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What Is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, And Is It Worth It?

Microsoft recently announced a new bundle that will allow you to pay for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass in one simple payment plan called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which will launch sometime later this year.

For the uninitiated, Xbox Live Gold gives you access to online multiplayer, while Xbox Game Pass offers a Netflix-esque library of more than 100 games that you can download and play for as long as you’re subscribed to the service.

How Much Is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?


Xbox Live GoldXbox Game PassXbox Game Pass Ultimate
1 month$9.99$9.99$14.99
3 months$24.99$29.99$44.99
6 months$39.99$59.99$89.99
12 months$59.99$119.99$179.99

Both subscriptions are currently priced at $10 per month, which adds up to $20 if you’re paying monthly, but Xbox Game Pass Ultimate brings that package to just $15 a month. In that sense, you’re saving money, but not that much.

One year of Xbox Live Gold costs $60, so if you’re already paying for a yearly Xbox Live subscription and are also subscribed to Xbox Game Pass, then this won’t change anything, as both add up to the yearly cost of $180.

Additionally, yearly and six-month Xbox Game Pass subscriptions occasionally go on sale, and anything under their current prices ($120 for yearly, $60 for six months) would make it cheaper than the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate deal (if you have a yearly Xbox Live Gold subscription).

For example, in November 2018, a one-year Xbox Game Pass subscription was on sale for $70 at Amazon. So if you’re waiting for sales, and you have a yearly Xbox Live Gold subscription like I do, then your total would be $130 instead of $180.

However, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate does have its uses, especially for those who don’t want to drop more than $100 in one go. If you’re already paying for a monthly subscription for both Xbox services, then you might as well sign up for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

But overall, I would have preferred that Microsoft offered tiered subscriptions to the Xbox Game Pass in the same vein that it does with Xbox Live Gold, which can save you money. For example, one-year of Xbox Live Gold costs $60 instead of $120, which is what you’d pay if you subscribed monthly. In the same spirit, one-year of Xbox Game Pass could be $70 indefinitely, as opposed to being a once in a blue moon sale.

For now, only a limited number of Xbox Insider community members have access to test Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Testing a payment plan sounds a little odd, but maybe this “Ultimate” version will actually add something new to the service as well.

Stay tuned for more info and developments on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate right here as it starts rolling out sometime later this year.

Credit: Microsoft