Make no mistake, Microsoft's throwing the Xbox One head-long into subscription territory here, more so than the Xbox 360 ever was. Apart from playing single-player games offline, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of whizz-bang fun that can be had on the Xbox One without forking out for an Xbox Live Gold account.
Anything from Skype, Internet Explorer and Netflix, to the Xbox One's game DVR thing and its TV guide capabilities will all require an XBL Gold account. In fact, it would probably be shorter to list the things the Xbox One can do without the subscription. Now, I know that's kinda the case with the Xbox 360 at present, but it just irks me that you have to pay another subscription to Microsoft to use your existing subscription to Netflix on your Xbox, for instance.
Sony's going about it the right way here, in my opinion. Fair enough, force users to pay for a service that actually does something good like matching up gamers and online gaming across Microsoft's or Sony's servers, but for everything else, everything that shouldn't really cost Microsoft or Sony any money at all, it should be free. It's one of the things that put me off the Xbox 360 in the first place, and it's certainly put me off the Xbox One now. Shame. [Microsoft via Engadget]