Xbox Is Finally Dropping the Paywall for Netflix and Streaming Apps

Illustration for article titled Xbox Is Finally Dropping the Paywall for Netflix and Streaming Apps

Rejoice, for the long-awaited day has finally arrived: You can soon watch Netflix on your Xbox without paying for Xbox Live Gold. Not just Netflix, but also Hulu, and Youtube, and HBO GO. And with that, Xboxes everywhere have become gloriously on-par with all the other streaming devices that have done this for years.


The apps that will soon be free to access (you still have to pay for them when memberships apply, duh) include:

  • Machinima
  • Twitch
  • Upload
  • Netflix
  • Univision Deportes
  • GoPro
  • Red Bull TV
  • HBO GO
  • The NFL app for Xbox One
  • MLB.TV
  • NBA Game Time
  • NHL Game Center

The update will also make Onedrive, and Internet Explorer, and OneGuide accessible without Xbox Live Gold. Basically, the internet is going to be free on Xbox, except for the part where you game with it.

As for Gold users, you'll some more bonuses. Microsoft will continue its practice of free games for Gold members, while adding the promise of deeeeeep discounts (50 to 75 percent) in future Gold-only sales.

The change takes effect sometime this June.



This is good news. I don't want to downplay that, that Microsoft was basically selling consoles and charging extra for features that pretty much every other device that hooks up to a TV and has Wi-Fi could do for no extra charge, and that Microsoft has basically given in to common sense on that one. It's a win for consumers.

For me, personally, though, it's too little too late. I paid for Live for years, despite the fact that I avoided online gaming. I quit after they raised the cost of Live, because I really wasn't getting anything out of it, and Microsoft's Games With Gold (aka "We'll let you have these super old games you either already bought or no one was interested in if you just keep paying us... but only on the console you don't use anymore, not the new shiny one") hasn't been enough to lure me back. I bought an Xbox One at launch, and after brief dalliances with Forza and Dead Rising, it's been collecting dust.

Meanwhile, I still use my PS3 as my primary media player. It's got the video apps I want, plays my Blu-ray movies and CDs, and plays AVI and MP4 videos and MP3 audio from flash drives or DVDs. What more could I want?