At E3 2019, Microsoft introduced Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as a bundle deal for its Game Pass services on Xbox One and the newly-launched PC service, as well as a subscription to Xbox Live Gold. As a promotional offer, you can get your first month of this service for just $1--but thanks to a quirk in how the promotion works, you can actually get Game Pass Ultimate essentially free for up to three years.
How It Works
When you upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, any prepaid time you have for Xbox Live Gold or Game Pass convert up to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, up to a maximum of 36 months. That means that the more time you have remaining on your subscription, the higher the savings. Since the promotion has a maximum of 36 months, you could get three years of Xbox Live Gold and then just pay $1 for Game Pass for that entire period.
Three years of Game Pass Ultimate paid month-by-month would be $540. One year of Xbox Live Gold has an MSRP of $60, though deal-hunters can often find one for less through third-party sellers. Purchasing three years of Gold would therefore be $180 or less. Altogether that's a savings of at least $360.
So if you're willing to front-load your account, you can come out way ahead. But even just converting whatever time you have remaining is a pretty good deal if you want Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold anyway.
- Go to your Microsoft account page.
- Click on the "Services and Subscriptions" tab to show your current Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass subscription.
- If desired, extend your Xbox Live Gold subscription by purchasing additional months. To maximize the deal, your goal should be to extend your subscription to as close the current date in 2022 as possible. Re-check your accounts page to confirm your timing.
(This can be bought at the standard $60 purchase price, or for roughly $50 through third-party retailers like Costco or CD Keys.)
- Once you've extended your subscription to 2022--or whatever length you desire--visit the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate page to subscribe to the 1-month-for-$1 deal.
Voila. That will convert your entire Xbox Live Gold subscription to a Game Pass Ultimate subscription. You'll have already paid for it upfront with Gold subscriptions, but at a much lower rate than paying monthly. Any additional subscription cards you redeem after converting will be added as Game Pass time at a reduced rate.
Be warned that once this period ends, Game Pass Ultimate will convert to $15 per month unless you cancel or turn off auto-renewal. You can check your Services & Subscriptions tab again to see when that will be. You can always choose to go back to Xbox Live Gold alone at that point if you wish.
What's Included In Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes the Game Pass subscription services on both Xbox One and PC, both of which offer a wide catalog of rotating games--some shared, and others not. It also grants you Xbox Live Gold access to play games online.