The company justified the increase by noting that Gold pricing “has not changed for years” in many places, and in some cases hadn’t changed for over a decade — the Xbox 360 was still in stores back then. In theory, Microsoft is just acknowledging that costs have changed. PlayStation Plus still has a $60 option, although Sony doesn’t bundle its Now game streaming.
It’s not too difficult to see Microsoft’s grander plans, though. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a relatively easy upsell. You’ll pay more at $15 per month, but you’ll get all of Gold’s features as well as access to a growing library of titles and cloud gaming. The tech giant not only gets more money each month, but is more likely to keep members who might otherwise let their Gold memberships lapse.