Xbox Live Offers Free Entertainment App Weekend

Marshall Honorof

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Xbox Live Offers Free Entertainment App Weekend


Enjoy free Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLBTV and more this weekend on Xbox.

Having never experienced it before Mass Effect 3 came out, I can tell you firsthand that Xbox Live Gold is a thing of beauty. In addition to the ability to play online, Gold subscribers can access a ton of media content, from movies on Netflix to funny cat videos on YouTube. While you'd usually need a Gold membership and a subscription to these services, Microsoft is changing the rules for just one weekend. Starting tonight and lasting until Monday, April 23, 2012, anyone with an Xbox 360 and an Internet connection can access Xbox Live Gold's entertainment apps [http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/entertainment-unlocked], free of charge. Furthermore, the Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLBTV, and Epix apps will be waiving subscription fees during this time.

The Xbox 360 has been trying to pitch itself as more of a multimedia machine [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114524-Heres-The-Skinny-On-Microsofts-New-360-Update] than a dedicated gaming console for a while now, and this seems like a logical step to whet consumers' appetites for media consumption. Microsoft has unlocked 21 services ranging from Dailymotion to ESPN to UFC. While most of the apps are for video content (including Vudu, SyFy, and VEVO), some are music services (last.fm and iHeartRadio).

Aside from the four apps mentioned above, regular subscription fees still apply for the others, especially Verizon and Xfinity TV, which require users to be existing cable subscribers with those companies. On the other hand, many of the other services are free to begin with, save for the Gold membership, so there should be plenty of content to play around with over the course of four days. Be aware that some of the "free" services will be offering trial subscriptions only for new members, so be sure to read that fine print. This offer applies specifically to the U.S., but Europe will be getting a similar deal this weekend, too.

Speaking as someone who recently moved and has only been able to watch baseball at bars for the last few weeks, this weekend will be instrumental in my decision to either subscribe to MLBTV or leave it in the dugout. If you've been on the fence about any of the streaming video services, or Xbox Live Gold's utility in accessing them, this is a risk-free opportunity to try them out. Of course, PSN has similar services without a subscription fee, and a good gaming PC will give you access to the same content in addition to conferring godlike powers, if hardcore fans are to be believed. Even so, there's some good content to be had on Xbox Live this weekend, and "free" is a hard price to argue.

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Veldel

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I find it stupid how you need gold to use netflix and such on the 360 when everything else lets you use it without going plus or whatever even when PSN was down I still could use netflix.


OT: Hope the ppl who never used netflix enjoy it once I got netflix i couldnt stop its so much better then cable.
 

Terminate421

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Inb4 "Why should I pay for an online service thats evil!!!111!"

This is a great thing, its provides solid demos to people still not convinced to try out gold. Its totally worth the 50 bucks for ONE SOLID YEAR of being online.
 

Asuka Soryu

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I seriously will never understand XBox Live. So, I have to pay to access something, I need to pay for as well, that everyone else will let me access for free?

If I can say anything about XBox fans, they'll never fault Microsoft for ripping them off, or releasing a console that commits suicide.
 

Antitonic

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Sounds good, but can we actually get those apps first, though?
 

Dr Pussymagnet

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Asuka Soryu said:
I seriously will never understand XBox Live. So, I have to pay to access something, I need to pay for as well, that everyone else will let me access for free?

If I can say anything about XBox fans, they'll never fault Microsoft for ripping them off, or releasing a console that commits suicide
If someone's buying an Xbox just to use Netflix, then I'm sorry they make such bad purchasing decisions. People were paying for Xbox Live long before Netflix came out because to a lot of people it's a great service that's worth paying for. Things like Netflix and Hulu are just cool bonuses for those who like to use their Xboxes for more than just games.

Besides, at just five bucks a month, I'd say Xbox Live is anything but a ripoff.
 

Treblaine

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"Having never experienced it before Mass Effect 3 came out, I can tell you firsthand that Xbox Live Gold is a thing of beauty. In addition to the ability to play online, Gold subscribers can access a ton of media content, from movies on Netflix to funny cat videos on YouTube."

