The number of connected devices offering access to streaming services like Netflix
continues to grow. Heck, don't be surprised if the capability is baked into the next smart toothbrush you buy. What most of these devices have in common is they typically don't sit behind a paywall, though that isn't true of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Xbox One
consoles, both of which require an Xbox Live Gold subscription to access streaming media apps. Well, that's reportedly about to change.
Citing "multiple sources within Microsoft [who] have been briefed" on the matter, ArsTechnica
says an upcoming change to the Xbox Live Gold paywall will no longer require a Gold level subscription to tap into Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services.
Such a change would make the Xbox 360 and Xbox One more competitive with dedicated streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and so forth, but it would come at the expense of some paid subscriptions. It's not known how many Live Gold subscribers pay for a subscription solely to access streaming media through their game console, but they're out there.
To make up for the hit, ArsTechnica
says other services might be moved behind the paywall. It's not clear if that includes existing services or brand new ones that have yet to be rolled out.