The Xbox Live Gold subscription service required to play online multiplayer games on Xbox consoles will be replaced with Xbox Game Pass core beginning September 14.
Xbox Game Pass Core is still required to for online multiplayer games on console. But instead of a selection of free games available to claim and can be played as long as you are subscribing, Game Pass Core offers a library of 25 games to play. Essentially, it offers a subset of games from the full Game Pass library.
On launch, Game Pass Core will include these games:
- 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 & The Will of the Wisps
Not all games are available in all countries. New titles coming to Game Pass Core are expected to be added 2-3 times a year, in contrast to Game Pass’ twice-a-month cadence.
Game Pass Core will also include the Game Pass perk of having member deals and discounts.
Game Pass Core is priced at $9.99 USD per month, similar to PC Game Pass, and one dollar cheaper than Game Pass. Note that the Xbox Game Pass subscription doesn’t include online multiplayer, so if you want that, you have to sub to Game Pass Ultimate which has all the perks but at $16.99 USD.
On September 14, all Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will be converted into Game Pass Core subscriptions. Games With Gold, the monthly free game offers, end on September 1. However, Xbox 360 games claimed with Games With Gold are now properly free-to-keep, not requiring an active subscription to play them anymore. Xbox One games claimed from the service will still require a Game Pass Core/Game Pass UItimate subscription.
In a way, the Game Pass subscription now has three tiers just like PlayStation’s PS Plus currently has. One baseline tier (Game Pass Core, PS Plus Essential), the one above gives access to a library of games to download and play (Game Pass/PC Game Pass, PS Plus Extra), and the top one features all the perks including game streaming (Game Pass UItimate, PS Plus Premium/Deluxe).
But with the odd quirk that you either choose to get Game Pass Core or Game Pass rather than the two being direct upgrade paths.
Xbox’s Games With Gold offerings have always been seen as rather lacklustre compared to what PlayStation’s PS Plus Essential games provide. So Microsoft throwing in the towel and leaning into their advantage, Game Pass, makes sense.
This new change is only affecting countries where Microsoft is selling Xbox consoles. So for us in Southeast Asia and many parts of the world, this won’t directly affect us.
Source: Xbox Wire