Skip to main content

Xbox One will require an Xbox Gold subscription for almost everything

Microsoft has always been a fan of charging their Xbox customers a premium to access features including multiplayer gaming, entertainment applications, and Internet Explorer. The company has announced the list of additional new features for Xbox One that will require a Live Gold subscription.

Xbox One will require a paid subscription to access the console’s OneGuide (TV Guide), Game DVR service, Skype, and new SmartMatch service. We aren’t extremely surprised about the news, but now we can confirm what we suspected.

This announcement doesn’t exactly boast well with customers who are debating between Microsoft and Sony’s latest consoles. The PlayStation 4 will require a PlayStation Plus subscription to play games online, but it won’t require one for many other features including the Game DVR.

In the end - most users will have a subscription to Xbox Live Gold anyway, but for most this idea will be a battle of principle between the two companies.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft charging for essentially… everything?

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab) via The Verge

  • Why not just name it Xbox Gold instead?
  • LOL, yeah the Xbox One is worthless outside of single player gaming without Gold.
  • Yeah, I heard you can't even play bluray DVDs without gold.
  • Forgot about playing Blu-ray. However there is nothing MS is doing to add value to services like Netflix to put them behind a pay wall. I'm fine with things tied to multiplayer gaming but don't see why you can't use Skype, Netflix, etc. without Gold.
  • Or, maybe they are. We haven't used one yet. Perhaps they plan on leveraging some of the system's unique features to add value to apps that would normally not be behind the paywall. All I'm saying is, maybe we should wait and see if maybe they've got something up their sleeve.
  • And, you have to pay Gold for nextlix on Xbox, but who recently got the Max Netflix upgrade? Ps3 they only have to pay the Netflix fee to get Netflix.
  • What's a bluray DVD?
  • I really dont see why people are making a big fuss about this. Look at the numbers of how many active users have a gold account and you will find that 3 quaters of people who have a 360 have gold. If you are looking to buy a xbox one for Netflix then you really do have to queston your self on why you are doing that in the 1st place when most TV's/Bluray palyers have this built in now.
  • I think people fuss because they already pay for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Red Box etc, etc. Most feel you shouldn't have to be a gold member for access to that stuff. I don't think people should question themselves. I think you should research a little. More people stream video content than game on the 360. Microsoft themselves are classifying the One as a media hub. Not a gaming console. Still most people who have a Xbox do have a gold account. Still I think that gold should be required just for online gaming myself.
  • I see what you are saying but if you compare the PS3 wii and 360 apps for things like netflix Lovefilm, facebook ect they all work better on the 360 due to they way MS have made them and intrgrated into there software and hardware. I also see why peope make a fuss of it but I dont know a single person who owns a 360 that had it connected to the internet and dose not have Gold for online gaming and because of this I think the issue is being made more of than it should.
  • Dont worri, Microsoft will back peddle just like they did with the whole DRM thing.....Give it a couple of weeks lol. 
  • worry*** lol 
  • Because it will be too confusing if they want to release a XBOX One Gold edition. Hahaha
  • Bottom line is, if they want everyone to pay a subscription for basic features they should sell the console subsidised as carriers do for mobile phones.
    I still don't get why people would want a console anyway, you just can't beat PC gaming period. And PC gaming is FREE i.e. no subscriptions, and games are a lot cheaper i.e. STEAM.
    Ditch both PS4 and Xbox One and come to the platform for real gamers ;)
  • Agree 100% i had a gold account for years and hardly used it. Biggest mistake ever that i won't make again.
  • Because PC doesn't have every game that comes out.
  • Because my PC is old and uses Ubuntu.
  • LOL, mine too +920
  • Because I got tired of the PC arms race, constantly upgrading my CPU, Video card to play the latest and greatest.  I used to spend hundreds every year just to be able to play the new games.  Since I bought a 360 like 7 years ago, I haven't upgraded my video card once (7800GT), and I think I've upgraded my CPU 2 times.  I do miss the keyboard and mouse combo, but I've gotten used to gaming with the Controller. 
