Microsoft will allow users of its game consoles to watch video streaming services and use a number of other functions without paying for the Xbox Live Gold subscription, the company has announced
. At the same time, it is also preparing to sell its Xbox One
game console on its own, separate from the bundled Kinect sensor bar, in a bid to increase sales.
Microsoft Kinect for Xbox One
Historically, the majority of online features required a Gold subscription in order to function, such as streaming from Hulu Plus or Netflix. The change will now permit the use of the entertainment, sports apps for the NFL and NHL, as well as a number of other services will be usable without the extra payment, though subscriptions through the individual services themselves will still be required. Xbox Live Gold will still be required for use of Parties and Party Chat, discounts through Deals with Gold, free games via the Games with Gold program, and on the Xbox One, Smart Match, Home Gold, Xbox Fitness, and Home Gold. Microsoft expects to implement the change in early June.
The Xbox One bundle alteration will start from June 9th in all markets, with the new Kinect-less console starting from $399. While Microsoft will continue offering the Xbox One with the Kinect, those buying the new bundle will still have the option to get the motion sensor bar as a separate purchase later this fall.