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Microsoft changes course: Xbox Live Gold price to remain unchanged

In a stunning move, Microsoft has doubled the cost of Xbox Live Gold in a move that pushes players to the Game Pass Subscription.

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Playstation plus warzone

UPDATE: Following extensive backlash from fans and personalities alike, Microsoft has announced that they are pulling a 360: the Xbox Live Gold Price will not be changed going forward.

In an upeate on the Xbox Wire, the company says “we messed up today and you were right to let us know.”

Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day. As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing.

If you are an Xbox Live Gold member already, you stay at your current price for renewal. New and existing members can continue to enjoy Xbox Live Gold for the same prices they pay today. In the US, $9.99 for 1-month, $24.99 for 3-months, $39.99 for 6-months and $59.99 for retail 12-months.

Taking it a step further, the company also announced that they will be removing the Xbox Live Gold requirement to play free to play games on their platform, including Call of Duty: Warzone. This change will happen in the “coming months” and details will be announced soon.

We’re turning this moment into an opportunity to bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience. For free-to-play games, you will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months.

Original Story:

Microsoft has doubled the price of the Xbox Live Gold Subscription in an effort to get players to switch to an Xbox Game Pass Subscription.

In the XboxOne subreddit, users earlier today posted images of retail 6 month Xbox Live Gold subscription cards. The cards were priced at 59.99 USD; up $20 from the original $40 price tag. For reference, an entire year of Xbox Live used to be $59.99, before Microsoft discontinued yearly subscriptions.

This also affects 3-month and 1-month subscriptions as well, putting the $9.99 and $24.99 subscription plans up to $10.99 and $29.99 respectively. The price rise reflects a $1 increase for a month to month subscription and a $4 increase for a 3-month subscription.

This means if you plan to buy Xbox Live Gold for a year, your subscription will come out to $120, or double the old price. The move is clearly a marketing ploy by Microsoft to get players to change to Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which is priced at the same $120 yearly rate.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate currently includes Xbox Live Gold Subscription, along with access for PC Game Pass.

Xbox Series X and PS5

Microsoft: Game Pass, or bust

Microsoft’s Game Pass is, without a doubt, one of the best deals in gaming. For the price of two fully priced games, players can get access to a large library of 100+ games to play on demand. This library is constantly updated with games, while also receiving all first-party Xbox games the day of release.

This means games like Halo and Gears of War are available to all Game Pass users for no additional charge day-one of release – alongside any other games that come from Microsoft owned studios.

This will also most likely be the case for Bethesda games moving forward, since Microsoft’s pricy acquisition of the studio in September 2020.

Regardless of all the benefits, Microsoft will most likely anger consumers with this move. Game Pass is essentially being forced on all Xbox users, and now the Xbox Live Gold subscription price has also been steeply raised to make it unattractive when compared to game pass.

Worst of all, Xbox is still the only platform that requires a subscription to play free-to-play titles online, which means players who strictly play titles like Fortnite, may reconsider their options when selecting a new game system.

This price hike shouldn’t affect existing Xbox Live Gold members until they renew their membership.

Image Credits: Microsoft

Call of Duty: Mobile

Backbone introduces new PlayStation-themed mobile gaming controller

Backbone debuts a new PlayStation 5-themed mobile gaming controller to play your iPhone games on the go with controller support.

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Backbone is extending their partnership with PlayStation to debut an PlayStation 5 DualSense themed version of the company’s popular mobile iPhone gaming controller.

Backbone announced the new controller as part of their extended licensing partnership with Sony PlayStation to include PlayStation buttons, colors, and logos on the controller. The new product is called the Backbone One – PlayStation® Edition and available at Backbone’s site.

Backbone has worked with PlayStation to support Remote Play through their mobile controllers, allowing players to play PlayStation titles on the go with a controller in hand. The Backbone One controller is available currently for iPhone only with an Android version expected this fall.

Backbone One Features

The new controller is built to fit right in with the PlayStation design and features it’s own app on iPhone to setup and download a variety of games.

The controller is highlighted with three key features for the product:

  • An exquisite design: The elegant colors, materials, and finishes are all inspired by the design of the PS5 console’s DualSense wireless controller, including transparent face buttons and a visually distinctive floating appearance. 
  • Purpose-built for PS Remote Play: The latest version of PS Remote Play even lets you wake your PS4 or PS5 remotely, so you can play PlayStation games anywhere. The Backbone app will also feature special integrations with the PlayStation and PS Remote Play app that make the experience even more special, like a dedicated row with new releases and updates from PlayStation and the ability to automatically deep link you into the PlayStation app to install it onto your console remotely so you can play it later via PS Remote Play.
  • An reimagined app: The biggest update to the app to date, the Backbone app will now allow users to navigate the Backbone app without the device connected via touch screen. Now it’s easier than ever to discover new games, watch highlights, or connect with friends. As soon as you’re ready to hit play again, simply connect your Backbone device and the app will automatically transition you back from Standalone Mode to Controller Mode.

