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Report: Microsoft removing Xbox Gold requirement for Netflix and Hulu

by Steve Watts, shacknews.com, May 13, 2014 7:00AM PDT

One of the starkest differences between Microsoft and Sony's online offerings has been the Xbox Gold requirement to access video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Users can watch Netflix movies on PlayStation systems without being members of PlayStation Plus. Microsoft is reportedly planning to rectify that situation soon.

Ars Technica reports that multiple sources have been briefed on the upcoming change, in light of preparations for the company's upcoming E3 presentation. We might see the announcement during its media briefing, but the decision isn't final and the company could still change its mind.

Now for the bad news. Though Microsoft may remove the Gold requirement for streaming services like Netflix, other services could be put behind Gold to make up for it. The report is unclear on whether that would mean existing services becoming Gold-exclusive, or if it refers to the original content coming from Xbox Entertainment Studios. The latter would make sense, given that it would put it on par with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon that have begun to produce their own original programming.