Xbox Live Gold Not Needed for Xbox One TV Features (UPDATED)
Which next-gen console will be better? Game Front gives the definitive opinion with our massive Xbox One vs. Playstation 4 Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.
UPDATE: September 4, 2013: A Microsoft spokesperson has responded this morning to our request for clarification of Penello’s comments.
Xbox One will have a TV experience for everyone, including non-Gold members. We’ll have more to share and show in the coming weeks.
After speaking with a Microsoft representative at PAX Prime 2013, it seems at least some Xbox One functionality previously thought to require an Xbox Live Gold membership actually won’t.
Most recently, Microsoft confirmed that in addition to the built-in game DVR, the OneGuide system requires an Xbox Live Gold membership subscription. Previously, Microsoft explained that users would be able to connect an HDMI line from their cable box to the Xbox One’s HDMI-in port, allowing the game console to handle controlling the user’s TV service, and it seemed that functionality would fall under the purview of OneGuide.
As described on the official Xbox One web site, OneGuide allows users to “Connect your cable or satellite box to Xbox One and watch all your favorite television shows right through the console.” On its Xbox Live features page, Microsoft explains OneGuide’s features with the following: “Xbox Live Gold members with Xbox One can experience a customized view of what’s on TV, and see what’s trending within the Xbox Live community.”
The assumption made by many, including Game Front, is that all cross-functionality between your cable TV and Kinect (AKA saying, “Xbox: TV.”) would require an Xbox Live Gold subscription. As it turns out, that isn’t the case, at least according to Microsoft’s Lead Planner for the Xbox group, Albert Penello.
We spoke to Penello earlier this afternoon at PAX. “You can do the HDMI pass through,” he said, when I asked about assumption that TV functionality required Xbox Live Gold. He added that Xbox One owners can also “do the TV guide stuff without Gold.”
That’s good news for those purchasers looking forward to using a feature Microsoft made the cornerstone of its reveal event in May without hassle. But it also makes things a little more unclear. Penello seemed to be referring to OneGuide, which renders Microsoft’s previous announcement moot. We are reaching out to Microsoft for clarification, and will update this article as soon as we have it. For now, however, it looks like Microsoft may have quietly reversed course, or at least clarified its policies, once again.
Don’t miss the rest of our PAX Prime 2013 coverage all weekend and next week!