Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently decided to drop the Xbox Live Gold requirement for access to certain entertainment apps. Some Xbox Live Gold users paid the $60 per year subscription and now they will be eligible for a refund for the remainder of their subscription after the update goes live this June.
Here is what Microsoft wrote about the change:
Once the Xbox One and Xbox 360 system updates become available in June, Xbox Live Gold members who purchased a paid membership before that day can cancel and receive a pro-rata refund of any unused remaining days between the date of cancellation and the date their paid Gold membership ends. Cancellation and pro-rata refund requests must be made by August 31, 2014 and require six to eight weeks for processing. Free or trial Gold memberships are not eligible for a refund.
Hulu Plus, Netflix, Twitch, ESPN, and HBO Go will be available for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 without an Xbox Live subscription starting in June. This is a way for Microsoft to stay competitive with Sony and Nintendo since the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo Wii U offer access to streaming services without any subscriptions.
The Xbox Live Gold subscription is needed to play games online and use chat functionality. Xbox Live Gold users also get free game downloads. These free games change every month and expires if the user lets their Gold membership expire.