Xbox Live Offers Free Entertainment App Weekend

Xbox Live Offers Free Entertainment App Weekend

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Enjoy free Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLBTV and more this weekend on Xbox.

Having never experienced it before Mass Effect 3 came out, I can tell you firsthand that Xbox Live Gold is a thing of beauty. In addition to the ability to play online, Gold subscribers can access a ton of media content, from movies on Netflix to funny cat videos on YouTube. While you'd usually need a Gold membership and a subscription to these services, Microsoft is changing the rules for just one weekend. Starting tonight and lasting until Monday, April 23, 2012, anyone with an Xbox 360 and an Internet connection can access Xbox Live Gold's entertainment apps, free of charge. Furthermore, the Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLBTV, and Epix apps will be waiving subscription fees during this time.

The Xbox 360 has been trying to pitch itself as more of a multimedia machine than a dedicated gaming console for a while now, and this seems like a logical step to whet consumers' appetites for media consumption. Microsoft has unlocked 21 services ranging from Dailymotion to ESPN to UFC. While most of the apps are for video content (including Vudu, SyFy, and VEVO), some are music services (last.fm and iHeartRadio).

Aside from the four apps mentioned above, regular subscription fees still apply for the others, especially Verizon and Xfinity TV, which require users to be existing cable subscribers with those companies. On the other hand, many of the other services are free to begin with, save for the Gold membership, so there should be plenty of content to play around with over the course of four days. Be aware that some of the "free" services will be offering trial subscriptions only for new members, so be sure to read that fine print. This offer applies specifically to the U.S., but Europe will be getting a similar deal this weekend, too.

Speaking as someone who recently moved and has only been able to watch baseball at bars for the last few weeks, this weekend will be instrumental in my decision to either subscribe to MLBTV or leave it in the dugout. If you've been on the fence about any of the streaming video services, or Xbox Live Gold's utility in accessing them, this is a risk-free opportunity to try them out. Of course, PSN has similar services without a subscription fee, and a good gaming PC will give you access to the same content in addition to conferring godlike powers, if hardcore fans are to be believed. Even so, there's some good content to be had on Xbox Live this weekend, and "free" is a hard price to argue.

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I find it stupid how you need gold to use netflix and such on the 360 when everything else lets you use it without going plus or whatever even when PSN was down I still could use netflix.

OT: Hope the ppl who never used netflix enjoy it once I got netflix i couldnt stop its so much better then cable.

Inb4 "Why should I pay for an online service thats evil!!!111!"

This is a great thing, its provides solid demos to people still not convinced to try out gold. Its totally worth the 50 bucks for ONE SOLID YEAR of being online.

I seriously will never understand XBox Live. So, I have to pay to access something, I need to pay for as well, that everyone else will let me access for free?

If I can say anything about XBox fans, they'll never fault Microsoft for ripping them off, or releasing a console that commits suicide.

Sounds good, but can we actually get those apps first, though?

Asuka Soryu:
I seriously will never understand XBox Live. So, I have to pay to access something, I need to pay for as well, that everyone else will let me access for free?

If I can say anything about XBox fans, they'll never fault Microsoft for ripping them off, or releasing a console that commits suicide

If someone's buying an Xbox just to use Netflix, then I'm sorry they make such bad purchasing decisions. People were paying for Xbox Live long before Netflix came out because to a lot of people it's a great service that's worth paying for. Things like Netflix and Hulu are just cool bonuses for those who like to use their Xboxes for more than just games.

Besides, at just five bucks a month, I'd say Xbox Live is anything but a ripoff.

"Having never experienced it before Mass Effect 3 came out, I can tell you firsthand that Xbox Live Gold is a thing of beauty. In addition to the ability to play online, Gold subscribers can access a ton of media content, from movies on Netflix to funny cat videos on YouTube."

Hate to be a stick in the mud, but as good as all those are you can get them for free on PC, gold struggles to justify its meagre cost. You need to pay for gold and THEN on top of that you need to pay for netflix. Or on PC you can just pay for netflix. And youtube is of course free on PC.

Nah, the value of Gold-Membership is how many of my friend who are on the network, but just as many of my friends are on Steam and other free PC networks.

Does that mean te people outside of the States will get to use this fabled Netflix?

Reaper195:
Does that mean te people outside of the States will get to use this fabled Netflix?

we Canadians get a watered down version of the American netflix but it is still incredible! completely worth the $8 a month.

