If you’ve been a subscriber of Xbox Live Gold, you should be ready to find a different title on your next bill, alongside a somewhat changed array and scope of services available to you.
To bring all of its gaming services under a coherent naming scheme and under the aegis of the same subscription system, Microsoft is phasing out Xbox Live Gold as we know it and reshaping it into Xbox Game Pass Core. The good news for existing Live Gold subscribers is that they don’t have to do anything, they will transfer over to the new version automatically, and, in fact, they probably already have.
There are, however, some neutral and, possibly, bad news as well, so let’s go over the features one by one.
- Price: $9,99, the same as Live Gold of old.
- Multiplayer access: transfers directly from Live Gold to Game Pass Core without issue. Out of the two higher Game Pass tiers, only the Ultimate option unlocks multiplayer, however.
- Games with Gold: a few things are happening here
- the Xbox 360 games you grabbed stay with you whether you continue subscribing or not;
- the Xbox One games require the Core or Ultimate subscription before you will be able to access them.
- the Games with Gold program as a whole is phased out in favor of…
- Games catalog: a replacement for Games with Gold, it provides access to a hand-picked game catalog featuring 25 games freely available to Game Pass Core subscribers.
- Special deals and discounts: remain intact in the format known from Live Gold.
- Free Play Days: you will still have temporary access to specific games on specific dates to test them out in full.
As you can see, save for the free game, the shift from Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass Core is very straighfroward, but things get a bit more complicated for Game Pass subscribers.
Since the Console Game Pass doesn’t offer multiplayer access, if you want the full GP library AND online gaming, your only option is Game Pass Ultimate, priced at $16.99 per month. GP Ultimate does include all the perk of lower tiers, however, so if the higher price is acceptable to your budget, it’s a very good deal.
You could also find an even better deal if you go hunting for attractive Game Pass Core and Ultimate Prices on G2A Marketplace.