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Well, here’s some news arriving earlier than expected. After speculation that Microsoft will drop Xbox Live Gold’s streaming paywall for services like Netflix and Hulu, the company has not only confirmed it, but added that it will offer refunds to disgruntled Gold subscribers.
That means those who wish to use their Xbox as a streaming media device will no longer need to pay Microsoft and the streaming service (Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO). Additionally, users will be reimbursed on condition they fit the stated criteria.
Some services will remain behind the paywall though, including The Elder Scrolls Online, other MMOs and selected free games.
The Xbox support site gives a rundown of the procedure:
“Once the Xbox One and Xbox 360 system updates become available in June, Xbox Live Gold members who purchased a paid membership before that day can cancel and receive a pro-rata refund of any unused remaining days between the date of cancellation and the date their paid Gold membership ends. Cancellation and pro-rata refund requests must be made by August 31, 2014 and require six to eight weeks for processing.”
This will apply to customers in all markets on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Cue unanimous, worldwide screams of delight.
But don’t expect Microsoft to knock on your door with a gift basket though. Users who intend to drop their Xbox Live Gold subscription will need to contact the company and request a refund. But on the back of news that the Xbox One will be available without the much-hated Kinect, it hasn’t been a bad week for Microsoft fans.