Xbox Game Pass Core is a cheaper subscription tier out soon

Xbox Game Pass Core - Psychonauts 2

Video game subscription services have rapidly evolved in recent years, following in the footsteps of the film and TV industry. Now, Xbox has announced Game Pass Core, a new tier to its popular service that costs $10.95 a month in Australia.

A replacement for the legacy Xbox Live Gold service, Xbox Game Pass Core offers access to three main benefits: online multiplayer, a library of over 25 games, and member-specific discounts.

Out this September, Xbox’s new entry-level tier will become the equal-most affordable of its subscription services alongside PC Game Pass. This latter option also costs $10.95 a month, offering a library of games specifically for PC users.

Xbox Game Pass Core Australian details

Since the Xbox 360 days, an Xbox Live Gold membership was required to play online multiplayer games on Xbox consoles. Recently, free-to-play games like Fortnite and Apex Legends became exempt from this requirement, which made the membership somewhat redundant. Members would also get monthly games as part of the service, although its appeal diminished in the wake of Game Pass’ extensive library.

This is where Xbox Game Pass Core fits in. For the same price as Xbox Live Gold, you get many of the same benefits bar one key difference. Instead of two monthly games to redeem, Core gives you access to a catalogue of over 25 games, including Psychonauts 2, Gears 5, and Forza Horizon 4. Notably, Xbox Game Pass Core doesn’t provide day one access to new titles, like other tiers, although Xbox has promised that games will be added to the library two or three times a year.

Xbox Game Pass Core library
More than 25 games will be available through Xbox Game Pass Core at launch.

Xbox Game Pass Core comes into effect on 14 September 2023 at a monthly price of $10.95, or $79.95 for an annual subscription. This puts it roughly on par with a PlayStation Plus Essentials subscription. Xbox recently announced price increases for its other subscription offerings, with Game Pass for Console now $11.95, and the all-in-one Xbox Game Pass Ultimate now $18.95 a month.

What games are included?

Not every game available for the new service has been confirmed yet, with more announcements scheduled between now and 14 September. Here are the games we currently know will be included with Xbox Game Pass Core at launch:

  • Among Us
  • Descenders
  • Dishonored 2
  • Doom Eternal
  • Fable Anniversary
  • Fallout 4
  • Fallout 76
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Gears 5
  • Grounded
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Human Fall Flat
  • Inside
  • Ori & The Will of the Wisps
  • Psychonauts 2
  • State of Decay 2
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited

It’s a pretty decent list of games if you’re not concerned about playing the newest stuff as soon as it comes out. Plus, for Xbox Live Gold members who have redeemed monthly games in the past, they remain in your library and playable whenever you’re subscribed to Core or Ultimate.

Although companies tend to be cagey about subscriber counts, it will be fascinating to find out how the uptake of the cheaper service pans out come September. If online multiplayer isn’t important to you, then a regular Game Pass for Console subscription might still be the best option due to its larger game library. However, the ability to save money on an annual Core subscription seems to represent strong value.

Read more gaming news on GadgetGuy