Did anyone check to see whether the sun could still be seen in the sky today, because I have a feeling the apocalypse may have just begun. Microsoft today announced that they're removing the requirement to have Xbox Live Gold in order to watch and use almost all apps on the Xbox One and Xbox 360. The great pay-wall will be coming down starting in June, allowing both classes of Xbox user -- subscribed or not -- to watch their damn Netflix however they please.
Microsoft notes that "almost all" Xbox apps will be available to all users, which might cause some folk to start questioning what Microsoft is holding back. However, it seems more like it's legalese speak, because there really isn't more than one app that will still require Xbox Gold. The only app Microsoft makes clear still requires the service is Xbox Fitness. I guess there might be other apps that still require it, but they are not mentioned in any way in the announcement. Otherwise, Microsoft makes it clear that every other app is approved.
Apps folk will be able to access starting in June include:
- Entertainment apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus
- Sports apps like ESPN, NBA, NHL and UFC
- Gaming apps like Twitch, Machinima, MLG and IGN
- Skype, Xbox Music, Xbox Video and so on
Basically, the Xbox Live Gold subscription is for people who play games now. As it should be. Gamers will get their multiplayer, their free games and special deals for willing to be a part of this community, and everyone who doesn't really care about gaming can use their console as they see fit without extra expectations. Everybody wins!
One last question: where's HBO Go on Xbox One?