Xbox Game Pass for PC leaves beta next week with a price hike

Back in June of last year, Microsoft rolled out Xbox Game Pass for PC. The idea, of course, was to offer PC players the same subscription-based game service the company offered to players on Xbox One. There was one key difference between Game Pass on PC and Game Pass on Xbox One, however: pricing. While Xbox Game Pass normally costs $9.99, on PC it's been priced at half that – $4.99 – while it's been in beta.

It's been in beta since launch, too, but that's all coming to an end next week. Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox Game Pass for PC will roll out into general availability on September 17th, one week from today. When it does, it'll be getting a price hike that brings Game Pass for PC in line with Game Pass on console.

We were told to expect this price hike from day one, so this shouldn't be much of a surprise. There's some good news for existing subscribers though, as they won't see the price hike right away. On Twitter, Microsoft says that existing subscribers will keep the current price for one more billing cycle, and that it'll send out a notification on September 17th with more information.

With the standalone price of Xbox Game Pass for PC going up to $9.99 per month, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate begins to look a lot better, particularly if you play games on both Xbox One and PC. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bundles together both the PC and console versions of Game Pass with a subscription to Xbox Live Gold, which is required for playing most Xbox One games online. While those who only play on PC should stick with the standalone subscription even after the price hike, those who game across Xbox One and PC are likely better off opting for Game Pass Ultimate at $14.99 per month.

Xbox Game Pass seems to be a central component of Microsoft's next-generation strategy. Not only does the Xbox Series S seem to be tailored to Xbox Game Pass, but Xbox All Access is making a return in the next generation with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate front and center. Not only that, but we'll also see Project xCloud game streaming and EA Play come to Game Pass Ultimate in the coming months, so Game Pass definitely has some big additions ahead of it.