Hate to be a stick in the mud, but as good as all those are you can get them for free on PC, gold struggles to justify its meagre cost. You need to pay for gold and THEN on top of that you need to pay for netflix. Or on PC you can just pay for netflix. And youtube is of course free on PC.

Nah, the value of Gold-Membership is how many of my friend who are on the network, but just as many of my friends are on Steam and other free PC networks.
 

Reaper195

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Does that mean te people outside of the States will get to use this fabled Netflix?
 

Limecake

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Reaper195 said:
Does that mean te people outside of the States will get to use this fabled Netflix?
we Canadians get a watered down version of the American netflix but it is still incredible! completely worth the $8 a month.

But I already had a gold account with netflix, I'm really looking forward to MLB.TV seeing as how I'd never have paid $120 to watch a season of baseball on my xbox.

going to be streaming netflix/MLB games all weekend while playing the open beta of Diablo 3, Yeah going to be a good weekend.
 

Marshall Honorof

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To all those "Why would you want Netflix through your Xbox when they chargez you?!?!" folks, perhaps you need to remember that most of the world is not comprised of social misfits and loners, who like to watch movies and TV programs with friends and/or family. You know, those people who live in that place with all the windows up the stairs and sometimes fix you dinner?

Now, admitted, with a modern bluray player (or hell, even just a newer TV) you again can skip the Xbox and get your Netflix straight to the machine. But for those who don't have such.. well.

Personally, I've been having fun with Crackle from the Xbox lately. Watching the old episodes of Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island with the partner is a blast.. never remembered just how ominous Mr. Rourk actually was, or how much innuendo was sprinkled throughout Charlie's Angels.

Plus, they've got the Starship Troopers:Roughnecks animated series there, among a whole whack of other anime TV series.. and the Jackie Chan adventures even.. I'm finally getting around to seeing how that whole thing ended.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Treblaine said:
Hate to be a stick in the mud,
Teller of Untruths, Teller of Untruths, your trousers have combusted.

but as good as all those are you can get them for free on PC, gold struggles to justify its meagre cost. You need to pay for gold and THEN on top of that you need to pay for netflix. Or on PC you can just pay for netflix. And youtube is of course free on PC.

cue: But my Xboxen uses the television! In the main room of the house!
 

Veldel

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RhombusHatesYou said:
Treblaine said:
Hate to be a stick in the mud,
Teller of Untruths, Teller of Untruths, your trousers have combusted.

but as good as all those are you can get them for free on PC, gold struggles to justify its meagre cost. You need to pay for gold and THEN on top of that you need to pay for netflix. Or on PC you can just pay for netflix. And youtube is of course free on PC.

cue: But my Xboxen uses the television! In the main room of the house!
to think I can pay extra money to watch it off a game console over my computer I mean its not like we can connect are computers to TV's nowadays oh wait....

OT: Still you got to atleast be happy for people who never got to use Netflix sense its a amazing service now if only they would get rid of the 360's bastard of a netflix browser id be happy
 

Treblaine

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RhombusHatesYou said:
Treblaine said:
Hate to be a stick in the mud,
Teller of Untruths, Teller of Untruths, your trousers have combusted.

but as good as all those are you can get them for free on PC, gold struggles to justify its meagre cost. You need to pay for gold and THEN on top of that you need to pay for netflix. Or on PC you can just pay for netflix. And youtube is of course free on PC.

cue: But my Xboxen uses the television! In the main room of the house!
Well I do hate to be that because it sounds like I wouldn't buy XBL Gold, when I do, but only to be able to play with friends online. You cannot "add value" with services that are established as free elsewhere or that you also have to pay extra for (netflix) whether you go via XBL Gold or via PC.

