By Tom Warren, a senior editor covering Microsoft, PC gaming, console, and tech. He founded WinRumors, a site dedicated to Microsoft news, before joining The Verge in 2012.
Microsoft has shortened its $1 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass trials to just 14 days instead of a month, just weeks before the release of Starfield. After running for years, the $1 trial for new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers stopped in March before returning last month after Microsoft adjusted its Xbox Game Pass pricing.
The trials have typically offered new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass subscribers a month’s access to the subscription services for just $1, but Microsoft has now adjusted both this week to move them to just 14 days only weeks ahead of Starfield’s release on September 6th.
Microsoft previously stopped its Xbox Game Pass trials because the company was “evaluating different marketing promotions for new members in the future.” We eventually saw a new Game Pass referral program appear in May that lets you invite PC friends to try out PC Game Pass for 14 days. This will be useful to share trials with PC friends who want to get started next month with Starfield — Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years, which has been described as “Skyrim in space.”
The trial changes come just weeks after price increases to Xbox Game Pass and a new Xbox Game Pass Core subscription to replace Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has moved from $14.99 per month to $16.99 (€14.99 / £12.99). The base Xbox Game Pass for Console pricing has also been increased from $9.99 a month to $10.99 (€10.99 / £8.99). Microsoft is also discontinuing its Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan on August 15th, and it’s not clear if this “preview program” will ever return.
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