Xbox One to restrict Skype, OneGuide and Game DVR to Xbox Live Gold members

If you want to experience many of the features that Microsoft has in store for the Xbox One console, you had better have a paid Xbox Live Gold subscription ready to go. Microsoft has confirmed several of the console's major features will require Xbox Live Gold access.

In a page on the Xbox.com site, Microsoft has a list of all the Xbox One features that will need an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Besides features like playing multiplayer games and accessing streaming videos apps that are already required for the Xbox 360, Xbox Live Gold members who own the Xbox One will be the only ones to use its Skype chat program, the OneGuide television guide menu, the SmartMatch multiplayer matching service and the Game DVR options that let gamers record, save and upload game footage.

We have been critical of Microsoft in the past for insisting that Xbox 360 owners pay extra, via Xbox Live Gold, to access its many streaming video apps like Netflix and Hulu, when those same apps are available on other game consoles, set top boxes and smart TVs without an extra fee. However, this summer Microsoft started offering some extra value to Xbox Live Gold users by letting them download at least two free pre-selected Xbox 360 downloadable games per month; it's unknown if that same program will be extended to the Xbox One.

Source: Xbox.com via One Hit Pixel | Image via Microsoft

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Wait why do we have to pay for Skype on Xbox when I can access it for free on other devices? Why do I have to pay a sub scription fee to access another subscription based service?


what I think we should all do is vote with out wallets.
If you don't like the way Ms are doing things then don't buy their products.


it was expected but as an american football fanatic i'm curious to see what the nfl on xbox is all about...if it's nfl sunday ticket available on the console i'm sold!

john.smith_2084 said,
always looking for ways to Milk more from the same customers. Microsoft!

If by 'Milk more' you mean "Add extra features to XBL without raising the price" then yeah.

MikeChipshop said,

If by 'Milk more' you mean "Add extra features to XBL without raising the price" then yeah.

Have they even announced the price of Gold for the One?

RangerLG said,

Have they even announced the price of Gold for the One?

Major Nelson announced some time ago that it wouldn't change. If i find the actual link, i'll post it.

Wow, i thought i had come to terms with the whole DRM/backlash and removal, now this?

ugh,this does not instill in me that if i buy an xbox One that i am getting a good deal, after the DRM stuff i was still going to buy a PS4 first, and that hasn't changed, but now i just dont feel like i even want an Xbox One now, if i ever do get one, it will probably be for the sole purpose of playing an exclusive like Halo, but only after the system and game cost drop

If the basic Skype does not work without subscription then I may have to rethink buying it. Wait & watch.

Windows 9 won't let you install or use desktop apps without Xbox Live Gold either, what's the problem with that? /sarcasm

But seriously, you're selling a $500 device that requires a subscription for it to even use most of its features.

You also have to realize that it is not all about features as well, you are also paying for one of the most secure online gaming network out there. Is it 100% secure, no because it is susceptible to social engineering attacks.

That only matters if people are actually buying the console. They will hear about the Netflix/Hulu paywall in the media and say "nah, I'll get a PS4/Apple TV" instead.

CygnusOrion said,
That only matters if people are actually buying the console. They will hear about the Netflix/Hulu paywall in the media and say "nah, I'll get a PS4/Apple TV" instead.

What you said only matters if people are not planning of doing any online gaming with Xbox. Think about it, who would buy a console just to watch Hulu or Netflix and pay 60 a year for it on top of their subscriptions. In fact, people wouldn't even bother paying for a PS4/Apple TV since even cheap DVD or BD players already comes with hulu, Netflix, and others.

RommelS said,

What you said only matters if people are not planning of doing any online gaming with Xbox. Think about it, who would buy a console just to watch Hulu or Netflix and pay 60 a year for it on top of their subscriptions. In fact, people wouldn't even bother paying for a PS4/Apple TV since even cheap DVD or BD players already comes with hulu, Netflix, and others.

or maybe they just want to play single player games!!!! and do the other stuff which in all the other platforms is free. + according to Microsoft they are saying it's an entertainment center which encompasses streaming video + more .
Also why in the world do they include the kineckt and advertise it like the best thing in the world and say and you can use it to video chat too, if you actually have to pay more to actually use it for Skype.

