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After my original article regarding why Skype should be free on the Xbox One, I got to thinking about the other features. I wondered exactly how many features were locked behind Xbox Live Gold. After some research, I discovered that the Xbox360 & Xbox One collectively have 81 features that you will not be able to use without an Xbox Live Gold Subscription. Many of these features cost Microsoft nothing to operate, since many of them either run on the Xbox platform itself and/or the Xbox connects to a third party server and/or service. It doesn’t make sense why Microsoft insists to keep these features behind a pay wall. Online gaming for example, when you play Gears of War 3, your Xbox360 connects to EPIC’s servers (and through there it would connect to another Xbox360 hosting the match). Why are you paying Microsoft for that? Even with Microsoft’s own games, the Gold subscription doesn’t offer any kind of perks for online gaming. The only one being…that you’re actually allowed to game online. Did Microsoft invest any of that Gold Subscription money to dedicated servers on the Xbox360? Nope. How many Halo games on Xbox360 had dedicated servers? I think you see my point.

And what about those other features, like Netflix, Amazon Instant video, and others that have nothing to do with Microsoft? Why should you have to pay Microsoft just so that your Xbox console can connect to Netflix’s servers? I just feel that Microsoft’s main goal with their platforms has shifted to selling Xbox Live Gold features, rather than the consoles themselves. Just think, how much functionality would you get out of the Xbox360 without Gold? And on the Xbox One, it’s even worse! Without Gold on the Xbox One, you pretty much have a useless piece of hardware. Why should the platform be so reliant on a yearly subscription in order to keep some form of basic functionality? It’s simple, that’s how Microsoft intended it to be. The more features they throw behind Xbox Live Gold, the more insurance they have that people will pay it. Below you’ll see a list I’ve compiled of Xbox Live Gold features on Xbox360 and Xbox One:

  1. Online Multiplayer
  2. Party Chat
  3. Video Chat
  4. Matchmaking
  5. SkyDrive/ Unlimited Cloud Storage
  6. Skype
  7. SmartMatch (improved version of matchmaking)
  8. Game DVR – You have to pay Microsoft, so you can record footage of your games & store it on the hard drive?
  9. One Guide
  10. Games With Gold – This is valid until Xbox One releases.
  11. Amazon.com Instant Video
  12. AOL On
  13. AT&T Uverse
  14. Avatar Kinect
  15. BLIP.TV
  16. C|Net
  17. CinemaNOW
  18. Comedy Central: Stand-Up
  19. Crackle
  20. Crunchyroll
  21. Dailymotion
  22. Disney
  23. EPIX
  24. ESPN
  25. Facebook
  26. Flixter
  27. Fox Broadcast
  28. Game Trailers
  29. Gamespot TV
  30. HBO GO
  31. Hulu Plus
  32. IGN
  33. iHeartRadio
  34. Internet Explorer
  35. Karaoke
  36. Last.fm
  37. Machinima
  38. Manga Entertainment
  39. MAXIM
  40. MLB.tv
  41. MSN with MSNBC
  42. MTV
  43. Mustang Customizer
  44. Muzu.TV
  45. NBA Game Time
  46. NBC News
  47. Neon Alley
  48. NETFLIX
  49. NFL
  50. NHL Game Center
  51. Nick
  52. OneBeat
  53. Paramount Movies
  54. Pizza Hut – Yup, you need a Gold Subscription to order pizza.
  55. PopcornFlix
  56. Redbox Instant by Verizon
  57. Revision3
  58. Rhapsody
  59. SkyGO
  60. Slacker Radio
  61. SnagFilms
  62. Sony Pictures
  63. Sports Picks
  64. SyFy
  65. Telemundo
  66. TMZ
  67. Toys “R” Us
  68. Twitch.TV
  69. Twitter
  70. UFC On Xbox Live – You need a Gold subscription…to use ***Pay per View*** for UFC? You have to pay…to pay.
  71. Uvideos
  72. Verizon FIOS TV
  73. Vevo
  74. Vimeo
  75. Vudu
  76. WSJ Live
  77. WWE
  78. Xbox Music – Requires Xbox Music Pass, which is $100 a year, but also requires Gold to use on Xbox360? What?
  79. Xbox Tournaments
  80. Xfinity
  81. Youtube

That’s quite a lot of features that you will have no access to, unless you pay for Xbox Live Gold. And lets not forget that the PS4 & other platforms have the very same features for free! I don’t think its fair for Microsoft to advertise Xbox One’s new features (Game DVR, Skype, and etc), as if they’re ready and waiting on the device; when in fact they’re Xbox Live Gold features. That’s why we saw a ton of gaming websites express their disdain after finally discovering that the features everyone was talking about (Game DVR, Skype, OneGuide, etc), were actually behind Xbox Live Gold. The only impression I get from seeing such a huge list of paywall features, is that the Xbox platform was designed to sell a yearly subscription. For consumers, it doesn’t add value; but, from a business standpoint, it is genius.

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59 Responses so far.

  1. Darkdragonx6 says:

    Even if you shove this list in people’s faces they will still blindly pay for XBL.

    • Leo says:

      Yes because MTV and YouTube are why I’m paying for LIVE. Not the quality online, party and security.

      • oxamo says:

        You’re missing the point you retarded piece of shit. Those are all services that are free everywhere else, why should I have to pay for them on Xbox?

        • Anonymous says:

          @oxamo: You’re the one missing the point. This list is 99% apps hosted through Microsoft’s servers. Xbox Live isn’t just so you can play online, it’s so you can use their servers which now includes EVERYTHING listed above aside for #8 (which most likely uses an external API online to do the recording).

