Microsoft to Raise Prices of Xbox Series X and Game Pass Subscriptions
The move stings, but doesn’t ultimately change the value of Game Pass.
Zachary McAuliffeStaff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
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Microsoft is set to raise the prices of the Xbox Series X console as well as Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions in the coming months, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to CNET.
The tech giant is set to raise the price of the Xbox Series X in most countries -- except the US, Japan, Chile, Brazil and Colombia -- on Aug. 1. The console's new price is expected to be as follows: £480 in the UK, 550 euros across most European markets, CA$650 in Canada and AU$800 in Australia.
Both XBGP and XBGPU subscriptions are also expected to rise from $10 to $11 a month and from $15 to $17 a month, respectively. These prices are expected to change on July 6 for new members and Aug. 13 for almost everyone else. If you're a Game Pass subscriber in Germany, your Game Pass price won't increase until Sept. 13.
The Xbox Series S and PC Game Pass prices are not expected to rise.
While price increases are never fun for consumers, this change isn't especially surprising. In 2022, Sony announced it was raising the price of its PlayStation 5 in some countries, and Microsoft's price increases for the Xbox Series X match those laid out by Sony for the PS5.
Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO said at the time the PS5's price increase was due to "the current global economic environment." While Microsoft didn't say why it was increasing the cost of its console, it's likely due to similar reasons.
"Microsoft also submitted that its internal analysis shows a [redacted]% decline in base game sales twelve months following their addition on Game Pass," the report said.
Microsoft has been leaving money on the table with Game Pass, so the company was bound to raise the price of its subscriptions at some point. Even with these price increases though, both subscriptions are a pretty good deal.
Prior to this price hike, a one-year subscription to XBGP or XBGPU would cost either $120 or $180, respectively. After the price increases, a one year subscription to XBGP will cost $132, and the cost of a one year subscription for XBGPU will be $204.
For comparison, the cost of a new AAA Xbox game at launch is $70, and that's if you're buying the standard version, not a deluxe or special edition version, of a game. So you could buy between two and three new games in a year for the same price as a one year subscription, which gives you access to more than 450 games.
So yes, the price increases will sting, but the subscriptions are still a better value than buying physical copies of games if you plan on playing a lot of games.