Xbox Game Pass Core: Pros & Cons You Must Know

In a groundbreaking move, Microsoft is set to launch the Xbox Game Pass Core, a new subscription model that will seamlessly replace Xbox Live Gold, Microsoft’s long-standing online service. As Microsoft pioneers its way through the gaming world, this new service emphasizes their commitment to staying ahead of their competition.

What is Xbox Game Pass Core?

Xbox Game Pass Core is described by many as the “evolution of Xbox Live Gold.” Twenty years after the initial release of Xbox Live online service, Microsoft is now offering a total rebranding of this excellent service for gamers. Think of it as an upgraded experience from Xbox Live Gold.

This new subscription will include the standard Xbox online console multiplayer support, unique deals, discounts, and a rich new catalog of over 25 games.

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Notable mentions from this Xbox Game Pass Core lineup include top-tier titles like Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, Psychonauts 2, Halo 5: Guardians, and Dishonored 2.

Here’s a full list of games included:

Among Us


Dishonored 2

Doom Eternal

Fable Anniversary

Fallout 4

Fallout 76

Forza Horizon 4

Gears 5


Halo 5: Guardians

Halo Wars 2

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Human: Fall Flat


Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Psychonauts 2

State of Decay 2

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited

For those worried about transitions, existing Xbox Live Gold members can breathe a sigh of relief.

They will be automatically transferred to Xbox Game Pass Core on September 14th, 2023. Even better, the pricing remains consistent at $9.99 per month or $59.99 annually.

However, with the new upgrade comes the retirement of the old.

Games with Gold, a much-appreciated perk that allowed Xbox users to download free monthly games for the past decade, will cease operations on September 1st.

Jerret West, CVP of gaming marketing at Xbox, remarked, “We wanted to use this opportunity to reimagine how to include content with this subscription.” The objective was to provide subscribers with an even more compelling catalog by leveraging selected titles from the Xbox Game Pass collection.

Comparing Game Pass Core with Other Xbox Subscriptions

While Xbox Game Pass Core promises an array of features, it’s essential to note that its catalog is more limited compared to the full Xbox Game Pass subscription.

The latter comes at a slightly higher cost of $10.99 a month. Also, Microsoft has been transparent in stating that while Game Pass Core includes online multiplayer support, the regular Xbox Game Pass does not. Gamers would need Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for the combined benefits of Game Pass and online multiplayer.

This introduction might lead to confusion regarding the online multiplayer features of Game Pass in general, but seasoned gamers would recall that the signs for Xbox Live Gold’s phasing out had been visible for a while.

Microsoft had rebranded Xbox Live to “Xbox network” in 2021, hinting at broader restructuring.

The Future of Xbox Game Pass Subscriptions

The gaming giant has shown that it’s not afraid to make changes based on feedback.

A past attempt to double the yearly Xbox Live Gold subscription cost was met with backlash, leading Microsoft to reverse the decision. They went on to offer more accessibility by unlocking Xbox party chat and Looking for Group (LFG) features for users without an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

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Moreover, there’s been a recent shift in pricing structures.

The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription increased from $14.99 per month to $16.99, while the base Xbox Game Pass for Console saw a jump from $9.99 to $10.99 monthly. However, Microsoft’s PC Game Pass pricing remains untouched.

In conclusion, with the unveiling of Xbox Game Pass Core, the gaming landscape is poised to witness a monumental shift. The new service encapsulates Microsoft’s vision of a more integrated and streamlined gaming experience, bringing the best of Xbox Series X games under one umbrella.

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