  • Agreed.  It became too expensive to try and keep up with the latest tech.  It has slowed down some, but even for 500 bucks you can't build a decent gaming rig.
  • They already do subsidize the box. Do you really think they are making money charging $499 for the box? They sell it at a loss knowing they will make money on xbg and games and movies.
  • PC gaming is free? Last I checked every MMO I have played in the last 10 years has sucked more cash out of my pocket than my XBOX Gold subscription.
  • Not to mention the constant hardware upgrades required to play the new games... $500 for a console plus $35/year (does anyone ever pay full price?) to have Xbox Live Gold is a steal in comparison...
  • Because, for the price of a decent gaming rig ($1000) I can get an Xbox One, or PS4 and 10 years of Xbox live or PS+ and I won't feel the need to upgrade the video card every 2 years.
  • Gee...didn't see that one coming...
  • Microsoft does put out a great product in XBL Gold. You get what you pay for and IMO it is worth it.
  • +928
  • Well then you probably have no problem buying a Roku or apple tv and paying them to access content that you already pay for.
  • Doesn't even compare! XBL offers so much it's well worth $15 a month
  • $15 a month!? If you buy a year for the standard price of $60, then it comes out to $5 a month. If you're smart, you'll buy your yearly subscription when they're on sale for around $40-50, making them closer to $3.50 per month.
  • My apologies, I didn't exactly remember how much MS was charging me month to month for XBL since I haven't looked at it ever since I paid for my first reoccurring sub like 5 years ago
  • Then you sir is an idiot consumer, why not give your 10$ to charity every month since you thought you were paying 15$. For xbl
  • I do give money to charity thank you very fucking much!
  • Last time I renewed I paid $80 for 2 years I think. There's always a way to get gold cheap plus who doesn't have gold. Lol
  • My dudes, I get the family live plan and split it with 4 friends...we all pay $25/year :D
  • I thought I read they were going to end the family plan.
  • If you already have a gold account then you'll just be getting a whole lot more for your money. XBL gold is pretty cheap. You can almost always find a deal on it.
  • IF it's so cheap, why charge at all? Is that small revenue really worth the negative publicity it creates?
    Edit: meaning the paywall for common apps.
  • God why are people so cheap.... Gimme gimme gimme gimme
  • I do pay Netflix their monthly fee, of course. What I don't understand is how MS justifies putting a paywall between me and Netflix.
  • Because a lot of people don't have a lot of money. Many of people don't have the disposable income that others do. They don't mind paying for something that is reasonable, but a Gold account isn't for anything other than online gaming perhaps.
  • If you're paying $15/mo you're doing it very very wrong. Month to month is only $10/mo. A year is $60 or $5/mo and you can often find it for much less than that.
  • Depends on the country. For me it's $75/year through the console and auto-renewing, but I can usually find a deal for $40-50
  • Logic flaw.
    Bought XBLG for multiplayer and streaming came with it, not the other way around. So did millions of others.
    If streaming is the ONLY thing you care about geta a Chomecast or Roku.
  • While I agree that gold is worth it. I think its ridiculous to make people have a gold membership to watch Netflix, or Hulu.
  • Agree 100%.
  • I'm also surprise Skype requires gold membership.
  • This aspect hurts MS and it appears they don't even know it. It's simple. Keep paid Gold account for online gaming and provide Netflix, Hulu, etc. in Silver for free. It's that simple!
  • I get your point, but the purpose of gold was for multiplayer. Streaming and all the apps came later and as an addition. They have been doing this FOREVER, I don't understand why all the bitching now on the new system...
  • This is true, but doesn't mean it shouldn't be different. I have been Xbox live sub since launch day halo 2 so this doesn't effect me. What I'm saying is I think this will effect others thus not making Xbox one sales what they could be if they don't change these things. At the end of they day I want as many people using anything to do with Microsoft that only aids in us that are already using it getting better things due to demand. I just see this as a wasted opportunity with such a media driven device.
