Microsoft is hiking Xbox Live Gold subscription costs, meaning you'll soon be paying more per month for your Gold membership. In addition to this announcement, Xbox also announced the Games With Gold lineup for February, and there are a couple of heavy hitters in there next month.
What does the Xbox Live Gold price hike mean?
In a news post on its official website, Microsoft pointed to "changes in regional marketplaces" as a reason for changing Xbox Live Gold pricing. According to Microsoft, the price of Xbox Live Gold hasn't changed for many years in some markets, so the company is updating pricing to reflect changes since then. New pricing will be as follows: 1-month subscriptions will set you back $10.99 a month, 3-month subscriptions will cost $29.99, and 6-month subs will cost $59.99. Naturally, these amounts will be converted to equivalents in your local currency. It's worth noting here that this won't affect the price of Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Importantly, Microsoft says if you are an existing 12-month or 6-month subscriber, you won't experience a price change. Choosing to renew your membership will renew it at the current price rather than the updated one. In addition, if you want to upgrade your Gold membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, remaining Gold membership time will also convert to Ultimate time, with a limit of 36 months. As an example, if you have 11 months of Xbox Live Gold left, you can upgrade to Game Pass Ultimate and enjoy 11 months of Ultimate "at no additional cost", according to Microsoft.
What are the Xbox Live Gold games for February?
February's Games With Gold lineup is pretty special. There are two major big hitters and a couple of lesser-known gems to check out. Without further ado, let's take a look at the games you can play on Xbox next month if you're a Gold subscriber. All of these games are playable either on Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One, so you're not missing out.
Gears 5 - February 1st - February 28th
Heading up February's Games With Gold offerings is Gears 5, the latest installment (not counting Gears Tactics) in the iconic third-person shooter franchise. Join Kait Diaz on an action-packed journey to discover who she is and why she might pose a threat to her world. Gears 5 recently got some Xbox Series X|S optimizations, so now is a great time to check it out.
Resident Evil - February 1st - February 28th
In honor of the upcoming Resident Evil VIII: Village, here's the game that started it all...or the remaster of the remake of that game, anyway. This remastered version of the 2002 GameCube classic updates that remake's visuals but retains the tense survival horror gameplay. Lisa Trevor still terrifies me to this day, and if she doesn't scare you, you might not have a pulse.
Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition - February 16th - March 15th
Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition is a rather unique platformer in which you're able to leap easily onto any surface. Uncover the lore of Salt and the folks who live in it, all while trying to free your people from oppression.
Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb - February 1st - February 15th
Playable via backward compatibility, Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb is a classic action-adventure title released for the original Xbox way back in 2003. It's a prequel to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in which you must help Indy uncover the mystery behind Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang's tomb.
Lost Planet 2 - February 16th - February 28th
Xbox 360 third-person shooter Lost Planet 2 is your final Xbox Live Gold game this February. Ten years have passed since the events of the original Lost Planet, and now you must return to E.D.N. III in order to continue the battle over thermal energy.
That's all she wrote for February's Games With Gold lineup. Remember, if you're an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, you get access to these games plus a bunch more via Game Pass. You've got until January 31st to grab Little Nightmares and Breakdown from last month's haul, while Dead Rising is available until February 15th.
How do you feel about the Xbox Live Gold February Games With Gold lineup? Will you remain subscribed despite the price hike? Let us know in the comments below!