Microsoft to Drop Xbox Live Gold Requirement For Netflix, Hulu - Update

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Microsoft to Drop Xbox Live Gold Requirement For Netflix, Hulu - Update

xbox live gold card

Multiple sources suggest that Netflix and Hulu on Xbox One will no longer be pay-gated by Xbox Live Gold.

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that its streaming apps for Xbox 360 and Xbox One (including Netflix and Hulu) will indeed no longer be behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall, meaning anyone with an Xbox Live account can use them.

Original Story: If you want to use Netflix or Hulu on your Xbox 360 or Xbox One right now, you have to be an Xbox Live Gold member, which effectively means you have to subscribe to a paid service... in order to use a paid service. It's a little bit silly, and now, multiple sources are suggesting that even Microsoft has noticed just how silly this is. According to the Ars Techinca sources, Xbox users will soon no longer need a paid subscription to Xbox Live Gold to access Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming media apps.

However, it's not all good news. Other sources have suggested that Microsoft may shift other, currently free, services behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall to make up for this (though Ars Technica admits those sources could not confirm whether that includes existing services or if that only includes upcoming content like TV series from Xbox Entertainment Studios).

Apparently, this possible upcoming change in policy is directly linked to a changing of the Xbox guard after Don Mattrick left the company to become Zynga's CEO.

Just for reference, both Sony and Nintendo do not charge any kind of additional fee for users to be able to access streaming media apps on their systems.

If true, this is certainly a step in the right direction, as it is somewhat ridiculous that Netflix and Hulu are paygated, considering Microsoft's focus on the system being a media center.

We've reached out to Microsoft for comment on this story and will update if they respond.

Source: Ars Technica

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Yay, Xbox Live is about to function under the most basic levels of common sense?

About damn time.

I got tired of creating a new account every month for the free xbox live gold, just to watch netflix. Because, lets face it, the free games with gold is shit.

Wait; Microsoft was charging people money to use the services they were already paying money for on their console?

How can one company be that stupid/greedy. Is there no one working there that has a brain and a degree of common sense?

This seems like a dumb move. There are people who exclusively use their Xbox to watch Netflix.

I wouldn't be so quick to celebrate.

"However, it's not all good news. Other sources have suggested that Microsoft may shift other, currently free, services behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall to make up for this"

The question I'd like to know is, what is being put behind the paywall to make up for this?

CAPCHA: Bait the line. (I hope I'm not doing this... Oo-er!)

Vivi22:
Wait; Microsoft was charging people money to use the services they were already paying money for on their console?

How can one company be that stupid/greedy. Is there no one working there that has a brain and a degree of common sense?

Microsoft did it because they like making money and because they could. Their costumers just let them get away with it, whether out of apathy, laziness, or ignorance.

Are we supposed to be grateful?

Huh...that sounds reasonable. People are already paying for Hulu and Netflix so it always struck me as kind of dumb that Microsoft made another paywall for people to overcome. Good to hear them taking that particular anti-consumer feature out...

Gunner 51:
I wouldn't be so quick to celebrate.

"However, it's not all good news. Other sources have suggested that Microsoft may shift other, currently free, services behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall to make up for this"

The question I'd like to know is, what is being put behind the paywall to make up for this?

CAPCHA: Bait the line. (I hope I'm not doing this... Oo-er!)

What in the world COULD they put behind the pay-wall? All I used my 360 for was gaming and you can't play XBLA games offline...unless they put gameplay itself behind the paywall I can't think what else they would ask people to pay for...unless they still haven't launched the fantasy football league app thing...

Yeah, I ditched Gold a loooong time ago. I'll just use my PS3/PS4 to watch things for free, thank you very much.

RatherDull:
This seems like a dumb move. There are people who exclusively use their Xbox to watch Netflix.

With the rise in popularity of dedicated streaming boxes (Apple TV, Roku, etc.) I think that's becoming less common. Although I'm sure there will be some decline in XBL Gold memberships because of this.

Too bad they didn't do this several years ago. I gave my 360 to my college-bound cousin because I never used it except for streaming, and decided to get a Roku instead. I might have kept it if I wasn't forced to pay that stupid XBL subscription for this basic functionality.

Vivi22:
Wait; Microsoft was charging people money to use the services they were already paying money for on their console?

