Xbox apps such as Netflix to be freed from Gold membership in June

The rumors first hit the Internet last night, and now Microsoft has made it official. Starting in June, most of the streaming media apps for the company's Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles will no longer require a separate Xbox Live Gold subscription to access.

The announcement means that owners of both consoles will be able to watch videos on Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go and many more and only have to pay the subscription price for each service, if needed. Microsoft has been criticized in the past for forcing Xbox console owners to pay the additional Xbox Live Gold price to access these kinds of apps, when other consoles like Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Wii and Wii U have no such extra fee to access their streaming video apps.

In addition, Microsoft will also allow Xbox One owners to use other features without a Xbox Live Gold membership for the first time in June, such as Skype, Internet Explorer. OneDrive, and OneGuide. The company has released an infographic that details what will be available for free and what will require Xbox Live Gold for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles starting in June.

Source: Xbox Wire | Image via Microsoft - Click for larger image

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27 Comments

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considering xbox is part of the ms ecosystem and runs a windows os, I'm stunned at how few apps there are.

Better late than never I guess, but at this point I think most people have Smart TVs, media boxes like the WDTV or Roku, etc. They would have been in a much better position as a home media center if they hadn't been so stupidly greedy in the very beginning when Netflix first appeared.

I was expecting these changes, once they started adding more gaming related benefits to Gold the need to keep the media apps behind it isn't needed, people will get a gold sub now so they can get free games and access to the sales/discounts and whatever else they add to gold from now on (I'm expecting game sharing to come back in time for example).

This also opens the way for them to sell a even cheaper Xbox Media box, heck, call it the Xbox Media Center, yeah that's right, without Kinect and a BD drive, and an overall smaller box for $149-$199 to start (people still have the option to download AAA games from the store), and things get really interesting.

I realised the other day that the YouTube app was available on my 360 without a gold subscription (when I last tried in Jan/Feb it needed gold). When did that happen?

neonspark said,
you know what this is called? eating crow. MSFT you asked for it.

Haha, that's so funny. MS can't win with some of you guys. Before they were being jerks for selling XB1 with Kinect and have a pay wall. Now that they have addressed your complaints, now they are eating crow...SMH.

I guess you can't please everyone. Some people can NEVER be pleased.

uxo22 said,

Haha, that's so funny. MS can't win with some of you guys. Before they were being jerks for selling XB1 with Kinect and have a pay wall. Now that they have addressed your complaints, now they are eating crow...SMH.

I guess you can't please everyone. Some people can NEVER be pleased.

Some people use the internet for B***hing and doesnt matter if it flies in the face of what they already said.

Little too late for me. My Xbox got replaced by a Chromecast for streaming services.
MS dropped the ball on this a long time ago.

Not true. The Xbox 360 didn't sell that well originally and look how well it sold up until now. Game systems / Entertainment systems are a different ball game than say phones and other devices as they last longer and have more value. It may be 'late' for you, but it's never too late to their customer base.

Why would you replace it with a Chromecast of all things? Some TVs already have these services built in. No need for an additional marketing dongle to plug in.

Enron said,
Why would you replace it with a Chromecast of all things? Some TVs already have these services built in. No need for an additional marketing dongle to plug in.

He indicated for streaming only and many of us do not have a Smart TV. I'm one of them.

neonspark said,
"My Xbox got replaced by a Chromecast "

HA HA HA. my car got replaced by a bike.

Maybe you missed the part where he said "for streaming services" You pay $35 for Chromecast and can stream a ton of things to it...more and more each day. Much cheaper and a better option for those who do not have a smart TV than an XBOX.

Indeed. Most excellent news. Microsoft's new Xbox boss seems to be fixing all the negatives (with the exception of the power difference, which hopefully DX12 will level) with the console, which will hopefully put it on a even keel with the PS4.

DX12 is just getting closer to the metal/using better multi threading. Why does every one out there think that Sony can't do the same with the PS4?

DX12 and drivers is just software, the only fixed thing in the consoles is the hardware while software breakthroughs can be done by both sides till each console's EOL.