Microsoft is preparing to replace Xbox Live Gold on September 9, 2023 with Xbox Game Pass Core, a new subscription.
We have been writing on CssTricks for several years
that Microsoft offers both the best video game subscription with Xbox Game Pass, and the worst with Xbox Live Gold.
This historic subscription from Xbox pays off big, but seems completely anachronistic in 2023. It allows access to Xbox Live servers from an Xbox console, access that is free if you play from a competing console, a PC, a smartphone or in the cloud gaming. It also provides access to games every month, like PlayStation Plus, but Microsoft hasn’t offered interesting titles there for a long time.
After 21 years on the market, Xbox Live Gold would finally disappear before the end of the year. A rumor predicts the arrival of Xbox Game Pass Core from September 9, 2023 to replace it and simplify the range of Xbox services. The name indicates a desire to offer a more accessible price, like the Xbox 360 Core in its time.
A mini Game Pass
This new subscription would be offered at 9.99 euros per month, that is to say the same monthly price as the current Xbox Live Gold. It was possible to lower the bill by subscribing at once to several months, up to 12 months for 60 euros. The rumor does not say if this option will be kept. Microsoft does not offer volume discounts for Xbox Game Pass.
The Xbox Game Pass Core would take over some benefits of the current Xbox Live Gold such as the ability to play online on Xbox Live or discounts on the Xbox Store. Game Pass obliges, subscribers would also have the right to a small catalog of games.
As some hallway noises evoked, it would be a catalog comprising essentially games developed by Microsoft studios on which the firm therefore has all the rights. Here is the list of games that would be offered at launch:
- Among Us;
- Dishonored 2;
- DOOM Eternal;
- Fable Anniversary;
- Fallout 4;
- Fallout 76;
- Forza Horizon 4;
- Gears 5;
- Halo 5: Guardians;
- Halo Wars 2;
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice;
- Human Fall Flat;
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps;
- Psychonauts 2;
- State of Decay 2;
- Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.
The firm would still like to expand its catalog in the coming months. Games “offered” as part of Xbox Live Gold and registered to the Xbox account would still be available, but the offer would no longer include the addition of new Live Gold games. Xbox Live Gold subscribers would be automatically switched to Xbox Game Pass Core.
A sad detail
On paper, the rumor seems very believable. It is consistent with Microsoft’s strategy, long awaited by analysts, and it is accompanied by illustrative images that correspond to the firm’s codes. The increase in the price of Xbox Game Pass has also created space for this new subscription. The rumor mentions Windows Central as the source, but the link points to a missing page at the time this article is written.
However, we are saddened by an element that seems strange. In the comparison chart shared for this rumor, we can see that online play access is only integrated with Xbox Game Pass Core and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
It makes sense if you think about replacing Xbox Live Gold, but it seems strange for a new subscriber. This means that to subscribe to the full Xbox Game Pass and have access to online play, you must subscribe to two different Xbox Game Pass subscriptions: the core version and the console version. Microsoft will probably recommend upgrading to the Ultimate version. But it’s odd that online play hasn’t been integrated into the Xbox Game Pass Console.
One thing is certain, if Microsoft integrates Diablo IV Or call of duty to this multiplayer-oriented Core subscription, the firm could reap big in subscriptions.
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