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E3 2019: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Game Pass PC go live ahead of Xbox briefing

Microsoft has made two Xbox-related announcements ahead of its E3 2019 Xbox press conference; Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Game Pass PC. Both were revealed several months ago, but we now know final pricing — and you can subscribe today.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the much-desired bundle for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass, combining them for a single $14.99 monthly subscription. Subscribing to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will save you five dollars over subscribing to each individually if you pay monthly.

Microsoft has sweetened the deal with an alluring price it previously offered for other Xbox Live and Game Pass services: A $1 introductory subscription. New subscribers can enjoy one month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for just one buck.

What if you’re already subscribed to either Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Live? Microsoft will credit your existing months of subscription for both. If you have three months of Xbox Game Pass, and three months of Xbox Live, you’ll be credited six months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate when you make the upgrade. There’s limit of 36 months on this credit.

While Xbox Game Pass Ultimate targets gamers with an Xbox console, Microsoft has recently broadened its ambitions to PC games. The Xbox Game Pass previously offered some cross-play titles available on PC, but many games weren’t accessible on PC. To clarify that, and make Game Pass more appealing on PC, a new Xbox Game Pass PC — announced earlier this year — has been released.

It does what it says on the tin. Xbox Game Pass PC offers access only to the Game Pass titles that will play on PC. Here’s the good part. It’s less expensive at just $9.99 per month. And once again, new subscribers will pay just one dollar for their first month.

PC gamers, beware. The games you probably want to play most, like Halo Master Chief Collection and Gears of War 5, aren’t available yet. The pickings are slim right now — the standout titles include Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Forza Horizon 4. You might want to hold out until Halo arrives.

Oh, and remember. It’s only available on Windows 10.

These announcements shore up the weaknesses and oddities in Microsoft’s Xbox subscription plans. The company is clearly going all-in on the ‘Netflix for games’ idea, and these subscription changes will make that pitch a lot more palatable for both Xbox and PC gamers.

Both Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Game Pass for PC are available now.

Want to know more about E3 2019? Follow our E3 coverage for the latest as it happens.

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