Since the very first day Xbox Live Gold has been available, the price has been $9.99 a month. But Microsoft is now looking to increase the price of Xbox Live Gold.
In the near future the cost for the online service on Microsoft’s gaming platform will go up from $9.99 a month to $10.99 a month. Which doesn’t seem all that bad since it’s only $1. Especially when you consider Microsoft has never increased the cost of Xbox Live Gold before.
The bigger shock to subscribers though is likely to be the change in price for the annual option. And that’s in part because there is no direct annual (12-month) memberships anymore as Microsoft stopped offering those last year. Instead, Microsoft will be offering 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month memberships. And that’s where the cost sees the biggest increase.
Xbox Live Gold price for a year will now be $120
While Microsoft won’t be offering direct annual membership subscriptions anymore, you can still subscribe for a year. To do so though, you’ll have to purchase two 6-month memberships.
These are going up to $60 a piece. So to make the full year you’re looking at $120 all-in. This is a pretty major jump as the cost for an annual subscription used to be $60. It also ends up costing much more than what it costs for a 12-month membership to PlayStation Plus. Which is still $60 at retail and isn’t likely to change anytime soon. At least, Sony hasn’t mentioned as such. You can also routinely grab a 12-month membership to PlayStation Plus for under $40.
Microsoft probably wants you to join Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Whatever Microsoft’s reasons, and your feelings about the increase, it won’t change the fact that the service is going to cost more soon.
It’s also likely that Microsoft would rather people subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Which comes with Xbox Live Gold access as part of the subscription. To Microsoft, it probably seems like a better value. Because you get Xbox Live Gold, as well as access to a rotating library of games that you can play without having to buy them. Not to mention cloud gaming access on Android devices and soon, PCs.
But for the player, it might not be such a good value. There are surely those that don’t subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate because they won’t play the rotating library of games. And at the old annual membership prices, things were cheaper.
A full year of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate however is about $136. And that’s assuming you haven’t already taken advantage of the 3 months for $1 promotion. If all 12 of your months are $15 each, you’re looking at $180.
With that being said, it’s still cheaper in the long run to go with two 6-month memberships of Xbox Live Gold compared to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Even if the cost is more than it used to be.