Microsoft raises the price of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, introduces a new ‘Standard’ tier

Microsoft plans to raise the prices of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate again in September, alongside the launch of a new “standard” subscription that doesn’t include day one access to first-party Xbox games. The Xbox maker has begun emailing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to warn of a price hike to $19.99 per month going into effect on September 12, up $3 from the current price of $16.99 per month.

PC Game Pass subscribers will also see a price increase in September, with the service going from $9.99 to $11.99 per month and retaining day one access to titles. If you’re outside the US and wondering how the price hikes will affect your own subscription, Microsoft has a full list of all the global pricing changes here.

The price increases come just before Microsoft plans to Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 and other major first-party Xbox games are coming to its Game Pass service later this year. The price hikes will primarily affect Ultimate subscribers, who make up the vast majority of Game Pass subscribers, and come just over a year after the last Game Pass price hike, which raised prices by $1-$2 per month.

In addition to the price increases for Ultimate and PC Game Pass, Microsoft will also offer a new option for an Xbox Game Pass Standard subscription without titles on day one, which will cost $14.99 per month for new users of the service. The existing Xbox Game Pass for console subscription will remain in effect for existing subscribers, but new Game Pass subscribers will not be able to select the console option starting July 10 until the new Game Pass Standard subscription is available. Microsoft says that Xbox Game Pass Standard “will be available in the coming months.”

The new default option also includes online console multiplayer access, something Xbox Game Pass for Console previously lacked. Existing Xbox Game Pass for Console subscribers can stack for up to 13 months starting September 18, but this will not affect existing stacks.

I reported in May that Microsoft was considering raising prices for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate again, amid a debate over adding Duty to the service. A price increase to the highest tier will help compensate Microsoft for adding Activision’s Duty series to Game Pass, and it’s been largely anticipated since Microsoft announced the Codfish addition of civil servant.

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