In what some would consider a long overdue update to the Xbox Live application terms, Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will no longer be required for many video and application services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO.
In a huge update on Xbox.com, Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed plans to update the Games with Gold program, Xbox One skus at a new price point, and that users can enjoy streaming content without needing an additional subscription or membership. According to a large infographic on the update, users can expect the June update to allow non-Gold members to enjoy the following;
- Entertainment Apps (Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO)
- Sports Apps (ESPN, NBA, MLB, NHL, UFC, NFL)
- Gaming Apps (Machinima, Twitch, IGN, MLG)
- Internet Explorer
- Xbox Video
- Xbox Music
- Cloud Game Saves (Require Xbox Live Gold on Xbox 360)
- Game DVR
- Upload Studio
- Twitch Broadcasting
A quick search would reveal that the issues addressed in this update are not only prevelant but have been burning questions for consumers for a long time. Comparitively Sony has never required their Playstation Plus in order to use apps like Netflix or Hulu Plus.
With the combination of moves made by the Xbox team announced today, it is clear to see that new head Phil Spencer will not sit idly by and let Sony run away with sales going in to the Fall. These moves represent a move to make the purchasing decision more difficult for many, but breathe new life in to the console competition space. The moves also reflect the benefit of competition and motivation to consumers, as no doubt the moves are coming from the success and exposure of that success the Playstation 4 is seeing. The Xbox One cannot be seen as performing poorly however, still putting over 5 million units out to retailers according to the latest available figures.