But I already had a gold account with netflix, I'm really looking forward to MLB.TV seeing as how I'd never have paid $120 to watch a season of baseball on my xbox.

going to be streaming netflix/MLB games all weekend while playing the open beta of Diablo 3, Yeah going to be a good weekend.

To all those "Why would you want Netflix through your Xbox when they chargez you?!?!" folks, perhaps you need to remember that most of the world is not comprised of social misfits and loners, who like to watch movies and TV programs with friends and/or family. You know, those people who live in that place with all the windows up the stairs and sometimes fix you dinner?

Now, admitted, with a modern bluray player (or hell, even just a newer TV) you again can skip the Xbox and get your Netflix straight to the machine. But for those who don't have such.. well.

Personally, I've been having fun with Crackle from the Xbox lately. Watching the old episodes of Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island with the partner is a blast.. never remembered just how ominous Mr. Rourk actually was, or how much innuendo was sprinkled throughout Charlie's Angels.

Plus, they've got the Starship Troopers:Roughnecks animated series there, among a whole whack of other anime TV series.. and the Jackie Chan adventures even.. I'm finally getting around to seeing how that whole thing ended.

Too late MS; the Tera open beta is this weekend!

Treblaine:
Hate to be a stick in the mud,

Teller of Untruths, Teller of Untruths, your trousers have combusted.

but as good as all those are you can get them for free on PC, gold struggles to justify its meagre cost. You need to pay for gold and THEN on top of that you need to pay for netflix. Or on PC you can just pay for netflix. And youtube is of course free on PC.

cue: But my Xboxen uses the television! In the main room of the house!

RhombusHatesYou:

Treblaine:
Hate to be a stick in the mud,

Teller of Untruths, Teller of Untruths, your trousers have combusted.

but as good as all those are you can get them for free on PC, gold struggles to justify its meagre cost. You need to pay for gold and THEN on top of that you need to pay for netflix. Or on PC you can just pay for netflix. And youtube is of course free on PC.

cue: But my Xboxen uses the television! In the main room of the house!

to think I can pay extra money to watch it off a game console over my computer I mean its not like we can connect are computers to TV's nowadays oh wait....

OT: Still you got to atleast be happy for people who never got to use Netflix sense its a amazing service now if only they would get rid of the 360's bastard of a netflix browser id be happy

RhombusHatesYou:

Treblaine:
Hate to be a stick in the mud,

Teller of Untruths, Teller of Untruths, your trousers have combusted.

but as good as all those are you can get them for free on PC, gold struggles to justify its meagre cost. You need to pay for gold and THEN on top of that you need to pay for netflix. Or on PC you can just pay for netflix. And youtube is of course free on PC.

cue: But my Xboxen uses the television! In the main room of the house!

Well I do hate to be that because it sounds like I wouldn't buy XBL Gold, when I do, but only to be able to play with friends online. You cannot "add value" with services that are established as free elsewhere or that you also have to pay extra for (netflix) whether you go via XBL Gold or via PC.

Interestingly my Xbox is NOT on my main TV! Because low-and-behold I mainly use my games console for playing games, I would be hogging a huge HDTV for something only I am interested in, and I'll be using a headset as well so that I can hear what the hell is going on so that's pretty anti-social in the main living room. And I wouldn't want a huge HDTV to play games, I'd rather sit closer to a smaller monitor with a high resolution. The whole point of having a BIG screen is that you can view from further away and therefore fit more people into the ideal viewing angle without everyone sitting on each other's lap. So the big TV is for big broadcast stuff that most people want to watch at the same time.

Theses Xbox Live services aren't going to convince me to move my 360 from where it currently is (plugged into a Computer monitor) as I can plug my Window's 7 Laptop into my HDTV via HDMI (what laptop these days cannot do HDMI out?) way easier to move my laptop than my Xbox 360. I'm not touching Kinect with a 20-foot pole (maybe a 3 foot iron pole I might touch it with) navigating via a wireless mouse while lounging on the sofa, perfect.

So my Xbox doesn't use my main television as 9 times out of 10 I'll want to use it to play a game when 3 other people want to watch a movie or tv show = majority rules

When we all want to watch some internet content on our TV, I'm not going to move my Xbox to provide that, one of us plugs in our laptop, as it is usually we FIND the content we all want to watch ON A LAPTOP! So you get it all set up on your laptop, then just plug it in to HDMI and launch.

