Change has come to the Xbox Live experience, and now fans no longer need two subscriptions to watch Netflix.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer recently published an announcement concerning upcoming changes to Xbox Live Gold. The popular Games with Gold and Deals with Gold promotions will finally include the Xbox One (Spencer, 2014). In the months leading up to the release of the Xbox One, a selection of Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade games including Dead Rising 2, Dungeon Defenders, and recently Dust: An Elysian Tail were made available to Gold members for free. The build up to the launch of the Xbox One also saw weekly deals on Arcade and On Demand games and DLC. The upcoming change to the Xbox Live Gold experience will expand both promotions to the Xbox One and inject some much needed energy.
While the Games with Gold and Deals with Gold promotions will certainly please Xbox One fans, the most significant change coming to Xbox Live is not in what is added, but in what is removed. Console owners will no longer be required to purchase a Gold membership in order to use Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming video services (Spencer, 2014). One of the biggest complaints against Xbox Live over the years has been what many users perceived as double dipping on the part of the Microsoft. Not only did Xbox owners have to buy subscriptions for their favorite streaming video services, they also had to maintain a Gold account. While many Xbox fans had no issue with the arrangement since they were already Gold members for the online gaming experience, users more interested in using the consoles for television and movie viewing were turned off. With the Xbox One being marketed as a multimedia entertainment system rather than just a gaming console plus, removing the Gold membership requirement from viewing streaming video might give Xbox One console sales a critical boost. The changes will take effect in June.
Spencer, P. (2014). Delivering more choices for fans. Xbox. Retrieved from http://news.xbox.com/2014/05/xbox-delivering-more-choices