If you’re like me, you’ve been stifled in the past by Microsoft’s need to hold everything behind the large paywall that is Xbox Live. Even the free apps like YouTube and Dailymotion are at the mercy of a damn Xbox Live Gold requirement, something that really relegated my console to the back of the line.
The good news is that this might be changing very soon. The bad news is that it is probably too little, too late. From Ars Technica:
According to our sources, Xbox 360 and Xbox One users will soon no longer need a paid subscription to Xbox Live Gold to access Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming media apps.
Additionally, we’ve been told that Xbox Live Gold may put other services behind the paywall to make up for this shift, though those sources could not confirm whether that includes existing services or if that only includes upcoming content like TV series from Xbox Entertainment Studios.
The information has come to light thanks to ongoing discussions about the company’s announcements at June’s E3 games expo. At this point, it’s important to note nothing is official, and Microsoft may change its mind before the company’s June 9 keynote. Either way, we’ve been told that the possible change in policy is directly linked to a changing of the Xbox guard after Don Mattrick left the company to become Zynga’s CEO.
The only reason I ever fired up the Xbox when I paid for Xbox Live was to use HBO Go. Everything else could be done on the computer or PS3 for free or with your normal subscription to Netflix or Hulu. Having to pay double to use a service always seemed a bit counter-intuitive.
It would make more sense for Microsoft to protect their Xbox Entertainment properties anyway, promoting them as some upper tier that you’d need to pay to receive. But at the same time, they might be shooting themselves in the foot by this change of stance now. Why was it ever the option? How is this supposed to win back folks like myself?