Xbox Live’s biggest criticism is that it not only requires a premium subscription in order to enjoy online games, but also to enjoy video streaming services that users already pay for in many circumstances.
Netflix, Hulu and even YouTube are all currently hidden behind Xbox Live’s Gold subscription paywall. That will soon change however, today Microsoft announced that, in addition to releasing cheaper Kinect-less hardware, it would be dropping the Gold subscription requirement for video streaming services, something Sony’s PlayStation Network has been doing since its inception.
The change to the pricing plan is obviously a welcome one for consumers and will come sometime in June after the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3). The price change will affect both Xbox 360 and Xbox One users.
Xbox Live is broken down into two customer bases. Gold, which costs between $5 and $10 a month is required to play games online and until the new pricing structure takes place, watch the most popular video services. Silver members were allowed to access other Xbox Live services, like buying Xbox Live Arcade games, earning achievements and accessing leaderboards, but were not able to access the more popular features.
In order to encourage people to stick with or upgrade to Gold, Microsoft is also bringing back the Gold for Games program. Every month, members will get access to two free Xbox 360 games, as well as heavy discounts on Xbox One and other Xbox 360 games.