Other than pinning Skype and doing something else, Skype on Xbox One Live allows you to do group video calls.

There will be those crying "Why do you need to have Gold to do this", when what they should be saying is "All this added to Gold without the price rising! Awesome".

Glad the marketing features are all those my $179 laptop has no trouble doing. Oop. forgot the $39 for the Game DVR which provides me total control, not what the console thinks I want recordd.

Unless Microsoft reverse it along with the other things, you only need a single Xbox Live account on a console and everyone on that console will have Gold status on that device. Does anyone know if they reversed that?

What about live gold account sharing? As in they said that if someone in the house is a gold subscriber then the rest of the people using the console get to use a lot of gold only features (hence why they removed the family subscription).

If its the case that one sub is all that's needed for mum and dad to use these features, then this issue takes a big step backwards in my mind. Most Xboxes have at least one subscriber and with the one being more online focused and gaming in general moving more and more into online first this is a none issue for me.

duddit2 said,
...is a none issue for me.

agreed.

However with all the backtracking, I wouldn't be surprised if this gets a rehash before the console launch as well. Serve all those whiners right if you ask me.

deadonthefloor said,

agreed.

However with all the backtracking, I wouldn't be surprised if this gets a rehash before the console launch as well. Serve all those whiners right if you ask me.

Or, just accept that until the console launches, nothing that MS announces is actually final yet.

It's not all bad if the price for XBLG doesn't go up, and includes a Skype premium account, which if purchased alone costs about $30 / year (including Skype number).

Seems MS is happy getting millions willing to pay for every little thing on a monthly basis...makes sense for the way they do business. I had plans to pickup xbox, then DRM, decided on PS4. Now I don't think I'm getting either and most people I know are going back to PC Gaming...it'll be interesting to see how this pans out.

TrekRich said,
One more reason to stick with pc gaming.

We've only had multitasking for like... ever. And to those that really really wanted to do away with discs, there's literally an app for that.

Well, I wonder about folks with paid Skype (by itself or via Office 365)? In light of hardware subsidization, I can understand why they do these things, but its still annoying. After all, if all you do is non-gaming, free stuff on the console, that costs them money, not makes it.

Chikairo said,
.....if all you do is non-gaming, free stuff on the console, that costs them money .....

I know many soccer moms who drive large SUVs and still bitch about the price of gas.

I already pay for Netflix and can't use it on my xbox because I don't want to give Microsoft any money for the privilege of using my xbox. This is no different.

greenwizard88 said,
I already pay for Netflix and can't use it on my xbox because I don't want to give Microsoft any money for the privilege of using my xbox. This is no different.

You'll have to use any other device that supports Netflix. PS3, Roku, Apple TV, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, smart phones, tablets, etc. You can use Netflix on all of those other devices without any fee on top of your subscription.

NeoTrunks said,

You'll have to use any other device that supports Netflix. PS3, Roku, Apple TV, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, smart phones, tablets, etc. You can use Netflix on all of those other devices without any fee on top of your subscription.

I think that's his point too. An especially important point for a console being marketed as an all-in-One solution, no?

IgorP said,
I think that's his point too. An especially important point for a console being marketed as an all-in-One solution, no?

Online gaming is considered the meat and potatoes by the tech teams who build consoles. everything else is gravy.
so, if you don't pay the fee for online gaming first, then his point is certainly valid.

However, if online gaming is part of your core entertainment experience, you will be paying on either next-gen platform from MS / Sony, and the balance then tips in MS favour as the all-in-one entertainment solution.

IgorP said,

I think that's his point too. An especially important point for a console being marketed as an all-in-One solution, no?

Which is a good and valid point. I think that Sony playing catch-up and trying to one-up MS helped out. They also really want you to buy their stuff, such as smart TVs and BluRay players that stream. Nintendo doesn't subsidize hardware, so I dont think they care. I was hoping that this generation would pressure MS to change things, but it seems not.

In a weird way, though, this does keep the computer, desktop or laptop, more relevant. Also Windows tablets. All of which aren't subsidized, and that's good for MS and their business partners, arguably.

