Microsoft is introducing a new subscription called Xbox Game Pass Core to replace Xbox Live Gold. This subscription will provide Xbox users with multiplayer support, deals and discounts, and access to a limited catalog of more than 25 games, including Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, and Psychonauts 2.
On September 14th, existing Xbox Live Gold members will automatically be switched to Xbox Game Pass Core, which will be priced the same as Xbox Live Gold at $9.99 per month (or $59.99 per year).
As part of this change, Microsoft is discontinuing Games with Gold on September 1st. Xbox 360 titles redeemed in the past will still be available, but Xbox One titles will require a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Core or Game Pass Ultimate.
Microsoft plans to add new titles to the Game Pass Core catalog two to three times a year.
According to Jerret West, CVP of gaming marketing at Xbox, the Game Pass Core catalog is created by selecting titles from the Xbox Game Pass catalog.
The launch list for Game Pass Core includes 19 titles. However, it’s important to note that while Game Pass Core offers multiplayer support, the regular Xbox Game Pass does not. To access both Game Pass and online multiplayer, users need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. This rebranding may introduce some confusion in terms of subscription requirements.
The introduction of Xbox Game Pass Core follows recent price increases for Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate now costs $16.99 per month, while the base Xbox Game Pass for Console is priced at $10.99 per month. PC Game Pass pricing remains unchanged.
In addition, Microsoft has decided to end its Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan in August. It is unclear if the plan will return in the future.
The new Xbox Game Pass lineup starting September 14th.Image: Microsoft
Microsoft previously attempted to increase the cost of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, but the decision was reversed due to negative feedback. The company has since made certain multiplayer features and free-to-play games available without the need for Xbox Live Gold.