Microsoft today announced that it will finally step back from one of the most egregious price gouging experiences in personal technology: It will no longer require an Xbox Live Gold subscription to enjoy entertainment apps—Netflix, Hulu Plus, and the like—on its Xbox consoles.
I have been calling for Microsoft to stop the penny-pinching for years. And while I am absolutely positive I had no impact on this decision in the slightest, I couldn't be happier that this has finally happened. That said, what took so freaking long?
"Coming in June, anyone with an Xbox will be able to access popular entertainment experiences – whether or not you have an Xbox Live Gold membership," the firm revealed in a statement today. "This includes great gaming apps like Machinima, Twitch and Upload, popular video services like Netflix, Univision Deportes, GoPro, Red Bull TV and HBO GO, sports experiences like the NFL app for Xbox One, MLB.TV, NBA Game Time, NHL Game Center and more. Microsoft experiences including Internet Explorer, Skype, OneDrive and OneGuide will also be available to all Xbox customers."
To be clear, this change impacts both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Additionally, Microsoft revealed that it will bring its "Games with Gold" and "Deals with Gold" promotions to the Xbox One starting in June. As the company puts it, "a single [Xbox Live] Gold membership will get you free games and discounts on games and content in the Xbox Store on both Xbox One and Xbox 360.