Xbox Game Pass price hike, day-one releases limited to Ultimate

Microsoft Gaming is raising the price of its Xbox Game Pass subscription service in multiple tiers around the world while limiting its day-one releases to only the most expensive version of the offering.

Starting Wednesday, the “Ultimate” tier of Xbox Game Pass will increase in price by $3 per month in the US, from $16.99 to $19.99 for new customers. The “Core” tier will increase from $59.99 for the 12-month pass to $69.99 for the annual fee.

Starting September 12, pricing will change for existing members on their next recurring billing charge.

A new “Standard” Game Pass plan is coming soon, according to Xbox, which will offer more features than Core, but fewer than the Ultimate tier.

For PC, new users will now pay $11.99 per month to access Game Pass, up from the previous price of $9.99.

While Game Pass for Console will no longer be available to new members, existing subscribers with auto-pay enabled will still have access.

Along with these price changes, Xbox has also decided to only include day-one releases of its upcoming games, including “Call of Duty: Black Ops 6,” with its Ultimate plan. Other features limited to that tier include EA Play membership, cloud gaming across multiple devices and free monthly “perks” from Microsoft.

The Ultimate and Standard versions will offer “hundreds” of games, while Core alone will have more than 25 titles, according to Xbox.

Microsoft Gaming’s decision to raise the price of Game Pass and limit features on its cheaper plans comes on the heels of the Xbox Games Showcase in June, where it revealed several upcoming games and a big push to bring those new games to Game Pass subscribers on launch day, and this week’s launch of the Xbx app on select Amazon Fire TV devices.

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