Microsoft has announced the latest Xbox Live Games With Gold titles for January 2023 which can be downloaded by Xbox Live Gold subscribers as well as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. And, in keeping with the last couple of months, the service is offering just two games.
The two games? The first is Iris Fall, which is a stylistic and dark puzzle-driven adventure game by developer Next Studio, where players must solve puzzles to help Iris make her way through the monochromatic Alice in Wonderland-style world. Iris Fall will be available from January 1 through to January 31.
The second game being offered to Xbox Live Gold members is Autonauts, an adorable-looking world sim where players take a barebones planet and turn its fortunes around with blocky little automatons. Autonauts will be available from January 16 through to February 15. And... that's your lot.
Ever since October 2022, Microsoft has dropped the Xbox Live Games With Gold game count from four down to just two games per month. In the announcement for the changes to Xbox Live Games With Gold, Microsoft stated that it had "reached the limit" of its ability to bring more Xbox 360 games to the service. So, from here on out, it's just two games per month, and by the looks of the response on social media, players aren't happy with what has been offered up over the last couple of months. It's hard to imagine fans being thrilled about January, either, especially when compared to what players on PS5 and PS4 will be getting this January as part of their basic PlayStation Plus subscription package, which includes Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Fallout 76, and Axiom Verge 2.
If anything, the recent offerings as part of the Xbox Live Games With Gold package serve as a reminder that there is a far better value subscription service available to Xbox players: Xbox Game Pass, or its meatier package, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes Xbox Live Gold's limited perks as well as access to hundreds of games. The lowest tier of Xbox Game Pass doesn't cost much more than a regular Xbox Live Gold subscription, and it comes with the added benefit of numerous new games each month as well as first-party releases hitting the service on day one. For budget-conscious players, it might be worth keeping an eye out for a possible cheaper Xbox Game Pass subscription tier which is rumored to be in the works at Microsoft.
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