UPDATE: Microsoft has since confirmed that they have removed the paywall for such entertainment apps. Story here.
ORIGINAL: Ars Technica is reporting that Microsoft is finally planning to allow Xbox One and Xbox 360 users to use Netflix, Hulu and similar video streaming apps without the need for a subscription to Xbox Live Gold.
It wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see this announced at E3. Pressure has been building for Microsoft to remove the requirement of its Xbox Live Gold Subscription service for apps you can either use for free or already pay a separate subscription fee for such as Hulu and Netflix. Virtually every other device you can use those apps on lets you do so for free.
Ars Technica also notes that if this happens, Microsoft may try to make up for it by making other content inaccessible without a Xbox Live Gold subscription such as their upcoming slate of original programming. Nothing is confirmed here though, and Ars Technica even points out that Microsoft could change their mind and nothing is official yet.
What do you think, GameSided readers? Is an overhaul of what exactly you pay for with Xbox Live Gold long overdue? Would you still pay for Gold if it wasn’t required for the streaming services? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Oddly enough, this would make me much more likely to keep renewing my Xbox Live Gold subscription. Putting things behind paywalls I can get on everything, from my PlayStation 4 to my phone for free, makes me feel bitter and resentful about the service. Original content I can’t get anywhere else makes me feel like the service provides something valuable to me. Hopefully, Microsoft starts E3 off with a good vibe by finally removing the paywall for the streaming services everyone else gives us for free.