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Microsoft makes Xbox Live Gold pricier, but it really wants you to get Game Pass Ultimate

By Nadeem Sarwar January 22, 2021, 12:56 pm
xbox live gold

Not too long ago, Microsoft launched a new generation of consoles – the Xbox Series X and Series S. Market availability issues aside, just when players started to get a hang of next-gen gaming, Microsoft has decided to raise the price of its Xbox Live Gold subscription service. Bad move, or just a greedy one? In its defense, Microsoft says it periodically assesses the value and pricing of its services, and is therefore making a price adjustment, especially for markets where the subscription costs have remained the same for a while now. So, what is changing? In Microsoft’s own words:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

How much do you pay now?

Following the price upgrade, a month of Xbox Live Gold will now cost you $10.99. If you go for a 3-month plan, it will cost you $29.99, while a 6-month subscription will set you back by $$59.99. Interestingly, Microsoft doesn’t mention anything about the 1-year subscription plan in its announcement.


A carrot and stick situation for gamers

Microsoft is incentivizing its more premium Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service here. BIG TIME. The company will let you convert your Xbox Live Gold membership into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, even if you have up to 36-months left on your Xbox Live Gold membership. So, you can essentially get up to three years of Games Pass Ultimate at the price of your Xbox Live Gold membership. Sweet, right? It actually is. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers a lot more perks and even bundles in EA Play and cloud gaming into the mix. Here’s a comparison:


But not everybody has over a year, or two, or nearly three years of Xbox Live Gold membership left on their account. And once you jump the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bandwagon, you’re locked to a more expensive tier of Microsoft’s gaming service. What if the company eventually shuts down Xbox Live Gold in favor of pushing Xbox Game Pass more aggressively in the near future? Well, in that case, you’ll have to stick with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and pay the premium.

READ MORE: Microsoft delays the arrival of free EA Play for Xbox Game Pass on PC until 2021

Here, save some cash while you can!

In the meanwhile, if you plan on saving some cash before Xbox Game Pass becomes an inevitability, head over to Amazon and get the 12-month Xbox Live Gold plan at its older price of $59.99. This is a digital code, and you can stack up to three codes for a total duration of 36-months. The next step? Redeem the digital codes and upgrade your Xbox Live Gold membership to 36-months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at no additional cost.

Costco is also selling the 24-month Xbox Live Gold plan for $94.99, which is a terrific deal that you should definitely get if you plan on gaming for the next couple of years. Go, grab these deals before they expire!

xbox live gold

12-month Xbox Live Gold Digital Code

Head over to Amazon and get the Xbox Live Gold 2-month plan at the old price, and upgrade it to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at no added cost. You can stack up to three cards or a maximum duration of six months


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