Xbox Live launched all the way back in 2002, and since then, has given players on Microsoft consoles the opportunity to compete against other players online. The service started with the original Xbox 18 years ago and continues to be updated today with the recent release of Xbox Series X/S.
A number of changes have been made to the service over the years, including the addition of Games with Gold. This gave subscribers a number of free games each month, with Microsoft attempting to pump life back into a number of titles. The service has slowed down in recent years, with releases not generating as much as excitement, which can partly be blamed on the huge success of Xbox Game Pass.
The service gives players access to a huge library of games at a small price per month. Game Pass was also adjusted slightly in 2017, with the inclusion of Xbox Gold Ultimate. The new tier of Gold subscription gave subscribers access to both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass for a reduced price.
While news has continued to circulate regarding future additions to Xbox Game Pass, a post on Xbox Wire has revealed an update to Xbox Live Gold's price.
MICROSOFT FORCED TO INCREASE PRICES
Xbox Live Gold has increased in price by $1 per month, Xbox Wire confirms. In the statement, Microsoft stated that the service, which is required to play games online on Xbox consoles, is rising in price for the first time in its history, stating “ the price of Xbox Live Gold has not changed for years and in some markets, it hasn’t changed for over 10 years .”
Going forward, the new pricing for Xbox Live Gold will be 1-month for $10.99, 3-months for $29.99, and 6-months for $59.99, or your local market equivalent. A 12-month subscription option is still absent, following Microsoft's decision to remove this feature last year.
Below is a full breakdown of the price changes made to Xbox Live Gold.
- If you’re an existing online 12-month or 6-month Xbox Live Gold member, there’s no price change. If you choose to renew your membership, it will renew at the current price.
- The price of a 1-month Gold membership is increasing $1 USD and the price of a 3-month membership is increasing $5 USD or the equivalent amount in your local market.
- If you’d like to upgrade your Gold membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate your remaining Gold time will also convert directly to Ultimate (up to 36 months). For example, if you have 11 months of Xbox Live Gold now, and you upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, those 11 months convert to 11 months of Ultimate at no additional cost.
NO LONGER COMPETING WITH SONY?
It's sometimes easy to forget how expensive gaming can be, and this price increase is a stark reminder of this.
With the recent release of the Xbox Series X/S, as well as the PlayStation 5, gamers pockets are sure to be running thin at the moment. With the cheapest of these consoles still setting purchases back around $300, the reminder that Xbox Live Gold is required to access a majority of services may be a kick in the teeth for some.
The price comes as even more of a surprise when compared to the PlayStation Plus service. Sony has continued to provide a 12-month option, priced at $60 per year, the same as Microsoft's new price for a 6-month period. This results in a 50% increase in price difference, something Xbox players may not entirely appreciate.
Similarly, it's also worth mentioning that PlayStation Plus was a free service up until the release of the PlayStation 4, with online play offered free of charge on previous PlayStation consoles. Given these huge differences, gamers looking to upgrade to the next-generation may be swung by the price differences, with Sony taking the edge is a huge manor.
Microsoft has been extremely vocal with its desire to make Xbox playable anywhere and everywhere, so time will tell whether these price increases will result in future developments for the Xbox ecosystem.