June will be a big month for Xbox owners
Good news for Netflix fans that own an XBOX 360 or ONE console; Microsoft have finally loosened their grip on the streaming service, allowing users to access it without paying the $60 yearly subscription fee for Xbox Live Gold. Hulu Plus, YouTube, and HBO Go are some other services to be freed from behind the paywall.
Arstechnica first released the story as a rumor, but it didn’t take long for Microsoft to confirm it in what appears to be a shakeup of policy at the company. Sony and Nintendo both let users access services like Netflix for free without having to pay for a subscription service.
“Xbox 360 has been a leader in delivering entertainment experiences for years, with over 170 global entertainment apps and experiences available today. We’re constantly adding new partners and experiences to the growing catalog on Xbox One. 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,” wrote Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, on the console specific blog.
And this isn’t the first thing Microsoft have adapted to fall in line with their competitors. Recently, they started adding free games for Gold members, which is similar to the PS Plus service offered by Sony on their PS3, PS4 and handheld platforms, entitling subscribers to a few free games each month in return for their fee.
They also dropped the Kinect feature from their Xbox ONE console, which was previously only sold as a bundled, more expensive package. This has, however, angered fans, some of whom bought the bundle thinking they’d never be able to purchase the hardware separately.