Xbox Muddies the Waters with New Game Pass Tier and Price Hike

Just when you thought you were getting used to Xbox Game Pass, along comes Microsoft with a new tier and a price hike.

Published: July 10, 2024 9:13 AM /


A tiled view of games available on Xbox Game Pass, as well as some of the devices on which you can access the service

Xbox has introduced a new pricing tier for its Game Pass subscription service, and prices have also been hiked across several of the service’s existing options.

Per the official Xbox support page, the new tier is called Xbox Game Pass Standard, and it’ll cost $14.99 per month. It’s essentially replacing the Xbox Game Pass Console tier, although there’s one critical difference: Standard won’t offer day one Game Pass releases.

If you want to play those, you’ll have to plump for Game Pass Ultimate or PC Game Pass, both of which will still offer day one releases. Confused yet? I’m not surprised.

A character casting magic with a staff while another looks on in Avowed, an Xbox Game Pass (although not for all tiers) game
Games like Avowed won't be coming to every Xbox Game Pass tier on day one.

As well as the new tier, you can expect price hikes for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass. They’re not huge hikes, but they are significant.

Game Pass Ultimate will now set you back $19.99 a month, while PC Game Pass will cost $11.99 per month. If you’re in certain countries (although not the US), Game Pass Core, which was introduced last year, is also getting a price hike.

These price hikes take effect starting from today for new members, and for existing subscribers, prices will start to change from September 12th, with the next billing charge from that date being the first one to use the new prices.

A soldier in a mask aiming a gun in Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, which is coming to Xbox Game Pass (although not all tiers) on release
Some Xbox Game Pass tiers won't be getting Black Ops 6 at launch.

As for Xbox Game Pass Console, if you’re a subscriber and you’ve got auto-renewal on, your subscription won’t change. However, if you disable auto-renewal, you’ll need to switch your plan to one of the others to keep playing games on Game Pass.

It’s fair to say that the introduction of this new tier muddies the waters when it comes to Xbox’s “play on day one” message, which must now carry a couple of asterisks; after all, not all Game Pass subscription types offer day one releases.

Also noteworthy is the fact that these new Game Pass changes are being introduced ahead of the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, which will arrive on Game Pass (or, rather, certain tiers) on launch in October.

We’ll have to wait and see what effect these changes have on Game Pass’ subscriber numbers, if any. Stay tuned for more info.

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| Senior Writer

Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for several years, and in those years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph