Xbox Series X news: Xbox Live Gold price increase coming, according to reports
Unverified images of an Xbox Live retail card have been circulated on Reddit…
The cost of an Xbox Live Gold subscription may be rising soon, based on images of retail subscription cards on Reddit.
As spotted by VGC, two separate Reddit accounts posted images of six-month subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold, with the price at $60. Based on this, a 12-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold could cost over $100. The price for a six-month subscription is currently $40, meaning this would be a 50% increase for the service.
The Redditor who posted this card claims to work at GameStop, and states these cards have “have a sellable SKU and everything.”
Of course, this is still an unverified post at the moment, with Xbox now commenting on any changing prices for its Xbox Live product.
There is also the chance that Xbox could be further integrating Xbox Live Gold with its Xbox Game Pass subscription, meaning this price increase could be justified through further add-ons.
Keep reading for more Xbox news and developments as we head further into 2021.
No, Fall Guys is not coming to Xbox Game Pass soon
Replying to a fan who commented about wanting Fall Guys on Game Pass, the Xbox Instagram account stunned gamers by replying: “It’s coming.”
Among those stunned was Fall Guys’ publisher, Devolver Digital. The company replied to The Verge’s Tom Warren on Twitter, commenting: “There are no plans for Fall Guys to come to any form of Gamepass.”
This was further backed up by Xbox Game Pass’ Twitter account, who apologised for any confusion caused.
The Xbox Game Pass Instagram account gave an explanation for its mistake, saying it had “mixed up Among Us and Fall Guys” in the reply.
This is the second time in recent weeks that Fall Guys has been speculated to be coming to Xbox Game Pass following comments on social media. The Fall Guys Twitter account replied to an Xbox Tweet, commenting “Can I play?”, sparking immense speculation before being deconfirmed.
Fall Guys is currently unavailable to play on any Xbox consoles, having released exclusively on the PlayStation 4 and PC in mid-2020.
Nintendo executives “laughed their asses off” when Microsoft tried to buy the company
Prior to the original Xbox’s release, Microsoft attempted to acquire numerous video game publishers. After EA rebutted Microsoft’s advances, the American company approached Nintendo to see if the company would consider being sold.
“The pitch was their hardware stunk, and compared to Sony PlayStation, it did,” Bob McBreen, the head of business development said. Microsoft told Nintendo it would “take care of the hardware” while Nintendo would continue striking gold with “Mario and all that stuff”
The pitch did fail to convince Nintendo, according to Kevin Bachus, the director of third-party relations. “They just laughed their asses off,” he said. “Imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went.”
Microsoft subsequently attempted to purchase Square Enix, but could ultimately not reach Square’s valuation. It eventually worked out for Microsoft, however, as the company then went on to acquire Bungie and its Halo series, which helped launch the Xbox console to new heights.
This means that if Microsoft had succeeded in buying Nintendo, the Halo series, and the first-person shooter genre overall, may have been completely different. Between Mario and Master Chief, we think Microsoft did pretty well.
It has since acquired multiple other studios and publishers, including Playground Games, Rare, Mojang and ZeniMax – the owners of Bethesda.
Xbox Series X/S sells 2.2m units in first six weeks, according to reports
Microsoft sold 2,242,928 Xbox Series X/S consoles in the six weeks after its launch, according to the video games sales analyst site VGChartz.
1.2m of the next-gen Xbox consoles were shipped in the United States, alongside 589,000 units in Europe. 32,000 consoles were also sold in Japan, according to this report.
These sales figures place the Xbox Series X/S behind the PlayStation 5 in raw numbers, with VGChartz reporting that Sony sold over 4.4m PS5 consoles in the same six-week period. Digitimes also claimed that Sony shipped 3.4m units in the first four weeks following the PS5’s release.
These figures remain unconfirmed as both Sony and Microsoft are yet to release any sales statistics on their new hardware.
It is also possible that any sales numbers might not reflect the demand for either next-gen console, as both the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S continue to suffer from stock shortages.
Microsoft survey asks players if they want PS5 controller features
A recent survey given to Xbox owners includes questions about the PS5’s DualSense controller, suggesting Microsoft is open to implementing similar features in the future.
Microsoft’s survey, as spotted by TechRadar, asked players to say how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: “I am aware of features on the PlayStation controller that I wish were on the controller that came with this console.”
The Xbox Series X controller does not currently include such features, instead resembling an Xbox One controller as Microsoft attempts to create a seamless transition between the two generations of consoles.
