Today, Microsoft announced that it's increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold in a big way. The price of a one-month subscription is increasing by $1 to $10.99, and price of a three-month membership is increasing by $5 to $29.99, and a six-month membership is now $59.99.
Indeed, $59.99 is the same price that a year of the service used to cost, and for now, you can still get that on Amazon and at other retailers. You'll want to jump on that now though. You can also keep renewing your existing subscription for the same price as before if you have a six-month or annual subscription already.
Naturally, Microsoft wants gamers to switch to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which was originally meant to combine Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, and has since added Xbox game streaming and Xbox Game Pass for PC to the value proposition. The company is still offering a deal where it will convert your Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for no charge, up to three years. That means that if you have a year left on your Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can turn that into a year of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (yes, that even works if you buy that one-year subscription linked to above right now).
Microsoft says that in many markets, the price of Xbox Live Gold hasn't changed in years, and in some, over a decade. Indeed, in the United States, the service has been $59.99 a year for quite some time. Many have speculated that Xbox Live Gold might go away at some point in favor of Game Pass, and this price hike might be another step toward that.
Editor's note: We've added a note indicating that it's still possible to renew existing six-month or 12-month subscriptions at the previous price. We apologize for this oversight.
UPDATE: Microsoft has backpedaled on the decision to hike the Gold price.