How can one company be that stupid/greedy. Is there no one working there that has a brain and a degree of common sense?

Doesn't Sony make you pay to play multiplayer games online even though you payed for the game and your internet already too?

Gunner 51:

The question I'd like to know is, what is being put behind the paywall to make up for this?

I was wondering that too. The only thing I can think of are game patches.

Wasn't this the same reason there was such a delay in bringing the BBC's iPlayer to the 360? IIRC M$ wanted iPlayer to be locked behing the Gold subscription, which went against the BBC's mandate to provide their content for free.

Honestly, the only thing which should be behind the pay wall, is the multiplayer gaming and any "bonuses" (games for gold, etc) they want to give. 3rd party services shouldn't require a subscription to access, especially considering that (subscription aside), it's all free on PC.

Zac Jovanovic:

Vivi22:
Wait; Microsoft was charging people money to use the services they were already paying money for on their console?

How can one company be that stupid/greedy. Is there no one working there that has a brain and a degree of common sense?

Doesn't Sony make you pay to play multiplayer games online even though you payed for the game and your internet already too?

So does Microsoft. Where are you going with this?

RatherDull:
This seems like a dumb move. There are people who exclusively use their Xbox to watch Netflix.

I quit using my Xbox completely because of this. My blu-ray player, my Wii, my Wii U, my PS3, my PC, my tablets and my TV also let me stream using Netflix. Why use the one device that gives me a worse deal than literally everything else?

Gunner 51:

"However, it's not all good news. Other sources have suggested that Microsoft may shift other, currently free, services behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall to make up for this"

The question I'd like to know is, what is being put behind the paywall to make up for this?

A better question is why they need to put something else behind a paywall to make up for it. I pay for my internet connection to access anything internet related. I pay for Netflix to watch stuff on Netflix. Netflix is the one who needs to work on the apps and updates for it (and Microsoft charges them for daringto udate the stability, UI etc.) so why exactly are they entitled to our money?

Zac Jovanovic:

Vivi22:
Wait; Microsoft was charging people money to use the services they were already paying money for on their console?

How can one company be that stupid/greedy. Is there no one working there that has a brain and a degree of common sense?

Doesn't Sony make you pay to play multiplayer games online even though you payed for the game and your internet already too?

But most of those games are played on Sony's servers, which is where the money goes.

... And even then, unlike Microsoft, they don't charge you to play F2P games. STILL can't believe Microsoft does that...

Yopaz:

So does Microsoft. Where are you going with this?

Nowhere at all, just didn't realize you had to have Gold to play online, is all.

Daym console market, you got even more fucked up since I left.

BrotherRool:
Yay, Xbox Live is about to function under the most basic levels of common sense?

I'd think the most basic levels of common sense would be not charging extra for the privilege to play half your games.

But at least they'd be caught up with Sony....

Gunner 51:

The question I'd like to know is, what is being put behind the paywall to make up for this?

More specifically, what CAN be?

Zac Jovanovic:

Doesn't Sony make you pay to play multiplayer games online even though you payed for the game and your internet already too?

To be fair, they only started that after they learned how many people would pay.

Well how about that? I might have a reason to plug my 360 back in again. (Electrical outlets are at a premium, and the 360 got ousted months ago).

Excellent news, we shouldnt have to pay extra just to watch a service we already paid for. Personally i have zero interest in playing online, but i do love watching my movies.

I'll belive it when I see it go live.

Gahhhh I recently re-upped to gold just because I wanted to use Netflix and now they come out with this! FUUUUUUUUUUUU!

Zac Jovanovic:
Doesn't Sony make you pay to play multiplayer games online even though you payed for the game and your internet already too?

We're not paying Sony any monthly fee to play Dungeon Defenders on our PS3. I don't know about other games, though.

RatherDull:
This seems like a dumb move. There are people who exclusively use their Xbox to watch Netflix.

Quite frankly, those are the people we as a sub-culture can afford to lose. Why the hell would you buy a 300-400 box just to watch Netflix? Then pay two monthly fees on top of that for the privilege? It's madness! I'd rather MS weren't making money off these idiots, they make the rest of us look just as stupid. Even the people that buy consoles to "just play FIFA" are better than those morons, because at least they are using the thing for what it was intended. /rant

OT: I'm not bothered by this, since I can watch Netflix and LoveFilm "Amazon Instant Video" (IT'S LOVEFLIM, DAMMIT!) for free on my PS3. I'd rather they took DailyMotion out from behind the paywall, that way I can watch HD ponies away from my PC.