I'd like to see them try to add more long-term value to Live. The current games promotion is a good one. Of course, it might be they're quite happy with their numbers, too.

deadonthefloor said,

I know many soccer moms who drive large SUVs and still bitch about the price of gas.

Soccer moms don't have stockholders to please

I don't think the guide is exclusively for XBLG members,it might just have more options. If you hover over the little + on the xbox page,it just says those with gold can have a customized view of whats on tv,and can see whats trending in the xbl community.

Ambroos said,
Even Internet Explorer requires a Live subscription? Wow... They really want to push people.

It always did

I could say this is a big deal, but it's too easy to get reasonable discounts on 12 month cards these days. If you can pay for the box, Live is dirt cheap and worth the investment. In a way it's like buying a Roku box and complaining that Netflix should be free.

The thing is, I know many people who don't game a lot (barely, or if any at all) and still own a console. They all have a PS3, and only because the non-mandatory monthly fee.
They just want to watch a movie, stream TV (Netflix/hulu etc), play some music and once in a blue moon play a game.
I can understand Sony's reason for PSN+ requirement on PS4 for online gaming, but it might put off many people to get one as they'll stick with a PS3.

There you have it, get the PS3/PS4 problem solved. Nokia provides Nokia apps under WP8 that others don't get, if you want those apps, buy that phone. If you don't want to play for live, then buy something else. I don't know why people are complaining, simply take your business elsewhere and pipe down. Tired of hearing all the whining on the internet.

I guess in some families everyone got a present on their siblings birthdays, that way if one person was getting something for free, they all got it. Now look what it has done, all of their kids now think that because Sony is doing something, Microsoft is supposed to do it too.

virtualmadden said,
I could say this is a big deal, but it's too easy to get reasonable discounts on 12 month cards these days. If you can pay for the box, Live is dirt cheap and worth the investment. In a way it's like buying a Roku box and complaining that Netflix should be free.

no it would be more like Roku asking for a subscription to be able to use it.

but i know what you are saying about being a great investment specially for the greatest feature of all " all the gazillion ads they show you " you know it takes a lot of servers to show you that many of them /s

Superboy said,

no it would be more like Roku asking for a subscription to be able to use it.

Problem with that analogy is that roku is a one dimensional product, whereas xbox live offers many services besides Netflix, or Skype. While people are singling out specific features, the are also ignoring others. They mention things that you also get on PS3 that are free, but they are not mentioning things that you "don't" get on PS3. (like a super rich and interactive multiplayer/online gaming experience. Perhaps that's why Sony is now charging for that, because they know they suck at it and they need to beef it up.) I have both consoles and online gaming on the PS3 seems empty in terms of community and interaction with your party. I've played in groups where there was no communication because it seem as if no one had headsets.

Just saying.

But, the way I see the entire thing is, if you don't like something, rather then bitch about it constantly, Say your piece once, pass on it, and keep it moving.

XBox 360 doesn't have Unrivaled multiplayer gaming. It has Unrivaled console multiplayer gaming. Also the Exclusive deals and special offers should read USA only exclusive deals and special offers.

I don't know where you live, but here in Australia, I get weekly specials on games that is exclusive to Gold members, I believe this is what its talking about.


There was never a moment where I ever thought free Skype Premium on Xbox/PC/Mac wasn't going to require a Gold sub. Not even sure how that could be possible since anyone could make a silver account even if they don't own an Xbox.

BajiRav said,
and I was wondering how Microsoft was giving away Skype premium for free. Looks like they are not.

PS4 here I come. Tired of Microsoft's bull**** and their devious marketing / business practices. Good thing I haven't invested much in a toxic ecosystem like MSFTs, I have a 360 and I buy live only when I wanna play halo 4 or when a new cod comes out (usually 3 month gold card), other than that when I turn it on to do anything else (netflix, etc well all for gold only). Good thing PS4 won't have these retarded restrictions like need to pay $60 year to access the web from the xbox.

They've been shunned by the internet twice already on the New Xbox, oh well another company that's plotting its own doom.