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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: Everything You Need To Know
Announced back in 2019, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate program is Microsoft’s latest evolution of its popular service. One of the big requests from subscribers was a single program to combine subscriptions for Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, and that’s exactly what you get with Game Pass Ultimate.
Oh. and it comes with a little sprinkling of something for PC and mobile gamers bundled in for good measure. Here’s everything you need to know about Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Xbox Live Gold Changes: What’s New For 2021
Microsoft just rolled out the biggest changes to Xbox Live Gold since launch, in turn shaking up the value proposition for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S owners. The drastic policy shift changes up a subscription that’s gone untouched in years, now opening previously paid features to any Xbox console owner. That chiefly includes dropping the Xbox Live Gold requirement on free-to-play multiplayer titles, plus opening multiple social features to all on Xbox.
Xbox consoles have required an Xbox Live Gold membership to access online multiplayer since their inception, but changes introduced this April drop that mandate for free-to-play games. You no longer need to pay the monthly fee on many popular titles, including Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends, to name a few. While all paid Xbox games still require Xbox Live Gold, those with zero-cost entry are now entirely free on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
The platform has also lifted the Xbox Live Gold requirement on Party Chat and Looking for Group on Xbox consoles, two popular social features for multiplayer. The former, Microsoft’s staple voice chat system for Xbox, finally goes free and opens communication among all players. The LFG system also provides a platform to search for teammates and like-minded players across the Xbox network, filtering users by game and various social preferences.
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Getting More From Your Xbox
If you’ve just got an Xbox, you may be confused about what Xbox Live and Xbox Live Gold are. In short, Xbox Live is free to use and gives you basic online functionality, while Xbox Live Gold has a monthly fee that lets you play games online and comes with special bonuses.
Things get a little more confusing when you learn about the Xbox Game Pass, but it too is straightforward. It’s a monthly subscription that unlocks a vast library of games for you to play right away.
Image Credit: dennizn / Shutterstock.com
Windows 10 Microsoft Edge And Hololens
On February 4, 2014, stepped down as of Microsoft and was succeeded by , who previously led Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise division. On the same day, took on the role of chairman, in place of Bill Gates, who continued to participate as a technology advisor. Thompson became the second chairman in Microsoft’s history. On April 25, 2014, Microsoft acquired Nokia Devices and Services for $7.2 billion. This new subsidiary was renamed Microsoft Mobile Oy. On September 15, 2014, Microsoft acquired the video game development company , best known for , for $2.5 billion. On June 8, 2017, Microsoft acquired , an Israeli security firm, for $100 million.
On January 21, 2015, Microsoft announced the release of their first , . On July 29, 2015, was released, with its server sibling, , released in September 2016. In Q1 2015, Microsoft was the third largest maker of mobile phones, selling 33 million units . While a large majority of them do not run any version of those other phones are not categorized as by Gartner in the same time frame 8 million Windows smartphones were made by all manufacturers . Microsoft’s share of the U.S. smartphone market in January 2016 was 2.7%. During the summer of 2015 the company lost $7.6 billion related to its mobile-phone business, firing 7,800 employees.
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Xbox Live Gold 2021 Review: Time To Bail After Free
Xbox Live Gold is your gateway to multiplayer on console, with almost two decades the go-to Xbox subscription. With more games than ever built with multiplayer in mind, the online membership ensures you’re getting the best value from your Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S libraries.
But 2021 brings network-wide changes, shaking up the Xbox Live Gold offerings for the latest console generation. Microsoft has lifted the paywall for free-to-play content, axing the mandate for some of the most popular games on the market. Here’s what’s new with Xbox Live Gold for April 2021 and whether the subscription is right for you.
Xbox Game Pass Vs Xbox Live Gold: What’s The Difference
Both subscriptions offer more gaming options for Xbox owners, but they’re not the same thing. We break down the differences.
Does the PS5 have an edge on the Xbox Series X/S in terms of its lineup of current and upcoming exclusive game titles? Maybe. But where Xbox has a distinct advantage is its Game Pass subscription option, which lets Xbox owners play more than 100 games for single flat fee . It’s a great deal, but the only problem is that Microsoft has some confusing messaging around the available Game Pass options: There are three versions of the subscription, along with a Xbox subscription called “Xbox Live Gold.” Gold, meanwhile, is included in some versions of Game Pass, but not others.
Need help untangling the differences? Read on.
