Reaction: Game Pass Core Marks The End Of Xbox's Most Influential Product

Today is a pretty big day in the history of Xbox, folks. While the announcement of Xbox Game Pass Core in itself doesn't seem like a monumental move, the realisation that Xbox Live Gold will basically be gone in two months is starting hit us like a well-placed plasma grenade in a packed matchup of Halo 2.

That's right, when the brand-new Xbox Game Pass 'Core' tier launches in mid-September, one of Xbox's most iconic brands will be confined to the pages of history. In fact, we reckon Xbox Live Gold might be the team's most influential product ever, given how much of the program was copied and borrowed from across the industry in the years since its initial arrival.

Cast your minds back to 2002 when Xbox Live first launched on the original Xbox. Most forms of online gaming were rudimentary at best, especially in the console space. Xbox introduced proper player profiles that worked system-wide, voice communication, a vast library of games that supported online play and a super stable network to tie it all together. Yes, the program also implemented the concept of paid online gaming, but the product was worth it at the time and for many years that followed.

Speaking of which, the Xbox 360 era was when the feature really started to take off. Achievements were introduced, the new 360 Dashboard was much better suited to a growing online network, and the program was built upon throughout the entire generation with features like Games with Gold, cross-game party chat and more. That's not to mention how bloody good fun some of those early 360 multiplayer titles were; Gears of War, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4 - the list goes on.

The Xbox One era wasn't quite as successful for Gold, especially when Microsoft began rolling out another service in Xbox Game Pass, but the feature was still the backbone of online play for the entire generation, and we got lots of good Games with Gold titles in those early Xbox One years as well.

Now, we know that the feature isn't really going away — it's just being rebranded and folded into Xbox Game Pass — but that doesn't stop the fact that Microsoft is ditching one of its most iconic Xbox brands. Sure, the service's reputation has gone downhill as Games with Gold's quality continued to drop and the rise of Xbox Game Pass grew, but even just looking at that logo up there at the top is hitting us in the feels. Xbox Live Gold holds so many memories and we'll certainly miss it!

Onwards and upwards though, eh? We're definitely happy with where Xbox Game Pass is going, and in time, we'll get used to these new subscription tiers. In the meantime though, let's pour one out for Xbox Live Gold - perhaps the platform's most influential product.

Any OG Gears 1 fans in the chat? Drop your very favourite Xbox Live Gold memories down below!