  • I don't disagree it should be different.  We should have been raising hell at the first sign of this on the 360.  It's kind of a norm now in the eco system.  The DRM got changed because it was new and we bitched enough for them to change their ways.
  • I'm ok With paying for Xbox Live Gold and the services it offers, If I get access to them. Unfortunately Microsofts track record here is not stellar, as on Windows phone there are too many "US only" services.
  • Well I agree - as far as those things that Microsoft creates, but what possible reason is there for adding the price of an XBox Gold subscription to the cost of watching Netflix, or Skype? Back away Microsoft, these are bad decisions!
  • Absolutely. Like I always said when people were complaining about the console having to check in every 24 hours. "But what if I don't want it connected to the internet?" they said. "What if if I don't have internet access at all?" Well, if your console hasn't got internet access, you're already not up to speed with this generation. Not even close. You shouldn't even be thinking about the next generation. It's not aimed at you. An Xbox 360 without internet access is not fulfilling even half it's potential, and I would say without Gold isn't much better. I've been an Xbox Live Gold member since the first Xbox and I can't imagine being without it.
  • I half agree with you, but there are many different situations where internet is lacking for whatever reason. It doesn't mean they should go back to their caves and bang rocks together for fun. I thought the 24 hour thing was pretty harsh, 1 week would be more reasonable.
  • I'm one of the cheapest bastards on the planet and even I see the value of Xbox LIVE Gold.
    P.S. If you're paying full-price for it you're a sucker. Retailers discount it to $35 frequently.
  • You may be cheap, but wise? Explain to us the actual value for consumers having to pay for access to free content like Netflix and Hulu when their competitors don't.
  • Agreed!!  You can ususally get the 12 month membership well under the retail price.  It's $45 on amazon. That's only $3.75 a month. 
    Also, didn't Sony get hacked exposing customer information and keeping them down for an extended time?  I'll spend the cost of a coffee per month on the gold membership thank you.
  • Ps3 network was worth exactly what it cost. Nothing!
  • I think Sony will thank them once again. First they mess up with the DRM. Now they want to charge for basically everything that is new about the XboxOne... Let's see how long will this idea last. Were I a potential buyer of an Xbox...this would be a deal breaker to me.
  • They aren't raising the price on Xbox gold so you will get extra benefits for what you are already paying.
  • No. But they are putting all the new stuff about the Xbox One in the "paid" section. So if you don't have Xbox gold or alike already (many people don't 'cause they don't do online gaming) the Xbox One will bring you nothing new really, 'cause all the new stuff has been put on the dependency of a premium account.
  • Totally agree with you. It bothers me a lot that I can't even access Internet Explorer on the current Xbox 360. I mean, how stupid is it to lock up a browser behind a paywall? Next thing is Xbox Music, a Microsoft service that is highlighted on the dashboard. Even if you have the full year subscription it's still necerssary to pay another 60 bucks just to have access on you Xbox. I wonder why Xbox Video is still available to silver members...
  • It doesn't make a difference if your already an Xbox gold member but I don't agree that we should pay for apps and Netflix access.
  • First off, they definitely should have KEPT DRM, way to many possibilities with that and second, if you own an Xbox now days and don't have gold already, you need a better job.
  • No I don't have gold not that I need a better job I don't play online is all I'm all about single player or split screen.
  • I agree DRM stuff wad good.. At least I'm not alone
  • @Shantek hell yeah man your not the only one because there are thousands of other people that think the same! That's why there is a petition to get it back! It will happen again regardless though and when it does, I'll be there to welcome it :)
  • Here here....
    Get sick of people moaning about the cost of XBL!
    I pay £30 a year for Gold, that's 8p a DAY. If you can't afford 8p a day BUT are willing to pay £45 for rehash COD every year; you need your head examined.
  • +1
  • Yeah. It was such a good idea that the entire World raged against it and Sony crushed Xbox in 2 minutes at a press conference, surpassing Xbox sales immediately.
