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PC Game Pass is getting a $2 price hike this September, but consoles will be hit harder


PC Game Pass will get a $2 price increase starting from September 12, as Microsoft rejigs its subscription services to “address changing market conditions”. That means the $9.99 per month subscription for PC Game Pass subscribers will rise to $11.99, but things are a little more complicated—and less favourable—for our console friends.

Most notable is a new Xbox Game Pass tier which kills off one of the subscription service's biggest selling points: day one first-party Microsoft releases. The new tier is called Xbox Game Pass Standard, and in Microsoft's words will offer “hundreds of high-quality games to play on your console,” in addition to access to console multiplayer (yes, console users are still paying for multiplayer). That will cost $14.99 a month—$2 cheaper than Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Or at least, $2 cheaper until September, when Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will increase to $19.99 a month from $16.99. That tier still provides access to first-party Microsoft games on day one, in addition to cloud streaming services.

In other words, it sure looks like Microsoft is making sure it's prepared to make as much cash as possible in the lead up to Black Ops 6, which will be available on day one with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, but not, significantly, Xbox Game Pass Standard. Overall, it'll be $6 more a month to access “day one” games, with no indication given regarding how long it will take for games to hit the Standard tier (if ever, in the case of big ticket items like Black Ops 6).

PC Game Pass price increases

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Come September 12, PC Game Pass will cop a price increase in all regions. Here are the new prices in four key regions, with the former price first, followed by the new price:

USA: $9.99 | $11.99
Canada: $11.99 | $14.99
United Kingdom: £7.99 | £9.99
Australia: $10.95 | $13.95

Still, existing subscribers of Xbox Game Pass for Console ($10.99 a month) won't be hit with the change, with that tier remaining available to anyone with a current subscription. Once you cancel, though, you're out forever. 

It follows the general pattern of internet-centric subscription services: launch as something that is almost too good to believe, before gradually declining into something a bit more pragmatic (or in many cases, pretty shite, but PC Game Pass remains good value even after the hike). PC Game Pass is not changing save the price change, but given how far Xbox is lagging behind its console competition, it's risky to make Xbox Game Pass—one of its biggest console selling points—a bit more inaccessible. 

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