THIS is what Xbox is competing with, this convenience and they can't beat it by providing the exact same services as on a laptop or PC. Even those who don't have a laptop, most desktop PCs have dual video output and a DVI-HDMI signal is stable even over a 10m long cable. They are only a couple pounds/dollars to feed from the computer to the TV.

I'd only plug my Xbox 360 into my HDTV if I was living alone or if I was dominant enough in the household to get everyone else who wants to watch TV when I am playing a game to just wait for 2-3 hours. I don't think I could justify it with "ooh, you can watch youtube via my 360... when I am done hogging the TV that is"

Sorry, am I missing the point here? I already watch netflix and youtube on my computer no strings attached. Why should I dance to microsofts strings?

Terminate421:
Inb4 "Why should I pay for an online service thats evil!!!111!"

This is a great thing, its provides solid demos to people still not convinced to try out gold. Its totally worth the 50 bucks for ONE SOLID YEAR of being online.

Technically, Live is $60 now.

But still, this is my counterpoint to people who use that argument.

"X-Box live sucks! You have to pay! PSN is free!!!"

My response is always, "If you can't afford $5 a month, then you have bigger problems to deal with than playing video games online."

OT: Naturally this happens on the week I don't have internet.

Just_A_Glitch:

Terminate421:
Inb4 "Why should I pay for an online service thats evil!!!111!"

This is a great thing, its provides solid demos to people still not convinced to try out gold. Its totally worth the 50 bucks for ONE SOLID YEAR of being online.

Technically, Live is $60 now.

But still, this is my counterpoint to people who use that argument.

"X-Box live sucks! You have to pay! PSN is free!!!"

My response is always, "If you can't afford $5 a month, then you have bigger problems to deal with than playing video games online."

OT: Naturally this happens on the week I don't have internet.

Of course I can afford $5 a month. It's not a matter of "afford". I mean you can "afford" to give ME Five Dollars a month, but you are not going to give me $5 a month even if I ask you really really nicely, because what would you be getting out of it?

I see XBL Gold for what it is: Hardware subsidy. The Xbox 360 hardware costs a lot to make and is sold either at a loss or such slim margins it is barely worth it, and the re-sale market cuts so much into revenue from game sales. But by setting a conditional charge to access essential network features they are able to play the profit game.

Microsoft does this simply because they CAN do this! I pay, but under no delusions that Microsoft is "forced" to charge for this. It is not an such a huge burden to run Xbox Live that one must pay $5 per user per month. I mean Youtube doesn't and you can upload and download multiple gigabytes of data for FREE!

You may notice a PC costs more than an Xbox as you have to pay for all the hardware with decent margins. And while PS3 isn't much more expensive, Sony is right now suffering huge losses and are resorting to online-passes for almost all their first-party games.

Just_A_Glitch:

Technically, Live is $60 now.

But still, this is my counterpoint to people who use that argument.

"X-Box live sucks! You have to pay! PSN is free!!!"

My response is always, "If you can't afford $5 a month, then you have bigger problems to deal with than playing video games online."

Sure it's not all that much. But paying 40 upfront for something which you're not necessarily sure you'll get the full value out of is hard to justify on a student budget. And paying month-to-month it becomes 5 each time (even when paying three months at a time)

I own an Xbox, and have used Gold pretty most of the time I've had it available to me and online, but since getting it have not had a contiguous 12 months in which I've been using it online (be it moving to Germany for the best part of a year and not having luggage space for the console, not having Internet access for a month after moving into a new student home, etc...) so am constantly having to cancel renewals and am unable to get the best value for this. So in part it isn't a case of quoting the cheapest price, and in part yes even small amounts like that can be a concern.

I don't own a PS3, but the fact that another provider offers a comparable (as far as I can tell, near-identical) service for the princely sum of zero does make the fact that Live must be paid for somewhat of a kick in the teeth. Treblaine sums that up far better than me above; it also applies in cases where you are getting something for your money but what you're getting can be obtained in the same legal form and for free elsewhere.

The one that I found highly amusing was that over here MS tried to make it so that you'd need Gold to access BBC iPlayer -- a service already available on Wii, PS3, BT Vision, Virgin Media, Freesat, Freeview HD, and later this year Sky boxes (and I'm pretty sure that list isn't exhaustive either) not to mention PCs -- half of which don't require any subscription at all to use. (MS were blocked from doing this by the BBC themselves, thankfully). It's just moneygrabbing for the sake of moneygrabbing in all honesty...