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What Do You Really Get When Sign Up Xbox Live Gold Membership
Xbox Live Gold membership has been running for over a decade, for those who have been using the service you probably already know what Xbox Live Gold membership offers you. But for those who never own an Xbox before, or never sign up the Gold membership, understanding what you get with Gold membership is important. And sometimes try to understand them could be intimidating because of the amount of overwhelming information from various places. Even if you are already a long-term member, you might not know the full extend of what it means to be enrolled in the Xbox Live Gold membership. I will take this opportunities to fully elaborate what it means and what you get with Xbox Live Gold membership. If Im wrong in any of the areas below, please feel free to correct me.
Where Is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Available
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is available in all current Xbox Game Pass markets:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.
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Xbox Live Gold Gift Cards
If your looking for Xbox Live Gold gift cards ahead of the holiday season, you’ll be happy to learn you can gift a membership quickly and easily, whether you’re buying through Microsoft or a third party like CDKeys or Amazon. Many retailers have their own gifting services, in which case you’ll just need your recipients email address but if you don’t want to use this service, simply make a note of the code you receive with your order and pass it on to the recipient.
You can redeem your Xbox Live Gold gift card directly at Microsoft.
What Is Xbox All Access
Xbox All Access is a monthly installment payment option for a new Xbox Series S or X. Customers can sign up for the plan to pay $35 a month for an Xbox Series X or $25 a month for an Xbox Series S. Both plans include 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. There are no upfront fees and 0% APR. Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Store, Target and Walmart are all participants in the program, however, the trick is to sign up when consoles are available. If you’re still on the hunt for an Xbox Series X or S, will have the latest restock updates for you.
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In The Game Pass Era Xbox Live Gold Shouldn’t Exist
Xbox Live Gold has lost a lot of luster after the launch of Xbox Game Pass. With Game Pass having so much more to offer, Gold feels obsolete.
Ever since the debut of Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live Gold has grown to look very outdated. Game Pass is more than a higher tier of an Xbox Live subscription, granting access to a large library of games while Xbox Live Gold offers nothing of the sort. What perks that Gold does offer look very meager in comparison.
With players flocking to Game Pass for the selection of games on offer, Xbox Live Gold has been criticized for offering less value. Of course, Xbox Live Gold came along long before Xbox Game Pass, but it has failed to evolve in any considerable way. Charging players to access multiplayer games may have been Xbox’s style a decade ago, but it feels out of step now that Game Pass exists, and the weak perks Xbox’s Games With Gold offers rarely justify the cost of a Live subscription.
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Xbox Live Gold has been a part of the Xbox series for a very long time, but Game Pass has surpassed it very quickly. If Xbox Live Gold were to upgrade and evolve, it could gain a better reputation. However, considering how far it has fallen behind the times, it may be too late for it to recover. There are a few specific points that can explain Gold’s failings, and why it now feels like a relic that Xbox should part with.
Microsoft Movies & Tv / Microsoft Films & Tv
On November 6, 2006, Microsoft announced Microsoft Movies & TV , an exclusive video store accessible through the console. Launched in the United States on November 22, 2006, the first anniversary of the Xbox 360’s launch, the service allows users in the United States to download high-definition and standard-definition television shows for purchase and movies for rental onto an Xbox 360 console for viewing. With the exception of short clips, content is not currently available for streaming, and must be downloaded. Movies are available for rental from the Video Marketplace. They expire in 14 days after download or at the end of the first 24 hours after the movie has begun playing, whichever comes first. Television episodes can be purchased to own, and are transferable to an unlimited number of consoles. Downloaded files use 5.1 surround audio and are encoded using VC-1 for video at 720p, with a bitrate of 6.8 Mbit/s. Television content is offered from MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Turner Broadcasting and CBS and movie content is Warner Bros., Paramount and Disney, along with other publishers.
The “Game with Fame” initiative has been Microsoft’s way to connect Xbox Live members with celebrities and game developers. Notable participants of “Game with Fame” include Shia LaBeouf, Jack Black, Rihanna, Velvet Revolver, Victoria Justice, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Scissor Sisters, Paramore, Korn, OK Go, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Dream Theater, Linkin Park, Green Day and Insane Clown Posse.