    DRM is a pathetic idea which only people who have little understanding of their rights and too much fanatism towards a brand support. Second: even if I had an Xbox, why the hell should I want a XBL Gold account if I don't like online multiplayer? Only lonely kids and teenagers and a few adult hardcore gamers do that. The average consumer doesn't care for multiplayer. But they could care for stuff like the TV and Skype on their Xbox. And if they already paid 500€ for the console, why the hell should they pay an extra 60€ for using something that they can access without the Xbox on a normal TV and on a PC and smartphone? Again...I didn't write "Were I a potential buyer of an Xbox" accidentally. I am NOT a potential Xbox buyer. First I prefer the PlayStation and second I already have a PS3 which serves all my gaming needs and even some I don't need. So I don't intend to buy any console in the next few large years. 
  • Dude really? You can't keep using the excuse "I don't play games online" because almost everything else requires a gold account anyways so no you don't just have to play online to only have a gold account moron. I know tons of people that don't online game but use gold for everything else so get your facts straight. DRM was and probably will be epic once they decide to enable it again. Too much potential with that for the future of gaming. Yeah you gotta give a little but you get more benefits. Its 2013 bud, time to step into the future.
  • DJCBS,
    For someone who is not even a potential customer of any console this generation, you sure do have your panties in a wad. This does not apply to you.
    Did you know that a set of tires for a 2011 mustang cost over $1500? You know why that doesn't upset me?
    Because I don't have a freaking mustang!
    You should probably stay out of discussions that don't apply to you. It would be better for your blood pressure.
  • Lol... Cuz ps3 online community is teh l33t....
  • Dear commenter, Please use me. Signed,
    English Grammar.
  • Always
  • Microsoft is going to lose even more sales because of all this, which they do not need right now.
  • uh no, lol. The early adopters are 360 owners who are already used to the XBLG sub. It's a huge revenue stream for them, and it works. ~50% of the install base is XBLG members.
  • No its not!
  • Xbox provides me with top-of-the-line services, that even my PS friends envy. So I'm still in.
  • Agreed
  • I don't think Amazon, Netflix, Hulu should require Gold. Its annoying that my kids have to sign on as my account to watch Netflix, which is stupid.
  • @Rug: Fortunately, that wont be the case with Xbox One, where you can set up a gamertag for each person in your house and you all share one Gold subscription. Your kids wont have to sign in to your account anymore, and if they play games online they can each have their own separate friends lists
  • Id the Xbox was cheaper then the ps4 id consider it. But no way to this.
  • Thanks, I thought there for a minute, I was the only one who thought that.
  • If they could just lower the price for gold just a bit, maybe by 10-20 dollars, I wouldn't mind at all.
  • Go on amazon and buy it for 40$ and stop crying, with MS I dont have to worry about security of my info like with Sony, so many breaches I lost count already
  • This is the same approach they did with the 360 and that worked for them. Why would they change it now?
  • You people are all such sissies complaining about every little thing. Like really who has an Xbox with no gold. Most people play online anyways Sony is making you pay for multiplayer now so wtf. XBOX RULES ALL. you pussies
  • Me I'm not paying them more if I'm already paying for Netflix ps3 is free
  • Why.. R u buying Xbox One SOLELY for Netflix access on you TV? lol... Silly. But keeps on complaining!!
  • It's simply not very customer friendly. As you can see it gives them a bad reputation too. They should give their customers real advantages like Sony does with their free premium games instead of ripping them off.
  • I have no problem paying for XBL to use with M$ services. I do have a problem paying them to watch my Netflix or hbogo or many other services that I already pay for.
  • I'm with you on that one!
  • There's a huge problem with your statement. That is since the beginning all we heard is how the Xbox one is going to expand past the gaming market. Its going to reach out to entertainment people. So now people like my parents or uncle even a few friends who hate games but love tv, Microsoft just lost them in sales. Because they can buy a PlayStation for cheaper and use all there services and blurays for no added cost. I agree if you already have gold then there is no problem here, or there shouldn't be anyway.
