Xbox Games with Gold is about to get much better. Or much worse, depending on how much you like Xbox 360 games.
Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles are backwards compatible with older Xbox games. As such, users with an Xbox Live Gold subscription can download Xbox 360 games every month as part of the Games with Gold monthly schedule.
But that is about to change. A user on the r/Games subreddit posted an official email from Microsoft (opens in new tab) which confirms that Games with Gold support for Xbox 360 ends in October.
The email states that Xbox Live Gold users (or those who get its benefits as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription tier) will no longer see Xbox 360 games on the monthly service starting October 1. limit our ability to bring Xbox 360 games into the catalog.”
It’s not all bad news, however. In the same email, Microsoft confirmed that Games with Gold will continue to run. Although with more Xbox One games to replace the 360 omissions.
Also, on October 1st, you will not lose access to any Xbox 360 games downloaded via Games with Gold. If you’ve downloaded them once, they’re yours forever.
The Games with Gold arm shot needed?
Xbox’s Games with Gold has been a controversial service for some time now. Many felt that the monthly offerings are severely lacking compared to the vast and evolving library offered by Xbox Game Pass. Not to mention those offered on rival subscriptions like PS Plus and Nintendo Switch Online.
Microsoft’s comment about reaching the Xbox 360 games limit is also valid. Last year, the tech giant added more than 70 titles via backwards compatibility. And even back then, the company was adamant about this being the extent of its efforts.
I think removing Xbox 360 games from Games with Gold is best. While many great 360 games have appeared on the service, their presence has the unfortunate effect of making it look a little dated. Swapping out older games for newer Xbox One titles should help modernize Games with Gold, at least a little.
Ultimately, Games with Gold is still somewhat anomalous among the various Xbox subscription tiers. Xbox Game Pass achieves the same goal of providing downloadable games on a regular basis, and many of them are day one releases.
Games with Gold looks like a relic in comparison. So much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if the service eventually fully absorbed into the Xbox Game Pass ecosystem at some point.