Users excited about watching movies and television shows through apps like PBS on their Xbox One have reason for celebration this Tuesday night. Today, Microsoft formally announced that it’ll no longer require Xbox One and Xbox 360 users to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription to use both console’s entertainment apps.
Microsoft announced the change at the same time as it shared details about a new $399 Xbox One without the Kinect 2 sensor to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 4. Starting in June, Microsoft will allow all Xbox Live users to download and use apps from the Xbox Store. That means no paying the $9.99 a month or $60 a year that Xbox Live costs users today. To be clear, Microsoft isn’t eliminating Xbox Live Gold altogether. It’ll still be required for users who want to play multiplayer games, store game clips online, and take advantage of each week’s game discounts.
Essentially, Microsoft is turning Xbox Live Gold into a gaming rental service. Today it also announced that it would begin giving Xbox One users with an Xbox Live subscription free games in June, with the first two titles being Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault. Unlike the games users get with the Xbox 360, free games given to Xbox One users with an Xbox Live subscription will stop working once they stop paying for the service.
If that sounds familiar it’s because Sony already does this with the PlayStation Plus subscribers.