Microsoft is hiking the price of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and launching a new ‘Standard’ tier

Microsoft is planning to hike its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate pricing again in September, alongside launching a new “standard” subscription that doesn’t include day-one access to first-party Xbox games. The Xbox maker has started emailing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers warning of a price increase to $19.99 a month that starts on September 12th, a $3 increase over the current $16.99 a month pricing.

PC Game Pass subscribers will also see a price hike in September, with the service moving from $9.99 to $11.99 per month. If you’re outside the US and wondering how the price increases affect your own subscription, Microsoft has a full list of all the worldwide price changes here.

The price increases come just before Microsoft plans to add Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 and other big first-party Xbox games to its Game Pass service later this year. The price increases will largely affect Ultimate subscribers who make up the vast majority of Game Pass subscribers and come just over a year after the last Game Pass price hikes raised rates by $1–$2 per month.

Alongside the Ultimate and PC Game Pass price hikes, Microsoft will also offer a new option of an Xbox Game Pass Standard subscription without day-one titles that will be priced at $14.99 per month for new users to the service. The existing Xbox Game Pass for console subscription will continue for existing subscribers, but new Game Pass subscribers won’t be able to select the console option starting July 10th until the new Game Pass Standard subscription is available. Microsoft says Xbox Game Pass Standard “will be available in the coming months.”

The new standard option also include online console multiplayer access, which is something that Xbox Game Pass for Console lacked previously. Existing Xbox Game Pass for Console subscribers will only be able to stack for up to 13 months from September 18th, but this won’t impact existing stacks.

I revealed in May that Microsoft was considering raising Xbox Game Pass Ultimate pricing again, amid a debate around adding Call of Duty to the service. A price increase to the top tier will help offset Microsoft adding Activision’s Call of Duty series to Game Pass, and it has been largely expected since Microsoft made the CoD addition official.

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