Terminate421:
Inb4 "Why should I pay for an online service thats evil!!!111!"

This is a great thing, its provides solid demos to people still not convinced to try out gold. Its totally worth the 50 bucks for ONE SOLID YEAR of being online.

To you, maybe.

I've seen nothing that convinces me to pay a dime to an unrelated third party for this access. Mind you, I have zero interest in gaming online on my Xbox, so I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about connecting my Xbox to Netflix, while Microsoft provides no transit (or, at least, shouldn't be), neither endpoint, and has no business getting involved. I should be able to get the netflix software on a disc, firing that up, and going to town without paying MS.

Nope, it looks like there's still no compelling reason for my 360 to replace my LinHES HTPC that is superior in just about every aspect.

targren:

Terminate421:
Inb4 "Why should I pay for an online service thats evil!!!111!"

This is a great thing, its provides solid demos to people still not convinced to try out gold. Its totally worth the 50 bucks for ONE SOLID YEAR of being online.

To you, maybe.

I've seen nothing that convinces me to pay a dime to an unrelated third party for this access. Mind you, I have zero interest in gaming online on my Xbox, so I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about connecting my Xbox to Netflix, while Microsoft provides no transit (or, at least, shouldn't be), neither endpoint, and has no business getting involved. I should be able to get the netflix software on a disc, firing that up, and going to town without paying MS.

Nope, it looks like there's still no compelling reason for my 360 to replace my LinHES HTPC that is superior in just about every aspect.

Before you post make sure you don't act rude. It's unprofessional and bound to get replies like this.

Besides, if you have Netflix and an Xbox, I would assume you'd BE USING YOUR COMPUTER

Furthermore, you are paying to use Microsoft's servers to be connected. It's all based on convenience. Why do you think a coke at a gas station is a bit more expensive than a coke from a grocery store? Here, it's more expensive to watch Netflix on your console AND us Microsoft's servers in exchange of firing up your lap top and watching it on that.

Lastly, no one gives 4 shits about what your PC is and what it can do. Calm down and realize this before you sound like a goddamn 4th grader.

Terminate421:

Before you post make sure you don't act rude. It's unprofessional and bound to get replies like this.

You might try to take your own advice. The post I was responding to was borderline trolling and this one is little better.

Besides, if you have Netflix and an Xbox, I would assume you'd BE USING YOUR COMPUTER

This doesn't make any sense, unless it's a failed attempt to be ironic. My point was that there are devices that do the job better and don't cost an extra $60/year for no good reason.

Furthermore, you are paying to use Microsoft's servers to be connected.

Wrong. Learn how the internet works. The only reason I'm connecting to Microsoft at all is because they've mandated that you have to authenticate to a Live Gold account in order to access Netflix. There's no technical reason that my Xbox couldn't connect to Netflix without touching the live servers at all. It's just an MS cash grab. Neither my Wii nor the PS3 require a paid subscription to access it, and it sure as hell isn't because Nintendo and Sony are "generous."

Also, since you clearly don't know what an HTPC is: Home Theater PC. It's plugged into my TV, same as my Xbox, not "firing up my laptop."

Lastly, no one gives 4 shits about what your PC is and what it can do. Calm down and realize this before you sound like a goddamn 4th grader.

You might work on your own reading comprehension before you start throwing around comments like this. Glass houses and all.

Asuka Soryu:
I seriously will never understand XBox Live. So, I have to pay to access something, I need to pay for as well, that everyone else will let me access for free?

If I can say anything about XBox fans, they'll never fault Microsoft for ripping them off, or releasing a console that commits suicide.

That may be the most upfront way to start a flame war, ever.

I got my Xbox about 4 months after it came out and since then it's died on me only twice. Why do I still like Microsoft?

A: they handled the situation as best they could, it was definitely an oversight they learned from and I applaud them for being professional about it
B: Exclusives
C: reliable service for online. Honestly, I feel you need to HAVE an Xbox to understand its value, not play it once but have it for like a year.

targren:
Snipity what the fuck.

1. How about you try reading my post again. Its not trolling and I'm being upfront and honest. That weekend was a demo for services that require you to pay for them, so in essence, its totally worth trying. and SO LONG AS YOU WERE PAYING, you could try them out. Theortetically Its like getting an advanced version of steam, if you were pay for its services, you can get bonuses because you are paying instead of people who are not paying.