Alongside questions about the DualSense, the survey also asked players about their overall feelings towards the Xbox Series X, including whether it “feels next-gen”.
So what does this mean for the Xbox controller? Of course, it depends on how the survey was answered. If Xbox players responded in favour of the DualSense’s features, we could perhaps see an Xbox Series X Elite controller released in the future with improved rumble and trigger functions.
Xbox Series X price
Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox Series X price will be $499 USD (or £449.99 GBP in the UK).
The Xbox Series S, a cheaper version of the console with less-impressive specs, is at $299 USD or £249 GBP.
Xbox Series X release date
The Xbox Series X first released on 10th November 2020 – that’s the same day that the Xbox Series S also released.
Xbox Series X pre-order date
Xbox Series X pre-orders began on 22nd September 2020.
There is also a live product page for the Xbox Series X on Amazon – you can click here to check it out. And you’ll find Amazon’s Xbox Series S product page, which still has stock at the time of writing, by clicking right here.
Xbox Series X games
While Halo Infinite was slated to be the big first-party Series X game available at launch, this has since been delayed until 2021 by 343 Industries, who cited the Covid-19 pandemic as causing development issues.
Instead, Microsoft is pushing The Medium, Scorn and Tetris Effect: Connected as the big Series X launch titles.
Gears 5 Enhanced will also be an early next-gen experience for Xbox Series X owners, with Microsoft upgrading the game with even better graphics and gameplay.
However, these games might be cost more than their Xbox One counterparts, if we base the prices off of NBA 2K21.
More info about upcoming Xbox Series X games is being revealed in the Xbox Games Showcase, and you can click here to find out Xbox 20/20 and when the next one is on.
Xbox Series X specs
Thanks to an incredibly detailed report from Richard Leadbetter of Digital Foundry, we now have access to all of the Xbox Series X specs. The report itself is fascinating and absolutely massive. To help you out, we’ve pulled out some of the key details for you here.
The report itself goes into painstaking detail about the hardware inside of the new Xbox flagship console. Every aspect is pulled apart and explained, but the key details of each of the parts are these:
- CPU: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT)
- GPU: 12 TFLOPs, 52 CUs at 1.825GHz, Custom RDNA 2
- Die Size: 360.45mm2
- Process: TSMC 7nm Enhanced
- Memory: 16GB GDDR6
- Memory Bandwidth: 10GB at 560GB/s, 6GB at 336GB/s
- Internal Storage: 1TB Custom NVMe SSD
- IO: Throughput: USB 3.2 HDD Support
- Expandable Storage: USB 3.2 HDD Support
- Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive
- Performance Target: 4K at 60fps – up to 120fps
Xbox Series X backwards compatibility
Good news for fans of current-gen and even older games. Microsoft has seen how much fans appreciate the ability to play older games on newer hardware, and they’re not slouching on this front.
“It likely comes as no surprise to discover that Series X can technically run the entire Xbox One catalogue, but this time it’s done with no emulation layer – it’s baked in at the hardware level.”
That means the console was designed to be able to do this, not using the weird workarounds present in the current version of backwards compatibility.
This isn’t just Xbox One games either though. There was a game on the very first Xbox called Fusion Frenzy, a game which released nearly two decades ago.
So, yeah, Microsoft decided to show off. “It was indeed Fusion Frenzy – an original Xbox title – running with its usual 16x resolution multiplier via back-compat, but this time presented with highly convincing, perceptibly real HDR.
The key point is that this is proposed as a system-level feature for Xbox Series X, which should apply to all compatible games that don’t have their own bespoke HDR modes – and as Marais demonstrated, it extends across the entire Xbox library.”
The Xbox Series X will also have Smart Delivery, which will allow you to take certain Xbox One games with you onto the new console at no extra cost and play the ‘Optimized for Xbox Series X‘ version with ease.
READ MORE: Xbox Series X vs PS5 controller comparison
Xbox Series X accessibility
It’s not just gaming for the masses that is getting a boost though. Microsoft seem keen to build upon things that can appeal to everyone, regardless of disability, so let’s look at accessibility.
If you have people that cannot read well or see well, you probably want to enhance contrast when there’s a lot of text on-screen. We can easily do that. We talked to someone that’s colourblind this morning and that’s a great example.
We just switch on the LUT and we can change colours for them to more easily experience the announcement there.
All of this combines to make for a truly incredible level of potential for the next generation of Microsoft consoles.