Nice to hear that MS might finally be getting the hint, but the fact that they're considering what else they can shove behind the paywall suggest that they're really not.

How about letting me use amazon instant video?

Well this is good news for sure. I always found it completely retarded that Microsoft was requiring Gold memberships to use the other services that you have to have a subscription for. Meanwhile, all the other devices that offered it would allow you access to the services for free, without the requirements of PS+ or some other services. Good to see Microsoft is actually changing, which I think has more to do with Phil Spencer taking charge, and also by locking Major Nelson in a closet and making sure he didn't make Microsoft look like any more of an ass.

Zac Jovanovic:

Yopaz:

So does Microsoft. Where are you going with this?

Nowhere at all, just didn't realize you had to have Gold to play online, is all.

Daym console market, you got even more fucked up since I left.

Yeah, it's a shame. Online play is both a lot better on PC and it's free with the exception of MMORPGs. Doesn't really affect me though since I prefer to play on my PC for most of the games that I would play online anyway.

The one thing that really should be made available to everybody, instead of just Gold subscribers, is basic access to multiplayer. I don't get how Microsoft has done so poorly on this front with both their current AND previous console. I still can't believe that people fall for it. It's like if everybody was happy to pay $20 every time they want to play a board game that they've paid full price for years ago.

Wow, you mean I get the privilege of using your computer to do the same thing my computer already does but in a much more confined space without paying you a monthly fee? Heavens be praised, it's a miracle! [/sarcasm]

The fact that they ever had a paywall for this baffles me. If you really wanted to stream things on your TV, get a DVI/HDMI cable and hook up a laptop or tower. Simple.

RatherDull:
This seems like a dumb move. There are people who exclusively use their Xbox to watch Netflix.

Clearly our definitions of 'Dumb' differ.

Consumers aren't stupid. If Microsoft keeps trying to charge them Microsoft tax then those people who don't want to other functionality of gold will simply switch to one of the many other devices that don't charge you for privelage of being charged for netflix. $40 a year isn't nothing. Microsoft seemed dammed keen to promote the Xbone as everything apart from a gaming device back when it was announced.

How much does a Ps3 slim cost now for that matter? I bet it's pretty low second hand. If they want to retain consumers getting used to being able to use netflix on a multitude of devices then this is the smartest move. If i can stream it directly to my smart TV it leaves me thinking "Wait... why am i paying $40 a year for nothing again? Why do i even own this VCR looking thing?"

To be fair as a PC gamer the idea of paying for something like Xbox live seems completely alien to me now. I don't understand why people willingly pay a subscription for basic functionality. How does the mere existence of XBL charges not cause people to boil with rage? It's always felt to me like a massive "Fuck you" to all involved. This is what a closed platform looks like, you pay through the ass or you leave.

I'm still so glad I've have had nor ever will deal with this bullshit.

Feels so good not to have a console, why do people buy these things anyway?

image

Whoopie.

Microsoft is now doing what Sony's been doing on PS3 for years now. gg.

Zac Jovanovic:
Doesn't Sony make you pay to play multiplayer games online even though you payed for the game and your internet already too?

Only on PS4. But the thing is, one PS+ subscription works on all current Sony platforms. And a PS+ subscription gets you free games every month, cloud saves, auto-updates for games, and so on. For PS3 this month, we get Skullgirls: Encore and Puppeteer for free thanks to PS+. It's pretty cool.

So basically, one year-long subscription for PS+ will get you free games every month on PS3, PS4, and Vita as well as many other benefits. And the only console that really needs PS+ is PS4 but even then you still get free games with it, so it's a win-win.

And it only took them a whole console cycle to do it, too.

Zac Jovanovic:

Doesn't Sony make you pay to play multiplayer games online even though you payed for the game and your internet already too?

I may be wrong about this, but I think Sony doesn't require PS+ for purely online multiplayer games.

If I'm right, Titanfall on ps4 wouldn't have required ps+. (As an example, purely online multiplayer games are rare on console)

I don't even know what this article is supposed to gain in terms of discussion, what exactly is there left to discuss here?.

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