Microsoft introduces Xbox Game Pass Core to replace Xbox Live Gold

Microsoft launches Xbox Game Pass Core priced at $9.99 per month, but it'll not offer free monthly games.

Game Pass Core
Game Pass Core / Image: Microsoft
  • Microsoft launches the Xbox Game Pass Core subscription plan.
  • The new plan will replace the Xbox Live Gold plan starting on September 14.
  • The Core subscription will include online multiplayer support and access to a smaller game catalog.
  • As part of the change, the Games with Gold program will also be retired on September 1.

Microsoft announces a new Xbox Game Pass Core subscription plan to replace the existing Xbox Live Gold plan. According to the company announcement, the new Core plan includes access to the Xbox online multiplayer network, special deals, and a limited catalog of games.

As part of the transition, the company will begin moving Xbox Live Gold subscribers to the new Xbox Game Pass Core automatically starting on September 14, 2023. The new plan will continue to be available for $9.99  per month (or $59.99 per year) and the original price for the Xbox Live Gold membership.

Also, the software giant says it will be retiring the Games with Gold program on September 1, 2023, which means no more monthly free game downloads. Furthermore, Xbox One games in your library will require the Xbox Game Pass Core or Ultimate to work online, while Xbox 360 titles you may have downloaded from the Microsoft Store will continue to be available in your library.

The confirmed titles include, Among Us, Descenders,  Dishonored 2, Doom Eternal, Fable Anniversary, Fallout 4, Fallout 76, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Grounded, Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Wars 2, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Human: Fall Flat, Inside, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Psychonauts 2, State of Decay 2, and The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. The company will add more games in the coming months.

It’s important to note that this new change will cause some confusion among users because the Game Pass program includes four tiers, and only the “Core” and “Ultimate” offerings come with access to the multiplayer network. The “Console” plan only gives you access to the most extensive catalog of games the company can offer for Xbox Series X, S, and Xbox One, while the “PC” plan only gives you access to computer games.

Game Pass plans
Game Pass plans / Image: Microsoft

If you want access to the most extensive catalog of games and access to the multiplayer network, it’s best to opt for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription with the new $16.99 monthly price. If you plan to bring your own games, the Xbox Game Core is for you at the same $9.99 per month as the Xbox Live Gold membership.

In addition to discontinuing the Xbox Live Gold subscription plan, the company recently announced that it is also retiring the “Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family” plan on August 15, 2023, and current subscribers with time remaining will be transferred to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate plan automatically.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].