Interestingly my Xbox is NOT on my main TV! Because low-and-behold I mainly use my games console for playing games, I would be hogging a huge HDTV for something only I am interested in, and I'll be using a headset as well so that I can hear what the hell is going on so that's pretty anti-social in the main living room. And I wouldn't want a huge HDTV to play games, I'd rather sit closer to a smaller monitor with a high resolution. The whole point of having a BIG screen is that you can view from further away and therefore fit more people into the ideal viewing angle without everyone sitting on each other's lap. So the big TV is for big broadcast stuff that most people want to watch at the same time.

Theses Xbox Live services aren't going to convince me to move my 360 from where it currently is (plugged into a Computer monitor) as I can plug my Window's 7 Laptop into my HDTV via HDMI (what laptop these days cannot do HDMI out?) way easier to move my laptop than my Xbox 360. I'm not touching Kinect with a 20-foot pole (maybe a 3 foot iron pole I might touch it with) navigating via a wireless mouse while lounging on the sofa, perfect.

So my Xbox doesn't use my main television as 9 times out of 10 I'll want to use it to play a game when 3 other people want to watch a movie or tv show = majority rules

When we all want to watch some internet content on our TV, I'm not going to move my Xbox to provide that, one of us plugs in our laptop, as it is usually we FIND the content we all want to watch ON A LAPTOP! So you get it all set up on your laptop, then just plug it in to HDMI and launch.

THIS is what Xbox is competing with, this convenience and they can't beat it by providing the exact same services as on a laptop or PC. Even those who don't have a laptop, most desktop PCs have dual video output and a DVI-HDMI signal is stable even over a 10m long cable. They are only a couple pounds/dollars to feed from the computer to the TV.

I'd only plug my Xbox 360 into my HDTV if I was living alone or if I was dominant enough in the household to get everyone else who wants to watch TV when I am playing a game to just wait for 2-3 hours. I don't think I could justify it with "ooh, you can watch youtube via my 360... when I am done hogging the TV that is"
 

Zeckt

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Sorry, am I missing the point here? I already watch netflix and youtube on my computer no strings attached. Why should I dance to microsofts strings?
 

Just_A_Glitch

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Terminate421 said:
Inb4 "Why should I pay for an online service thats evil!!!111!"

This is a great thing, its provides solid demos to people still not convinced to try out gold. Its totally worth the 50 bucks for ONE SOLID YEAR of being online.
Technically, Live is $60 now.

But still, this is my counterpoint to people who use that argument.

"X-Box live sucks! You have to pay! PSN is free!!!"

My response is always, "If you can't afford $5 a month, then you have bigger problems to deal with than playing video games online."

OT: Naturally this happens on the week I don't have internet.
 

Treblaine

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Just_A_Glitch said:
Terminate421 said:
Inb4 "Why should I pay for an online service thats evil!!!111!"

This is a great thing, its provides solid demos to people still not convinced to try out gold. Its totally worth the 50 bucks for ONE SOLID YEAR of being online.
Technically, Live is $60 now.

But still, this is my counterpoint to people who use that argument.

"X-Box live sucks! You have to pay! PSN is free!!!"

My response is always, "If you can't afford $5 a month, then you have bigger problems to deal with than playing video games online."

OT: Naturally this happens on the week I don't have internet.
Of course I can afford $5 a month. It's not a matter of "afford". I mean you can "afford" to give ME Five Dollars a month, but you are not going to give me $5 a month even if I ask you really really nicely, because what would you be getting out of it?

I see XBL Gold for what it is: Hardware subsidy. The Xbox 360 hardware costs a lot to make and is sold either at a loss or such slim margins it is barely worth it, and the re-sale market cuts so much into revenue from game sales. But by setting a conditional charge to access essential network features they are able to play the profit game.

Microsoft does this simply because they CAN do this! I pay, but under no delusions that Microsoft is "forced" to charge for this. It is not an such a huge burden to run Xbox Live that one must pay $5 per user per month. I mean Youtube doesn't and you can upload and download multiple gigabytes of data for FREE!

