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Here’s a bit of good news about Microsoft’s Xbox Live service. According to a report from gaming blog Polygon, Xbox Live memberships will work on both the Xbox One and the Xbox 360. Even better: you’ll be able to create multiple accounts under one Xbox Live Gold membership. This seems to indicate that the Xbox Live Gold Family Pack will be going away in favor of this more streamlined approach.

Don’t get any funny ideas, though. It doesn’t look like this will work in the same way sharing your Netflix subscription works. You won’t be able to just propagate your Xbox Live Gold membership across all of your friends’ consoles and split a $60 yearly fee. It looks like you’ll only be able to set up an additional account and use Gold features on an Xbox that already has a Gold-subscribed user. This is a nice deal for families who want multiple Live identities but can’t pony up the yearly fee for each member.

Have a Gold subscription on your Xbox 360 but want an Xbox One? It's okay. Your Live membership will work on both.
Have a Gold subscription on your Xbox 360 but want an Xbox One? It’s okay. Your Live membership will work on both.

In fact, it’s another welcome addition to an Xbox Live service that has really stepped up its game for the next generation. The service will be adding hundreds of thousands of servers to support new features like Live-hosted online gaming, automatic DVR for your gameplay and Azure-based cloud computing.

Microsoft’s decision to host all multiplayer games on its own servers means that instances of lag should be taken down considerably. In the past, many games were hosted by one of the players in the match. The DVR feature will record your important gaming moments and allow you to share them with others, not unlike a feature being offered on the Playstation 4. And Microsoft seems particularly excited about the potential of Azure in the Xbox One world. Developers could theoretically outsource some of the heavy computational lifting to Azure servers, leaving the local Xbox processors free to handle other tasks. This could result in even larger gameplay worlds and richer experiences.

The Xbox One will not support backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games, but if you can use your Xbox Live membership with both consoles, you could simply keep both. In terms of entertainment, the 360 is a very capable streaming media box with the added benefit of being able to play Xbox 360 games. You could always keep it in your bedroom or in a spare room for those times when your Xbox One is occupied, or if you want to watch a movie in bed.

Are you happy with Microsoft’s move to allow multiple accounts under one Xbox Live subscription? Let us know what you think.


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