Microsoft Xbox had always a problem, without an Xbox Live Gold membership console owners are locked down to access media streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, even though users are already paying a subscription fee every month for those services. But now things seem to be changing, Ars Technica reports that Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners will soon no be require to have a Gold subscription to access Netflix, Hulu, and many other streaming services apps.
According to the report Microsoft could lift restriction starting next month by E3 time. Even though this is a great news for many users, Ars Technica also says that the company could be thinking on putting other services behind the paywall to level the shift, but it’s not clear which ones or if the company will announce new services, which will require an Xbox Live Gold subscription.
The change only makes sense as rivals, such as Sony and Nintendo have never asked for a fee to access streaming apps. And knowing that popular streaming media devices like Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV don’t either ask for a subscription is putting even more pressure to Microsoft to make the shift.
Update: Microsoft confirms at Xbox Wire that indeed the company is removing the Xbox Live Gold requirement to use some of the apps on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The requirement will be lifted in June and Xbox owners will be able to access many apps including: 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.
Below there is a poster with all the changes coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360 in June: