The good and the bad of Xbox Home Gold

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As you probably saw on Friday while we were celebrating Women’s Day by not working at all, Microsoft has made some changes to how Xbox Live works on the Xbox One. You’ll now now longer require multiple Xbox Live Gold accounts on one console just to play online; buy just one Xbox Live Gold subscription and anybody playing on your console will have access to most of Gold’s features.

"So how it works is, on your console, anybody else on the console, whether it’s a babysitter that’s come over or a friend or your family, can participate in all the experiences like they’re on Gold," Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten told Polygon. "It’s with their gamertag so they’re not on your gamertag, you don’t even have to be there, they’re not messing up your gamerscore or your storage or your queues or anything like that. It’s their full account experience, but it really gets to take full advantage of many of the Gold features."

That’s actually pretty cool; right now I take advantage of Xbox Live’s now-discontinued Family Pack, which gives me 4 gold accounts for less than the price of two – so my eldest kid and the wife can play online and enjoy Gold’s media features as well. On the Xbox One, I’ll actually be saving money – so I can’t be too upset. It’s not all good though; Xbox Home Gold will only be available on the Xbox One; it won’t work that way on the Xbox 360 at all.

It gets a little worse.To ready their system for the change, my family pack accounts will at the end of this month be converted to fully-fledged, individual Xbox Live gold accounts. If I want to keep my family online on the 360 in future, I’ll have to shell out for 3 whole Gold accounts. We’re getting 3 months of Xbox Live credited to our accounts, which is a nice gesture – but having to shell out thrice for something I’ve been getting. The change also unfortunately kills off the ability to monitor child accounts, and gift MS points – so it’ll be harder, as a parent, to keep the kid’s gaming in check.

The change kicks in at the end of this month – and it also heralds the end of Microsoft points forever. When the dash update goes live, MS Points will be replaced with your local currency.

Still, the good far outweighs the bad. I especially like that I can go over to a mate who doesn’t have Xbox Live Gold, and while I’m logged in with my account on his console, he’ll have access to almost all of Gold’s features – along with my digital library of games..pretty much just like it is on the 360 right now.

Last Updated: August 12, 2013

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