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Xbox Live Makes Changes To Attract Non-Gamers

The Playstation supporters in the war of the consoles now have one less weapon to fire in their arsenal, as long-awaited (and many would say long-overdue) changes in the Xbox Live Gold service are coming next month.

Beginning in the first half of June, the various entertainment programs such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and Redbull TV will be usable by any Xbox 360 or Xbox One console owner without having to subscribe to the monthly Xbox Live Gold service – further cementing Microsoft’s plan to make the consoles attractive even to the non-gaming crowd.

Previously users had to pay for the Xbox Live service – at a rate of $10 per month or at a discount if buying multiple months at the same – to be able to access any online entertainment programs through the Xbox 360. While the apps are now available for any console owner to download and access, you will still of course have to actually have a separate paid subscription through most of those services to use them.

Of course, there’s still plenty of reason to keep your Xbox Live Gold membership, such as the rotating “Deals With Gold,” which offers downloadable games at a steep discount. In an effort to make the fledling Xbox One more competitive in the current-gen console landscape, the popular “Games With Gold” service is also coming to the Xbox One at the start of June. The program offers two games per month completely free for anyone with an Xbox Live Gold membership. The first month’s free games for the Xbox One will be the action/adventure puzzle game “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood [1]” and the top-down shooter “Halo: Spartan Assault [2].”

Meanwhile, Games With Gold for the aging Xbox 360 console is hitting it’s first anniversary next month, and in celebration Microsoft will be offering three games instead of the usual two. June’s free games for Xbox Live Gold members on the 360 will be the critically acclaimed action RPG “Dark Souls [3],” the beat ’em up title “Charlie Murder [4],” and third bonus fighting game “Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition [5].” The first free game in May was RPG platformer “Dust: An Elysian Tale [6],” which then switched over to “Saints Row The Third [7]” on May 16th.

What do you think of these changes to the Xbox 360/Xbox One, and would they convince you to pick up either console?

~ Ty Arthur