New Xbox Game Pass Core Shows How Dumb Paying For Online Multiplayer Is
Xbox Live Gold is becoming Game Pass Core, but demonstrates why it's time to leave the idea of paid online multiplayer access for consoles behind.
Microsoft has revealed a rebrand for Xbox Live Gold, which will now become part of the Xbox Game Pass brand as a new Core subscription tier, granting access to online multiplayer alongside a selection of included games. Previously, Xbox Game Pass had three different versions: one for Console, one for PC, and Ultimate, which incorporated both PC, Console, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, however, only Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate subscribers had access to online multiplayer modes on consoles.
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Xbox Game Pass Core will launch on September 14, 2023, and will cost $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year, which is the same cost as the PC Game Pass subscription, and one dollar less than the online-multiplayer-less Console Game Pass tier. Core players will also receive more than 25 Xbox Game Pass titles in their subscriptions instead of Games With Gold's three monthly titles - which will be retained following the transition - but is still a fraction of the amount of the games included in the full Xbox Game Pass subscriptions.
The Xbox Live subscription launched 21 years ago at $49.99 per year on the original Xbox. Since then, it has evolved significantly over the years with a premium tier, Xbox Live Gold being introduced in the Xbox 360 era which included perks such as the aforementioned monthly Games With Gold, Xbox Live Arcade, and exclusive discounts.
While paying for online multiplayer is now standard practice across consoles, Xbox was the only platform that needed a paid subscription for this service until the PlayStation 4 adopted the practice as well by making PlayStation Plus - which was previously only used for cloud storage, discounts and its monthly "free titles" on the PS3, but not online multiplayer - compulsory for those wanting to play online, which remained going forward onto the PS5.