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.