Mixed in among all of the disappointing, frustrating, and downright stupid announcements at Microsoft’s Xbox One press conference yesterday, was a small bit of goods news concerning an improvement in Xbox Live. We already knew that current Gold subscribers would be covered on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, but we are now hearing that multiple profiles on a single console will be able to access one Gold subscription.
Speaking to Polygon, Microsoft’s Phil Harrison revealed the good news, saying:
“If you have an Xbox Gold membership today for 360 and you buy an Xbox One, your membership applies to both systems. You don’t have to get another subscription… Anybody who has usage privilege on that machine can use it.”
Microsoft’s Ben Kilgore expanded on how Xbox Live will work on the next-gen console by giving an example of a father and son sharing one Gold membership between separate profiles on a single Xbox One.
“We want to make sure that you and your son both have your own account. We want you log in to get your stuff, and when he logs in to get his stuff. On that console, if you have Gold, he can use Gold as well.”
While this is very much an improvement over how the Xbox 360 handles multiple profiles on a single console (each profile is tied to its own Silver or Gold Xbox Live account), the fact that there are still basic functions (access to other pay services like Netflix, online play, etc.) locked behind a paywall means households with multiple Xbox One consoles will still need multiple Gold subscriptions.
Baby steps, I suppose.
Microsoft has promised to provide more details about the Xbox One at E3 next month, so we will hopefully get straight answers to all of our remaining questions at that time. It also would not hurt them to spend less energy talking about the console’s TV functions and focus on some actual games.