Xbox Live rumoured to be dropping Gold requirement for entertainment apps

Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video may soon be available to all

Microsoft will reportedly drop the Gold membership requirement to access Xbox Live entertainment apps.

A number of sources have informed ArsTechnica that the company plans to announce the removal of the requirement soon, potentially at E3 in June.


These sources also suggest that Microsoft may be planning to make other services Gold-only in order to ensure the value of the membership, but it is not known whether this will refer to existing services or future additions, such as the upcoming Xbox Originals TV shows.

Currently, Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners are unable to run the vast majority of entertainment apps unless they are Xbox Live Gold members.

Netflix, Amazon Instant Video (formerly LoveFilm in Europe), Hulu, Sky Go, YouTube, NOW TV and the official NBA, MLB, NHL and UFC apps are among the offerings only available to Gold members.

Only a handful of companies have been able to negotiate deals with Microsoft to enable their apps to be available to all.

A notable example is the BBC, which argued that its iPlayer service should not require a fee to access. As a result the BBC iPlayer app eventually arrived on Xbox 360 - albeit four years after it launched on PS3 - without the Gold membership requirement.

Entertainment apps on PS3 and PS4, as well as Wii U, can be accessed by all users without the need for a paid subscription.