Expanded Xbox Game Pass, E3 2019 plans and Gears of War esports: Here's what Microsoft announced during last night's Inside Xbox stream

Expanded Xbox Game Pass, E3 2019 plans and Gears of War esports: Here's what Microsoft announced during last night's Inside Xbox stream

Xbox Game Pass has been expanded to include Xbox Live Gold features.

Revealed during Microsoft's Inside Xbox stream, this new product - Xbox Game Pass Ultimate - costs $14.99 each month and grants access to the Big M's online features as well as the 100-plus titles that are part of the firm's subscription service.

"Your feedback directly contributes to the evolution of Xbox Game Pass – thank you for taking the time to help us continually improve the service," head of gaming services Ben Decker wrote on Xbox Wire.

"A top request you have shared from day one is to provide an option to get Xbox Game Pass and the most advanced multiplayer network, Xbox Live Gold, in a single membership."

Xbox boss Phil Spencer took part in the stream, too, saying that the studios that the Big M splashed out for last year will be on-stage at 2019's E3, part of the newly-rebranded Xbox Game Studios.

Obsidian Entertainment, purchased in November 2018, was called out, with the exec saying that The Outer Worlds - published by Take-Two's Private Division - would be on-stage.

“Our new studios are gonna have things to show, which is gonna be awesome," he said.

"Some new things that nobody has seen before.”

The top exec also said that it'll be a while before the new studios are working to the same cadence as Microsoft's other developers.

“It’ll take years to really have them fully integrated in and delivering the same way all of the teams do," he said, "because different teams are at different parts of their development cycle, but I think it’s gonna be really interesting to have those teams showing up this year, and starting to show what they’re building for us."

Microsoft is also teaming up with ELeague for Gears of War esports. The ELeague Gears Summer Series: The Bonds and Betrayals of Brotherhood is a six-part competition which kicks off on Friday June 14th. That's the week of E3, incidentally.

Oh and the Big M announced an 'All Digital' Xbox One S which comes without a disk drive. This is likely a hint at the firm's streaming future - but that's just speculation on our part.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.