What's cheaper depending on your needs?
Update: Xbox Game Pass for PC is also included in the subscription, Microsoft confirmed at E3 2019. We’ve updated his story accordingly.
Right now, users can get Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $1 AUD for their first month thanks to a special promotion that runs over E3 2019.
Original story: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has today been announced by Microsoft and we’ve crunched the numbers to determine if the joint Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass subscription is worth switching over to when available.
Before we get to the calculations, let’s just make sure we’re all on the same page. Announced earlier this morning, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will provide subscribers the following benefits for one fee. They include:
- Multiplayer access, Xbox Games with Gold freebies (Xbox Live Gold)
- A library of 100+ Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles, a 20% discount on games in the library (Xbox Game Pass)
- A library of 100+ Windows PC titles, a 20% discount on games in the library (Xbox Game Pass for PC)
The amounts below are based on regular pricing for the services, though Microsoft frequently discounts subscriptions for new members like in its Spring Sale. Currently, new users can get a 3-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass and 1-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold for just $1 AUD each.
Even if you’re an existing subscriber, it’s important to remember you can usually find a better deal than regular pricing anyway; Ben’s just nabbed a 12-month Xbox Game Pass subscription for $65 AUD, much cheaper than the $131.40 you’d normally pay. He also managed to cash in on a deal that meant 12-months of Xbox Live Gold was $53 AUD and not $79.95 AUD. The problem with these types of deals is that they’re rather unpredictable and mightn’t apply to everyone.
With that all out of the way, let’s get to it.
Update: Microsoft will not confirm if 3-, 6- or 12-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions will be offered, so the numbers we’ve worked with below are the only ones at hand.
1-month subscription (or month to month)
If you’re buying Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass on a month-to-month basis, then Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will save you some cash.
- $15.95 AUD = Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
- $26.85 AUD = Individual subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass ($10.95 AUD each) plus Xbox Game Pass for PC $4.95 AUD)
That means players can benefit from a savings of $10.90 AUD on a month-to-month basis by going with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
This is where it’s a bit tricky; as far as we know, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription will only be offered on a month-to-month basis.
- $47.85 AUD = 3 x 1 month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
- $67.75 AUD = 3 months of Xbox Game Pass ($32.85 AUD) and Xbox Live Gold ($29.95 AUD) plus 3 months Xbox Game Pass for PC ($4.95 per month)
This means players will benefit from a savings of $29.80 AUD by bundling their subscriptions, or an average of $9.93 AUD a month.
This one’s also a bit tricky in that Xbox Live Gold offers a 6-month subscription, but Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate do not.
- $95.70 AUD = 6 x 1 month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
- $148.70 AUD = 6 months of Xbox Game Pass (2 x $32.85 AUD) and Xbox Live Gold ($53.30 AUD) plus Xbox Game Pass for PC ($29.70 AUD)
This means a savings of $53.00 AUD through the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bundle, or an average of $8.83 AUD per month.
Same deal here; Xbox Live Gold offers a 12-month subscription, but Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate do not.
- $191.40 AUD = 12 x 1 month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
- $270.75 AUD = 12 months of Xbox Game Pass (4 x $32.85 AUD) and Xbox Live Gold ($79.95 AUD) plus Xbox Game Pass for PC ($59.40 AUD)
This means a savings of $79.35 AUD through the new subscription bundle, or an average of $6.61 AUD per month.
Xbox Live Gold plus Game Pass when you’d use it
As you can see above, the current lack of 3-, 6- and 12-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bundles mean your potential to save decreases when compared to individual Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass offerings. Nevertheless, the subscriptions prove cheaper when bundled for these set periods of time, which means those who continually hold subscriptions with Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass will save some cash.
If you’re only dipping into the Xbox Game Pass library from time to time, it might be worth considering your own position and seeing if it’s cheaper in the long run to subscribe to the vanilla offering when you actually want it; picking it up during the months that big name, first-party titles like Forza Horizon 4 and Gears 5 are released, as an example.
We’re going to use 2018 as the driving force behind the calculations below; using Microsoft’s big 2018 releases — Forza Horizon 4, State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves — we’d argue you could’ve gotten by with three months of Xbox Game Pass that year. So…
- $191.40 AUD = 12 x 1 month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
- $127.65 AUD = 3 x 1 months of Xbox Game Pass ($32.85 AUD) plus 1 year of Xbox Live Gold (79.95 AUD) plus 3 x 1 months of Xbox Game Pass for PC ($14.85 AUD).
In this specific scenario, picking and choosing means a loss of $63.75 AUD using Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. That said, the player also loses access to the Xbox Game Pass library for 9 months of the year.
Have you crunched the numbers? What are you planning to do with your Microsoft Xbox subscriptions?