  • So your family that hates games is going to buy a PS4 to use Netflix because they don't have to pay extra to access it? Makes sense...not. Why not get a Roku. The X1 has way more entertainment availability and that's what families will realize come next holidays. I'm pretty sure PS4 will take the first year, but it won't last.
  • It doesn't make sense if you think your a know it all which you clearly do. Roku only does streaming. Had you been bothered to actually read my comment without initial bias you would have seen where I was referring to bluray as well. Now roku when compared to the consoles sucks. The only time my roku gets used is on vacation because again compared to the consoles its that bad. Then you add in the fact that they love DVDs blurays frequently visiting the redbox then a playstation works great. Now this time around Xbox has bluray so that made it at least a consideration, until they left in the fact that you have to pay them to use services that you already pay for.
  • You don't need Gold to play blurays, man. Blurays aren't "apps." Don't get it twisted.
  • Never said you did. Only that why would people buy both if one lets you use your paid services at no extra cost and one charges you. The bluray was in context to Xbox trying to claim those media buffs such as my family members. So I gave the example that while Xbox does offer certain things they charge you to use them as opposed to playstation letting you use those apps for free on there system.
  • What you have just posted is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this forum is now dumber for reading it.
  • That's getting old
  • I pay for gold for the best multiplayer experience that could be found... The fact that everything else is also included is a plus to me... Now there are things on that list I don't use but it's nice knowing its there just incase
  • I'm already xbox gold for another 18 months. Still though Skype requires a gold membership? That's pretty tasteless, When it all shakes out MS won't have lost as much as everyone predicts all that they will lose is the #1 console spot that Xbox 360 has gotten them
  • They don't have the number one spot. They are only number 1 in USA.
  • And that's all that matters.
  • Not really.
  • LOL, come one my friend, don't forget us unworthy rest-of-the-world-people. ;-)
  • I don't mind paying. I have been for the past 5 years. Nothing different here.
  • So, basically it just has far superior hardware than the 360, everything else stays the same.
  • This is not news, let alone new news. Xbox Live has over 40+ million users. Not sure how many of those are Gold but you get the picture.
    As someone above said, you pay for what you get. Which is a premium online service. :)
  • They shouldn't require gold for a lot of that.
  • You have to have gold to listen to Xbox music, which I don't get, Xbox music is a MS service, why charge again. Which is why I traded my Xbox for a ps3.
  • Good for you buddy
  • I know, then I got another Xbox :P
  • Yeah, it's amazing how 1 company can be so brilliant yet so inept at the same time. Microsoft has always has great ideas, great products and an ability to be ahead of the curve. Yet somehow, they have no idea how to implement those ideas, communicate their products and visions or use common sense when pitting their products against their competitors. Sometimes I think they really want to commit corporate suicide but just can't get that right either. Somehow they have managed to succeed despite themselves. I am a gold member and I love it but this is 1 more thing to add to being 100.00 more than PS4 and the reversal of everything they tried to do. These things all add up when some people are making a buying decision.
  • You mean like the XP tablets
  • If you could shell out $500 for this in one day, you could pay the $50 bucks for this one day out of a year. Best online experience for a game console hands down.
  • Gotta make that money.
    Premium services require premiums.
    If Sony charged for theirs, it would be a much better experience than it is now. You get what you pay for.
  • That only makes sense for multiplayer, peoples problems are with the fact that they have to pay twice to access Netflix and the like which don't run through Microsoft or Sony's how does a premium make accessing these a better service?
  • Dont wanna pay Gold, use your tv bluray Player, roku, iPad, PC or whatever you have to watch Netflix... Right now you have to pay gold to get everything.
  • Only relevant if you are buying an Xbox One SOLELY for Netflix access. Are you??? I highly doubt that. Otherwise its really a moot point.
  • Netflix was an example, not the sole reason for people being disappointed. If you only play single player games then why would you pay for live? With this set up you have to pay to access the majority of features on the console that don't have anything to do with the live service, hence they are upset. It's completely reasonable why they are upset to.