2. I will admit I should have elaborated on that point more. What I meant was if you have an Xbox that is not connected to the internet, and netflix. I would assume you'd use netflix on your computer.

3.
image

I'll try simpler terms here:

When one connects to xbox live they should see this:

image

You see that X? that means they cannot connect the Xbox Live! Now then, in order to access the services they must connect to Xbox Live because they are running the services through the Xbox Live servers, which are down in this picture. When Xbox Live is up and running, the service I payed for kicks in and I get to enjoy all the features I wanted to for having Xbox Live gold, including the bonuses. We may all be connected to the internet, but the Xbox using Xbox Live, a service which you pay for to access your other services. If you want to watch Netflix? You must have it to watch it, why? Because the services you want are running through Xbox Live SERVERS.

4. I have honestly no idea what you mean by glass houses, and before you call me a "Dumb Dumb" or something along those lines I've never heard this phrase in the years that I've existed on this planet.
Also, I meant to say in all seriousness, not one person cares what you play on, they only care what you target and make accusations of "stealing money" from.

Terminate421:

targren:
Snipity what the fuck.

1. How about you try reading my post again. Its not trolling and I'm being upfront and honest. That weekend was a demo for services that require you to pay for them, so in essence, its totally worth trying. and SO LONG AS YOU WERE PAYING, you could try them out. Theortetically Its like getting an advanced version of steam, if you were pay for its services, you can get bonuses because you are paying instead of people who are not paying.

I read your post. The only thing to be gleaned about it is that your knee-jerk defense of Xbox Live and your assertion that "you are paying to use Microsoft's servers to be connected" is evidence that you really don't know how the internet works and that you're completely missing the point.

I pay Netflix for access to their catalog. I pay my ISP to connect to Netflix servers. There's NO reason I should have to access Microsoft's servers AT ALL, except that Microsoft wanted to limit access to those who pay them a cut they've done nothing to earn.

2. I will admit I should have elaborated on that point more. What I meant was if you have an Xbox that is not connected to the internet, and netflix. I would assume you'd use netflix on your computer.
...
I'll try simpler terms here:

When one connects to xbox live they should see this:

Snipped pointless tier-1 Xbox live troubleshooting. It's not relevant to anything

4. I have honestly no idea what you mean by glass houses, and before you call me a "Dumb Dumb" or something along those lines I've never heard this phrase in the years that I've existed on this planet.

"People who live in glass houses should not throw stones." In other words, before you start flaming people for "sounding like 4th graders" you should be sure that your own argument holds any water. Yours, unfortunately, does not.

Also, I meant to say in all seriousness, not one person cares what you play on, they only care what you target and make accusations of "stealing money" from.

And I never used the word "stealing." I said "making a cash grab". If you don't understand that phrase either, look it up. Now sit down before you hurt yourself, and be quiet so the grownups can talk.

Terminate421:

When one connects to xbox live they should see this:

image

You see that X? that means they cannot connect the Xbox Live! Now then, in order to access the services they must connect to Xbox Live because they are running the services through the Xbox Live servers, which are down in this picture. When Xbox Live is up and running, the service I payed for kicks in and I get to enjoy all the features I wanted to for having Xbox Live gold, including the bonuses. We may all be connected to the internet, but the Xbox using Xbox Live, a service which you pay for to access your other services. If you want to watch Netflix? You must have it to watch it, why? Because the services you want are running through Xbox Live SERVERS.

All that is is Xbox Live authorising an Xbox to connect to nexflix servers, it's like a parent saying you are allowed to walk outside. Authorisation that is totally arbitrary as when I run netflix on my laptop I of course don't have to connect with any Microsoft servers.

Authorisation is minuscule server load. The huge task of streaming HD video and paying for all licencing is entirely managed by Netflix. And of course you pay a fee to use netflix.

They are NOT running through nor from Xbox Servers.

Even when you play online multiplayer games, Xbox server load is absolutely minuscule. Games are NOT hosted on servers that Microsoft have paid for, they are hosted on user's consoles or the game publisher provides servers as part of the price of the game.

XBL Gold Membership is nothing but an arbitrary subsidy for Microsoft "because they can". Because they have a monopoly on network connections on their system then they can charge whatever they like for it.

 

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