          On a side note, if you want anyone to take your argument seriously (Xbox staff or otherwise), opening your argument with “you retarded piece of shit” discredits (it means makes you sound like a 3 year old who doesn’t have a valid argument in case you don’t know what “discredits” means) your argument from stage 1 so go away and let the big kids debate properly.

    • Pushtrak says:

      I think your post would have more coherence if you said Xbox 360 or Xbox One. Assuming someone takes that step, then obviously buying Live isn’t blindly buying something. It’s buying something with a tangible benefit. So, let’s look at buying a console blindly. Is this true? I’d say not, owing to the fact people buy a console on the strength of the titles on that console. So, sir, you lose.

  2. I’m surprised they even had Sony Pictures lol

  3. Jimmy says:

    Well, there are lots of people who like to be ripped off by corporations, like those who buy Apple products. Why not buying an Xbox One and get ripped off by Microsoft too? Sounds good for those who don’t know how else to waste their money.

  4. Fuzia says:

    Wait… “And lets not forget that the PS4 & other platforms have the very same features FOR FREE!”… I know it’s a minor thing, but multiplayer, matchmaking and cloud isn’t free on PS4. Get your facts straight if you want to bash a console.

  5. craig says:

    You guys do realize that you do have to pay online for PS4, Sure you get 14 days trial but on xbox we always had 1 month trials, Not to mention who is going to buy xbox one and not play online.

    • Gia says:

      Yes, but F2P games requires no PSN plus for online and neither does Netflix or those other apps. Cross game chat doesn’t either so it’s not that bad.
      Also, some people don’t enjoy gaming online…

      • WiiUExposed says:

        Dude, that’s true, but pay to play online sucks. Even if PS Plus gives a lot of benefits, it shouldn’t be required for lots of online gaming.

        BBC said this too.

    • Anonymous says:

      i am. I dont like online gaming all too much

  6. KingOfArcadia says:

    Yawn. Another Sony troll on another half-assed website trolling for hits. So, having a two-tiered service level for XBL is suddenly a new thing? Do you also write interesting articles complaining that the cable TV companies are forcing you to pay for the premium channels on top of the channels you get for free?

  7. Peter YT says:

    The hate is strong in this one

  8. Leo says:

    This article is just asinine. No Xbox user thinks, ‘Hey, I’d LOVE to watch Netflix on my Xbox and do nothing else with it.’ These features are extras. I pay for matchmaking, quality connection and security, these are extras (98% of which I don’t even use or plan on using).

    So Sony boys, keep on trying, you make yourselves look stupider and stupider at every attempt to bash Xbox.

    • Shiki says:

      No Xbox user thinks, ‘Hey, I’d LOVE to watch Netflix on my Xbox and do nothing else with it.’

      Speak for yourself moron. I, and lots of other people I know have a 360 and never play online but would like to use the features (like Netflix) for it. Not everybody likes playing online idiot.

    • buggaboo says:

      Drone on, you crazy drone.

  9. 2Chainz Kenny says:

    >Pay to use Internet Explorer
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

  10. grenadeh says:

    This article is so full of monkey shit it’s ridiculous. Are you still in grade school? Your argument is completely invalid from the get-go. You’re trying to make it seem, on a case by case basis, like “You have to pay to pay! You have to pay to pay for this!”.

    No. You have to pay for Gold to be able to use their network. Every single last thing on this list is incumbent on Gold, not on paying money. This is the exact same way 360 works right now and has worked for all generation and you do not see the 50 million people who subscribe to it crying.

    • Shiki says:

      People do cry about then people like you trying to justify it and beat them up for complaining about them feeling like they’re getting ripped off. Also he didn’t make it seem like that at all. Learn about reading comprehension.

    • Anonymous says:

      “This is the exact same way 360 works right now and has worked for all generation”

      Are you retarded or 14 years old? Do you not understand that it’s still a problem? The network load that Microsoft experiences from people using these services is next to nothing, because most/all of them are hosted by the provider of the service. If you’re going to play online anyway, fine. We get it. But, you need to understand that this practice is just strong-arming users who don’t play games online into paying for their $60 year service if they want to get any extra functionality out of their “media center” other than the ability to play games.

      Not to mention that you shouldn’t be paying to play online on the 360 anyway considering Microsoft doesn’t actually have any game servers that it needs money to maintain.

    • Anonymous says:

      So if we apply this to a larger customer base, if I go to a mall I would essentially have to pay to get in so that I can purchase goods. Why not charge people to use grocery stores then? Oh right, they know it’s bad business and consumers are smart. XboxONE knows this is bad for business, but that consumers learn to live with the fees, charges, and fines. They know because they have a market that doesn’t care they get to pay for otherwise universally free services. Smart buyers do not go for Xbox. People who know what outweighs prOs and cons don’t buy Xbox. Kids for Christmas and their birthday money, and CoD bros buy Xbox.

  11. zz says:

    Wtf? Youtube? You’re fucking joking, right??

  12. EricDC says:

    Very misleading article!!! Most of those 81 “features” are just apps. You should have just said “apps” rather than listing each one separately. I mean crunchyroll? Really? Who gives a fuck if I can’t watch anime lol. You list every single sport separately as a “feature.” Very poor and unethical journalism right here.

    • How is it misleading? Microsoft themselves list these features as “FEATURES”, whether they are an app or not. And they often highlight these apps to be fundamental features of the Xbox One.
      You’re just upset that XBL Gold is shown to be the rip off that it is. Cry more for me.

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