  • How is Xbox live any different than original Xbox, Xbox 360? It's been this way from the beginning. I've been buying gold since 2007 and I think at this moment, if I buy gold again, everyone that logged in to that console will be gold status, which mean accessing Netflix, Skype for everyone that resided there.
    Quit whining already
  • Not sure your understanding exactly what this "whining" is about...if they are marketing this as an entertainment hub, then why would you charge people that won't play online games for the ability to play online games in order to access things that aren't connected to the live service.
  • Slow news day Michael? Could have written about the Xbox One unboxing, included headset, IR blaster, 4K HDMI cord included, or even Penello's confirmation of no upgrade to 12GB RAM.
  • Ram is so overrated it's not even funny.. 6-8 GB is more than enough for a decade and then some. Everyone that thinks RAM is going to even make a dent in performance is just plain old wrong! Any logical PC builder can tell you that.
  • I feel like these concerns are overblown. The vast majority of people that will use features like Game DVR will use it for uploading their online gaming exploits, which is paywalled on PSN anyways. Skype, background SmartMatching, and the NFL app surely won't be matched by anything on PSN, either. XBL is the best console gaming service out there, and if you keep your eye out you can get a 12-month XBL sub for less than $40. I can't see this as a make-or-break item for those deciding between the two consoles, as online gaming is the big carrot on the stick (along with exclusive games).
  • Guess I won't be buying one for my parents.
  • I already have Xbox Live Gold so it doesn't affect me, but as it stands Microsoft is selling a product that is essentially worthless without a Gold subscription. New customers are already paying a premium to own one of these things but it seems that alone isn't enough for Microsoft anymore, they want $60 from you every year just to use the damn thing. For a company that's trying to reach all markets of people, it doesn't sound like they're off to a good start.
  • I can understand paying for gold services not on the ps3/4 Like ESPN, ECT but Xbox owner users should not have to pay to use Netflix, web browser, ect. movie/tv streaming services is the gateway into the living room I'm sure sure if Xbox makes theses apps available for silver members Xbox would crush Sony.
  • Who owns an XBOX360 and doesn't also have live gold? Maybe small children or people who rarely use it. This isn't news, only common sense. Anything that requires online access will require live gold. Don't like it? Then don't buy an XBOX. Problem solved.
  • XBL Gold being required doesn't bother me, in fact I could care less its the same now so why bother making a big deal over something that's NOT really changing
  • I feel like these concerns are overblown. The vast majority of people that will use features like Game DVR will use it for uploading their online gaming exploits, which is paywalled on PSN anyways, just like XBL. Skype, background SmartMatching, and the NFL app surely won't be matched by anything on PSN, either. XBL is the best console gaming service out there, and if you keep your eye out you can get a 12-month XBL sub for less than $40. I can't see this as a make-or-break item for those deciding between the two consoles, as online gaming is the big carrot on the stick (along with exclusive games).
  • Good one and true.
  • Both consoles charge for online gaming.
    Both consoles offer free games to subscribers (Sony games are yours to keep as long as you keep your subscription active, Microsoft games are yours to keep even if you cancel your Gold membership.)
    And then there's everything else.  Microsoft better have their act together because most consumers prefer free over a premium, even if the quality of the product is better on the premium service.  I mean, Sony has to really mess up on the PS4 software side for consumers not to choose it over Microsoft.  Or Microsoft has to blow everyone away with their Xbox One multitasking, TV voice implementations, and Kinect functionality, features that aren't available on the PS4.  It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
  • I don't mind (multplayer), but can Microsoft at least drop the price to $399 (with Kinect)? ... It's clear they're pushing the services end to make some money, I personally wouldn't mind paying even $120 a year provided I can get the hardware for cheap (e.g. $299).
  • I was expecting it to be anyways
  • In other words, the price of Xbox Live is staying the same, but now you get more for your money. Wow, what jerks.
  • I know, the nerve eh? /s
  • No change comming from the XBOX 360