Microsoft Removing Xbox Live Gold Restriction for Netflix & Hulu [Updated]

By | 2 years ago 

[It’s official: Xbox Live Gold is no longer required to use Netflix and other similar services on Xbox One]

After years of remaining steadfast in antiquated and restrictive beliefs, Microsoft is finally looking to change their ways. The console manufacturer has expressed interest in removing certain apps from behind its Xbox Live Gold pay wall in order to match its competition.

Ars Technica reports that sources within Microsoft have claimed the company will soon remove many of its streaming media services from behind the Xbox Live Gold pay wall. That reportedly includes Netflix and Hulu, two of the more oft-used apps when it comes to media streaming.

It appears that Microsoft’s plans for E3 2014 may have tipped the company’s hand regarding these service changes, but this wouldn’t be the first we’d heard such a change was taking place. Rumors of Microsoft removing Netflix from behind the pay wall have circulated for quite some time, but now it appears the console manufacturer is finally going to make the move. If it happens, the change will reportedly affect both Xbox 360 and Xbox One users.

While the change will likely make a lot of Xbox users happy, it will be more of a trade-off than a “gift.” Ars Technica‘s sources also claim that Microsoft is looking to put new services behind the Xbox Live Gold pay wall in place of Netflix, Hulu, and whatever other streaming apps they move.

Xbox One Major Update Details

As far as what those services might be, these sources wouldn’t say, but some speculate it might have something to do with Microsoft’s upcoming foray into TV development. Just recently, the company moved closer to a deal with premium cable network Showtime to help produce and distribute their upcoming Halo TV series, but that is just the beginning. The company believes that many of their intellectual properties could lend themselves to a TV series, and are exploring all of their options much like Amazon and Netflix were only a few years ago.

So, with a growing TV development division, it stands to reason that Microsoft might be exploring the option of putting their own streaming service behind the Xbox Live Gold pay wall. In fact, it seems practically a given that they would do so.

Regardless of that, though, the good news is that Microsoft might finally be catching up with the times in terms of Netflix streaming, which should help them gain ground on Sony, whose PS3 is currently the number 1 Netflix streaming device despite the Xbox 360 being in more homes. If these reports are true, expect Microsoft to make the announcement at their E3 2014 press conference on Monday June 8th.

Do you think Microsoft should have removed the pay wall sooner? Would you be disappointed if that added different apps to the Xbox Live Gold service?

Source: Ars Technica

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