Many gamers worldwide have been requesting for months that the Xbox One and Xbox 360 console’s apps not require a Gold Membership in order to access them. The “All-in-One tagline” used for the One is a joke if you have to constantly pay to access its applications, half of which are premium anyway, so users must pay another secondary subscription fee.
Before this recent update a person had to pay an Xbox live gold membership fee in order to access any of the 180 apps available across both consoles. Whether it was premium apps like HBO Go and Netflix or free ones like Twitch, the popular app for all things gamer. Therefore if users are only keeping an Xbox live gold membership in order to stream Netflix from their boxes they can stop paying monthly or yearly subscription fees and simply enjoy the premium content for “free.”
But to keep people paying those fees, Hulu will begin rolling out a free three month trial of Hulu Plus for all Xbox live gold members in the United States. Any Xbox live gold members who are not previously Hulu Plus subscribers can sign up straight from the app on their consoles for the thousands of movies and TV shows available through Hulu.
Another of the perks of having bought an Xbox live gold membership is the ability to save money on the new “Deals with Gold” discounts. This rotating line of games and add-ons are discounted anywhere from 20 percent to 67 percent off. Of course most of the games that have higher discounts have been released for much longer than full priced games or are under performing in sales.
Earlier this month Xbox also announced the ability to use external hard drives with the One. Simply plug in a 256 GB or larger external hard drive and once formatted a user can copy and move games, apps and add-ons to increase the storage capacity of the 500 GB Xbox One. This enables users to share content much easier across different consoles without having to purchase multiple copies of the same title or use up vital hard drive space on another gamers hard drive.
All of these announcements have come after Microsoft previously declared their flagship product, the Xbox One, would no longer need to be purchased with a Kinect sensor. Therefore cutting the retail price down to $399 and putting the console on par with their largest rival Sony’s PlayStation 4. As well as letting conspiracy theorists play games in peace without thinking big brother was watching over them.
Microsoft has been falling behind in sales to Sony since the initial next generation gaming consoles launched last year. Check out the video below for a comical look at how users where “at war” over which console to choose. Sony seems to have the upper hand for the moment because currently Xbox One does not have any exclusive amazing apps and it lacks indie and middle tier games to help fill up the library for someone who just wants a game system with a niche cache of titles. Then there is the issue with backwards compatibility that was universally critiqued since the initial announcement. Though there are a small number of games that are in theory backwards compatible in the sense that they are graphically enhanced versions of Xbox 360 games with little to no content value added.
It seems Microsoft is still playing catch up to Sony. By not requiring Xbox One and Xbox 360 users to have gold memberships anymore in order to access their growing number of apps the Xbox franchise is at least taking a step in the right direction. Finally one does not have to pay and arm a leg in order for the Xbox One to live up to its self-proclaimed label of an All-in-One Entertainment system.
By Taylor Rash