Backbone One First Thoughts

Backbone sent a review unit for us to checkout, and we tested it out first with Call of Duty: Mobile. The controller is very easy to use, set up, and start playing. Players have to download the Backbone app on their iPhone to pair the controller and start playing.

And since Call of Duty: Mobile supports controllers, it worked great with the Backbone device. Call of Duty: Mobile brings the best of Call of Duty on the go, with recent numbers saying the title has over 500 million downloads.

Using a controller makes the action feel even better and helps bring the experience to that of the console versions of the game.

You can play a variety of mobile games with the controller, so long as said-game as mobile controllers support. You can also play PlayStation Remote Play, letting you access some of your favorite PlayStation titles on the go (with good internet connection), and even play Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming titles with this controller, including Fortnite on the web.

The controller overall feels great, sturdy, and easy to hold – even when using with an iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The joystick feels stable while traversing intense games, and the buttons have very similar feel to that of the PS5 Dualsense controller.

We look forward to using the controller more with other titles, even with PlayStation remote play on Call of Duty games, and later on when Warzone Mobile releases.

Learn more about Backbone products at Backbone’s site.

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Consoles

How to use Discord Voice chat on Xbox: Account linking & platforms

Discord Voice has finally arrived on Xbox, so here’s how to link your accounts and chat across console and PC.

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Discord and Xbox logos

Discord voice chat has finally arrived on Xbox, allowing PC and console players to chat together while cross-platform gaming. Here’s how the voice chat integration works across Discord and Xbox, and how to link your accounts.

Cross-platform gaming has become the norm, allowing PlayStation, Xbox, and PC players to join up and play together, no matter the platform. The only issue with this is that cross-platform gamers are often forced to use game chat, which can come with a number of issues.

Discord has become one of the most popular ways for PC players to meet up and chat with each other, and console players have been desperate to chat using Discord. Xbox players are in luck, as Microsoft has announced that Discord Voice chat has come to Xbox consoles.

You’ll need to link your Discord account with Xbox to start chatting, so here’s how to link accounts and use Discord Voice on Xbox.

how to link xbox account with discord

As confirmed by Microsoft on July 20, Discord Voice has arrived on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles, with Xbox Insiders getting the update first. Then, the update will be available to everyone else “soon.”

You’ll need to link your Xbox account with Discord to chat, so here’s how:

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller
  2. Head to Parties & Chats
  3. Click on Try Discord Voice on Xbox
  4. Scan the QR code on the screen, which will take you to the Xbox and Discord apps
  5. Follow the instructions to link your Discord and Xbox accounts
    • If you’ve already linked Xbox and Discord, you’ll have to re-link it
discord voice chat on xbox console

How to use Discord Voice on Xbox

Once your account’s linked, you’ll need to use the Discord and Xbox apps to transfer your voice chats from Discord to your Xbox console.

Here’s how to use Discord Voice on Xbox:

  1. Ensure you have both the Xbox and Discord mobile apps installed on your phone
  2. Use the Discord mobile app to join a channel like usual
  3. Hit the Join on Xbox button
  4. This will then launch the Xbox app, which will transfer your voice chat from Discord to your Xbox

Once connected, you’ll be able to see everyone who’s in the call and speaking, and “you’ll also be able to adjust the sound, and switch between Discord Voice and Xbox game chat.”


Discord also has a partnership with Sony and allows PlayStation players to show their gaming status on Discord, and players are desperate to Discord Voice chat as well.

Image Credit: Xbox / Discord

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Is Sniper Elite 5 on Xbox Game Pass?

Rebellion Developments’ tactical shooter Sniper Elite 5 is now available to play, but is the game on Xbox Game Pass?

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Sniper Elite 5 Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s subscription service that offers a massive library of games to play, and you may be wondering if Sniper Elite 5 is available after its May 26 release.

Sniper Elite 5 is the follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed Sniper Elite 4 and players are eager to see the result of Rebellion Developments’ hard work. The third-person shooter boasts an excellent campaign that can be played cooperatively with another player, alongside other exciting modes that keep the game feeling fresh.

Sniper Release 5 is available to play as of May 26, but players are wondering if the new game can be found on Xbox Game Pass.

Is Sniper Elite 5 on Xbox Game Pass?

Sniper Elite 5 key art

Sniper Elite 5 is available on Xbox Game Pass. Those with the Microsoft subscription service can enjoy the brand-new title for free thanks to the library of games offered to subscribers.

Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC can take control of Karl Fairburne as he attempts to thwart evil WW2 plots. Early indications suggest that this iteration of the franchise is a game you won’t want to miss and with Xbox Game Pass, it is as accessible as ever.

How to play Sniper Elite 5 with Xbox Game Pass

You can give Sniper Elite 5 a try by downloading it from the Xbox Game Pass library. Not only is Sniper Elite 5 available on Xbox Game Pass, but it is available for download as of day one of release on May 26.

If you’ve never played a Sniper Elite game, Xbox Game Pass offers the perfect opportunity to test out the franchise for free. Simply download the game and find out if it’s to your liking.


For more Xbox news, check out if Call of Duty games will be added to Xbox Game Pass?

Image Credits: Rebellion Developments / Microsoft

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