As has been rumored for some time, Xbox is going to remove the paywall for streaming media services on the gaming device. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users will no longer need a paid subscription to Xbox Live Gold to get to Netflix, Hulu, and others. Apparently Xbox will put some other services behind the paywall to make up for it, perhaps content like the new TV series that have been promised for months now. That said, this move is a clear concession to the fact that Xbox wants users to stay on their device while streaming in the living room, and having a paywall between a service that is free to use on other devices only served to drive consumers away. Free access to Netflix and Hulu means that Xbox is officially competing with both Nintendo and Sony for consumer access to games and streaming content, as well as against the host of media boxes that have begun to infiltrate more and more living rooms.
There are two key components to this statistic, released today by Steam: first, those 65 million users are all active, playing games on Steam regularly – more than are on Xbox Live. And second, Steam boasts daily peak simultaneous usage of over 6 million. It’s also a 30% in players year over year. It’s more proof that consumers are switching over to software-based content distribution and ownership services that focus on high quality streaming. It also lends credence to the theory that the steam boxes, if connected into the digital system, have a genuine shot at being one of the go-to OTT boxes.
The day you have been waiting for is here. You can now order pizza through Xbox Live alleviating your need to ever leave the couch. The new partnership between Pizza Hut and Xbox brings a dedicated app that lets users build, purchase and share your pizza order using voice commands, gesture control or the controller. While the app may sounds a little odd, it is the first of its kind to enable physical purchases within the platform. Time will tell if Xbox commerce will gain some traction or if people will simply rely on mobile devices.