You may notice a PC costs more than an Xbox as you have to pay for all the hardware with decent margins. And while PS3 isn't much more expensive, Sony is right now suffering huge losses and are resorting to online-passes for almost all their first-party games.
 

Slanzinger

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Just_A_Glitch said:
Technically, Live is $60 now.

But still, this is my counterpoint to people who use that argument.

"X-Box live sucks! You have to pay! PSN is free!!!"

My response is always, "If you can't afford $5 a month, then you have bigger problems to deal with than playing video games online."
Sure it's not all that much. But paying £40 upfront for something which you're not necessarily sure you'll get the full value out of is hard to justify on a student budget. And paying month-to-month it becomes £5 each time (even when paying three months at a time)

I own an Xbox, and have used Gold pretty most of the time I've had it available to me and online, but since getting it have not had a contiguous 12 months in which I've been using it online (be it moving to Germany for the best part of a year and not having luggage space for the console, not having Internet access for a month after moving into a new student home, etc...) so am constantly having to cancel renewals and am unable to get the best value for this. So in part it isn't a case of quoting the cheapest price, and in part yes even small amounts like that can be a concern.

I don't own a PS3, but the fact that another provider offers a comparable (as far as I can tell, near-identical) service for the princely sum of zero does make the fact that Live must be paid for somewhat of a kick in the teeth. Treblaine sums that up far better than me above; it also applies in cases where you are getting something for your money but what you're getting can be obtained in the same legal form and for free elsewhere.

The one that I found highly amusing was that over here MS tried to make it so that you'd need Gold to access BBC iPlayer -- a service already available on Wii, PS3, BT Vision, Virgin Media, Freesat, Freeview HD, and later this year Sky boxes (and I'm pretty sure that list isn't exhaustive either) not to mention PCs -- half of which don't require any subscription at all to use. (MS were blocked from doing this by the BBC themselves, thankfully). It's just moneygrabbing for the sake of moneygrabbing in all honesty...
 

targren

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Terminate421 said:
Inb4 "Why should I pay for an online service thats evil!!!111!"

This is a great thing, its provides solid demos to people still not convinced to try out gold. Its totally worth the 50 bucks for ONE SOLID YEAR of being online.
To you, maybe.

I've seen nothing that convinces me to pay a dime to an unrelated third party for this access. Mind you, I have zero interest in gaming online on my Xbox, so I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about connecting my Xbox to Netflix, while Microsoft provides no transit (or, at least, shouldn't be), neither endpoint, and has no business getting involved. I should be able to get the netflix software on a disc, firing that up, and going to town without paying MS.

Nope, it looks like there's still no compelling reason for my 360 to replace my LinHES HTPC that is superior in just about every aspect.
 

Terminate421

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targren said:
Terminate421 said:
Inb4 "Why should I pay for an online service thats evil!!!111!"

This is a great thing, its provides solid demos to people still not convinced to try out gold. Its totally worth the 50 bucks for ONE SOLID YEAR of being online.
To you, maybe.

I've seen nothing that convinces me to pay a dime to an unrelated third party for this access. Mind you, I have zero interest in gaming online on my Xbox, so I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about connecting my Xbox to Netflix, while Microsoft provides no transit (or, at least, shouldn't be), neither endpoint, and has no business getting involved. I should be able to get the netflix software on a disc, firing that up, and going to town without paying MS.

Nope, it looks like there's still no compelling reason for my 360 to replace my LinHES HTPC that is superior in just about every aspect.
Before you post make sure you don't act rude. It's unprofessional and bound to get replies like this.

Besides, if you have Netflix and an Xbox, I would assume you'd BE USING YOUR COMPUTER

Furthermore, you are paying to use Microsoft's servers to be connected. It's all based on convenience. Why do you think a coke at a gas station is a bit more expensive than a coke from a grocery store? Here, it's more expensive to watch Netflix on your console AND us Microsoft's servers in exchange of firing up your lap top and watching it on that.

Lastly, no one gives 4 shits about what your PC is and what it can do. Calm down and realize this before you sound like a goddamn 4th grader.