In a move that bucks the standard set by Microsoft itself back in 2005, both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 will drop the requirement for an Xbox Live paid membership to access services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. Microsoft announced this morning that its prices and structure are being streamlined, and coming in line with those offered by Sony. When the "new generation" of Xbox Live rolls out in early June that means not only cheaper hardware, but also abandoning the need to have an Xbox Live Gold subscription for access to apps and streaming media. It's a move that certainly makes sense given that sales of the Xbox One are several million units behind the Play Station 4.
Until now, if you've wanted to watch Netflix on your Xbox you've needed to cough up for Live as well. That's another $5 a month (at least) for the privilege of enjoying your existing subscriptions -- something that never really sat well with many consumers. Reducing the total cost of ownership is one of the key ways to suck in new users. To compliment its efforts on the media front, Microsoft is also bringing Games with Gold and Deals with Gold to the Xbox One in early June. That means free games every month and steep discounts on titles like Ryse: Son of Rome. Now that the playing field seems a little more level (at least in terms of cost) the next-gen console wars will boil down to just a few things: exclusive games, additional functionality and marketing.
Wanna know the full breakdown? Microsoft's made this handy chart to help out: