There’s a very strong possibility that Microsoft may be removing the need to have a paid subscription to XBOX Live Gold in order to have access to Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services that it provides.
This is all according to a report on Ars Technica, which states:
“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.”
Though Microsoft has yet to officially confirm or deny this story, it would appear that this information was unearthed from discussions regarding the company’s potential announcements at this year’s E3. The report also states that this shift in gears may have been directly linked to “a changing of the Xbox guard after Don Mattrick left the company to become Zynga’s CEO.”
Whether this is true or not, removing the need to have a monthly subscription would definitely be a good move on Microsoft’s part, considering that Sony has never required users to be PlayStation Plus members in order to gain access to streaming applications. This would definitely help to even the playing field in the ongoing ‘console war’ between the XBOX One and the PS4.
We’ll keep you updated once Microsoft has made an official response to these rumours.
UPDATE: There’s been an official announcement on the XBOX website, stating that “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.”