totally original title, it feels like a playable John Carpenter film. Think The Thing on an oil rig, but significantly more Scottish. While it doesn't fully live up to that pitch, its short runtime and immaculately gory vibes make it worth checking out.

Read more
3 new Xbox Game Pass games to play this weekend (June 28-30)
A soccer player in EA Sports FC 24.

This June has been quite a busy one for Xbox as it unveiled a variety of exciting new titles at the Xbox Games Showcase earlier this month. Comparatively, this month's Xbox Game Pass additions were quieter than some other months, but several worthwhile games still came to Microsoft's gaming subscription service this June. Three in particular stand out to me.

One is a fantastic throwback RPG that's in the HD-2D style that Square Enix is using for the Dragon Quest III remake. After that, I'm recommending an indie platformer centered around digging that's one of the best games in the wider SteamWorld franchise. Finally, for the sports fans out there, EA Sports' latest soccer game just got added to Xbox Game Pass in the middle of UEFA Euro 2024.
Octopath Traveler 2

Read more
Game Pass is coming to your Amazon Fire TV, even if you don’t own an Xbox
A woman holding a remote while looking at an Amazon Fire TV with the Xbox app on it. It's on the Cloud Gaming menu with Fallout 76, Senua's Saga Hellblade 2 and more on it.

You'll soon no longer need an Xbox console if you have an Amazon Fire TV. Microsoft and Amazon announced Thursday that the Xbox app is coming to Fire TV devices in July.

The Xbox app works with Cloud Gaming, which means with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you can stream a huge catalog of games from the Xbox library, including many first- and third-party titles that come to the service on launch day. Huge games like Starfield, Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2, and the Fallout series are just some examples, and the available games are always changing.

Read more