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What just happened? It seems Microsoft hasn't finished killing off some of its most familiar products. Not only has the company just discontinued two of its consoles, it's also phased out the 12-month option for Xbox Live Gold subscriptions.
"At this time, Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online Store. Customers can still sign up for a one month or three month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store."
The move comes soon after Microsoft announced it was discontinuing the Xbox One X and Xbox One S All-Digital Edition.
Exactly why Microsoft is killing off the 12-month Xbox Live Gold SKU wasn't revealed, but it's likely an attempt to push people toward its successful Xbox Game Pass service, which already comes with an 'Ultimate' option that includes all the features of Xbox Live Gold. Additionally, we recently heard that Microsoft's Project xCloud game streaming service will launch in September and is included free with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
With the upcoming arrival of the new Xbox Series X line, it seems Microsoft is starting to overhaul its services, and could eventually eliminate the Xbox Live Gold brand, merging its functions with Xbox Game Pass. Or perhaps a new online subscription service will arrive with the Xbox Series X. We'll just have to wait and see.
Image credit: Tom Whitehead