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New Xbox Games Made Free Until 2022
A pair of new Xbox games are now free for a limited time, but not for everybody. The latest free games on Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X come courtesy of Games With Gold, which means they are limited to Xbox Live Gold users on this trio of consoles, including the former’s variants, Xbox One S and Xbox One X. One of these games is an Xbox One game, playable on the current-gen Xbox consoles via backward compatibility. The other is an Xbox 360 game, playable on all of its predecessors, courtesy of the same technology.
The more notable of the two games is Tropico 5, a construction and management sim that hit back in 2014 via developer Haemimont Games and publisher Kalypso Media. The other free game, the Xbox 360 game, is Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, which arrived back in 2011 via developer Shadow Planet Productions and publisher Xbox Game Studios. The former is free until January 15, while the latter is free until December 31.
Below, you can read more about both games and check out a trailer of each game as well:
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet: “In this Insanely Twisted, 2-D action-adventure game, explore unique environments and battle bizarre creatures as you make your way toward the center of the mysterious Shadow Planet! Solve complex puzzles and upgrade your ship with alien technology as you fight to save your home world.”
What Is Xbox Live Gold
On the other hand, there is Xbox Live Gold. This isn’t a standalone product, but it is the premium subscription service to Xbox Live. When you subscribe to Xbox Live Gold, you get more out of the service for a monthly fee.
So, what does Xbox Live Gold do? For one, you can play online multiplayer games using Xbox Live Gold. This includes both online matchmaking with strangers and playing alongside friends.
Not only that, but Xbox Live Gold members will get free games every month under the Games for Gold plan, as well as exclusive deals with Deals for Gold. They’re a great way to fill up your library when you’re just starting with an Xbox.
Xbox Live Gold comes in at $9.99/month, but you can also purchase months in advance with a slight discount. You can learn more in our guide on how to get Xbox Live and how much it costs.
If you want to save a few pennies, you may find some websites that advertise free ways to get Gold. Unfortunately, a lot of these are scams, so you need to exercise caution with these deals. However, there are legitimate ways to get free Xbox Live Gold without being scammed.
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New Xbox Game Pass February 2022 Free Games
Below are the new Xbox Game Pass February 2022 free games:
- Dreamscaper Feb 3rd
- Edge of Eternity Feb 10th
- Skul The Hero Slayer
This list comes courtesy of Gamerant.
LISTEN UP! Total War: WARHAMMER III will be releasing worldwide 17th of February 2022! And on day one with Xbox Game Pass for PC Get ready for lootin, feastin, and warrin with The Ogre Kingdoms Race Pack completely for free as the early-adopter bonus!
What Do You Get With Xbox Live Gold
You get nothing but the best quality benefits with Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Gold subscription is a service upgrade to the standard free Xbox Live, otherwise referred to as Xbox Silver, for which you have to pay in order to access all the best deals and assets provided by Xbox Live Network. Perhaps the selling point for Xbox Live memberships is the multiplayer that you are provided by Xbox Live Gold. The multiplayer will allow you to enjoy such games as Borderlands 3 with plenty of Xbox players across the world, or your neighbours next door! Other benefits include:
- 2 to 4 free games per month
- Member-exclusive discounts up to 75% for games, DLCs and many more
- Advanced online accessibility with improved match-making and smooth gaming network.
Enjoy the most renowned Xbox titles and benefits that will certainly provide a smoother gaming experience and the Deals with Gold discounts will definitely repay in the long run. If you have an Xbox console, then a membership is a must for a full gaming experience.
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Games With Gold Has Been Made Obsolete By Xbox Game Pass
Games With Gold is a program that has been a part of Xbox Live since July 2013. Twice per month, a game is offered for players to download for free, with each offer lasting until the next game is rotated in. An offer of a free game sounds amazing, and Microsoft has offered very good games in the past. When the Xbox One came out, Games With Gold began offering both Xbox 360 and Xbox One games through the service. However, the service has gained a reputation for offering less-than-stellar titles in recent years, with offerings proving especially unappealing.
When Game Pass launched on the Xbox One, it had a higher price tag than Xbox Live Gold, but quickly showed its worth with the Game Pass library, featuring a large collection of titles that players can download and play for free as long as they are a part of the service. Even some new releases and major titles are offered through Game Pass, which has become a major draw for subscribers. Games will occasionally be cycled out of Game Pass as new titles are added, but any title on Game Pass can be bought at a discount as long as it is part of the service. It is essentially a way for players to try games out before buying them, and it feels very much like a video game version of Netflix.