Xbox Game Pass is getting more expensive

Xbos game pass
Pictured: Xbox Games Pass graphic
// The price of Microsoft's all-you-can-play subscription is going up
Fergus Halliday
Jun 22, 2023
bullet2 min read

Published on June 21, 2023

Microsoft has announced that the monthly price of its Netflix-style gaming subscription is getting more expensive from July 6 2023.

The cost of a standard Xbox Games Pass membership is going up from $10.95 per month to $11.95 per month while the price of Xbox Games Pass Ultimate is jumping from $15.95 per month to $18.95 per month. 

Those increases don't sound huge on paper, but those few extra dollars each month can add up quickly at a time when Aussies are facing increased pressures around the cost of living.

Those who are subscribed to an annual plan for either of the above tiers won't be charged under the new pricing until their next renewal.

Local pricing for Microsoft's PC Games Pass is staying put at $10.95 per month.

Australian pricing for the Xbox Series X gaming console is also slated to rise.

From August onwards, Microsoft's most powerful gaming console yet will retail from $799 rather than the previous $749. That price hike puts it in line with Sony's PlayStation 5, which rose to $799 in 2022.

While an increase in the cost of Games Pass isn't exactly good news, it's not all that surprising. Microsoft has been teasing a potential price rise for the subscription service since late last year.

Speaking at last year's WSJ Tech Live conference in October, Microsoft head of Xbox Phil Spencer began to lay the groundwork for this month's price hike by suggesting that such a move might not be all that far off.

"We've held price on our console, we've held price on games... and our subscription. I don't think we'll be able to do that forever," he said.

Factors like rising interest rates and the way that the performance of the Xbox division fits into Microsoft's broader balance sheet are far from insignificant details here, but this price hike is unlikely to be the last.

While it is well-documented that the Xbox Series X console is sold at a loss for Microsoft, the company has previously indicated that its Games Pass subscription division is already turning a profit.

As of January 2022, Xbox Games Pass is said to have over 25 million active subscribers. The easiest way to extract more money from those customers is to shift that price dial to a few decimals.

Given that this is the same strategy favoured by streamers like Netflix, it shouldn't surprise that Microsoft may be looking at the same playbook. Games Pass has been billed as the Netflix of video games from the very beginning. That comparison used to be a compliment rather than a complaint, but it feels apt all the same.

Here's a larger breakdown of games subscription services available in Australia:

Service
Monthly price
Online Play
Library size
Features
Platforms
Trial
$9.99
/mo
Yes200+
iOS games
Exclusive game library, online play, family sharing and weekly gamesiPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV
$18.95
/mo
Yes, includes Gold400+
Windows PC, X360, XBO and XSS and XSX
Monthly games, game library, cloud gaming, exclusive discounts and online playPC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X
$10.95
/mo
No400+
X360, XBO and XSS and XSX games
Monthly games, game library, cloud gaming, exclusive discounts and online playXbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X
$10.95
/mo
No400+
Windows PC games
Monthly games, game library, cloud gaming, exclusive discounts and online playPC
PS Plus Essential
$11.95
/mo
Required20+
PS Plus Collection games (only on PS5)
Monthly games, exclusive discounts, game library, game trials, cloud storage and online playPlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
PS Plus ExtraPS Plus Extra
$18.95
/mo
Required400+
PS4 and PS5 games
Monthly games, exclusive discounts, game library, game trials, cloud storage and online playPlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
PS Plus DeluxePS Plus Deluxe
$21.95
/mo
Required800+
PS1, PS2, PSP, PS4 and PS5 games
Monthly games, exclusive discounts, game library, game trials, cloud storage and online playPlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
Nintendo Switch OnlineNintendo Switch Online
$5.95
/mo
Required for select titles100+
NES and SNES games
Online play, classics game library, cloud saves and exclusive member offersNintendo Switch
NSO Expansion PackNintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack
$59.95
/yr
Required for select titles150+
NES, SNES, N64 and SMD games
Online play, classics game library, cloud saves and exclusive member offersNintendo Switch
Google Play Pass LogoGoogle Play Pass
$7.99
/mo
Yes450+
Android games
Game library, app library, family sharing and yearly subscription optionsAndroid smartphones and tablets
\\ More from Reviews.org
Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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