Last year, many players wondered whether the Xbox Series X's launch would mark the end of the Xbox Live Gold service, especially since many believe that the service by itself has become redundant due to the existence of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. To the uninitiated, Xbox Live Gold provides players access to paid online multiplayer games, as well as a handful of free games monthly. On the other hand, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate combines Microsoft's library of games with Xbox Live Gold for a slightly more expensive fee.
However, despite the more expensive price tag, it is apparent that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate carries an insane amount of value given all the perks that players can get out of it. Interestingly enough, despite Microsoft reiterating its commitment to continue Xbox Live Gold, some players believe that the recent price hike that Microsoft had to reverse immediately is just the company's way to encourage players to ditch Live Gold for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
For players unfamiliar with what happened to Xbox Live Gold last January, Microsoft announced that it would be implementing a price increase to Xbox Live Gold's subscription fee. Unsurprisingly, Xbox players immediately voiced their anger, causing a huge backlash that prompted Microsoft to reverse its decision in less than 24 hours. It appears that Microsoft, at least in theory, expected the hike to persuade players to ditch the standalone Xbox Live Gold service and opt-in for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate instead.
The question now is, if the assumption that the Xbox Live price hike is a ruse turns out to be true, why does Microsoft want its players to switch to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate? It is possible, for starters, that Microsoft wants to streamline all of its services into one package,, and it's possible that this is still the end goal one day. The other obvious reason is that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has a higher price than just the standalone Live Gold. However, given all the perks the service offer, such as a vast library of games and everything included in Live Gold, the higher price tag of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is actually more valuable than Xbox Live Gold.
Of course, the biggest feature of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is its library of games. It is worth noting that Microsoft constantly adds new games to the service, and these games are some of the most popular titles right now, such as Gears 5, Dead By Daylight, Hollow Knight, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and many more. Currently, the Xbox Game Pass boasts well over 100 games, especially with EA Play being part of it as well, and the company promises that all titles from Xbox Game Studios will be available on the service from day one.
As previously mentioned, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes Gold, which grants players access to paid online multiplayer games and the monthly free Games with Gold. For comparison, a monthly subscription to Xbox Live Gold is priced at $9.99, while the Xbox Game Pass is at $14.99. Obviously, the $5 difference between the two services is nothing compared to the hundreds of high-quality games that players can stream on the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.