As reported by The Verge, Microsoft is raising prices for both its Xbox Series X consoles, as well as its online subscriptions, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The former won’t apply to those living in the U.S., Japan, Chile, Brazil, and Colombia, and the latter won’t apply to customers in Norway, Chile, Denmark, Switzerland, and Saudi Arabia (both will apply to those of us in Australia).
Even if you’re spared from the increased console costs, there’s a good shot you’ll be paying more for Game Pass going forward. Luckily, there’s a way to save big right now.
What is Microsoft raising Xbox Game Pass prices to?
The price increase is set to kick in starting July 6. Microsoft is raising Xbox Game Pass pricing from $10.95 to $11.95 per month, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate from $15.95 to $18.95 per month.
That timeline is for new customers, though: If you are a current Xbox Game Pass subscriber, you’ll keep your current rates until Aug. 13 (Sept. 13 in Germany). If you subscribe to Game Pass annually, you won’t have to deal with the price hike until it’s time to renew your subscription.
Price hikes are never fun, but perhaps this one was to be expected. Game Pass costs have stayed the same since the service’s inception back in 2017, not to mention the general price increases across subscription services from Netflix to Sony’s PlayStation Plus.
The best way to save money with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
On the surface, it might seem like the best approach here would be to subscribe to an annual Game Pass plan before the deadline. That way, you can lock the current rate for the next year, saving yourself a little cash. However, those in the know have been using a hack to save even more money with Game Pass Ultimate for years, as long as you don’t have an active Game Pass subscription. (Don’t try this with an active sub.)
Rather than subscribe to Ultimate directly, the best discount comes from subscribing to Xbox Live Gold first. This service costs less per year, than a Game Pass Ultimate subscription fetches. While Ultimate is the service with all the perks, you can upgrade to Ultimate from Xbox Live Gold for cheap, as Microsoft will charge you $21 to upgrade.
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