A new update to Microsoft’s website for the Xbox One has shown that key features for the console highlighted in the company’s E3 presentation will be available only to paid subscribers.
Added functionality such as Game DVR (the ability to record and stream video and images from games and upload them to social websites) and Skype will require users to buy Xbox Live Gold, currently costing £3.33 a month.
Other features requiring Gold are SmartMatch (a matchmaking system that runs in the background behind games or TV and makes sure players aren’t outclassed by their opponents) and OneGuide (“a customized view of what’s on TV” that monitors users’ habits and recommends related shows and YouTube content).
As with the Xbox 360 a Gold account will also be necessary for players who have already purchased streaming services such as Netflix, but want to access them through their console.
PS4’s users will also have to pay for extra features by paying for a Playstation Plus account. This currently costs £39.99 for a year for the PS3, and on the PS4 will offer discounts on games, cloud saves, and – most essential – multiplayer online gaming.
Both Playstation Plus and Xbox Live Gold will also offer gamers classic titles to download for free. Xbox One owners will get two free games a month with the first pair confirmed as Halo 3 and Assassin’s Creed II. PS Plus subscribers get to choose from the likes of Uncharted 3, Saints Row: The Third, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, ready to download whenever.
Although release dates for the two consoles have not been confirmed, recent leaks suggest that the Xbox one will released in the UK on November 29th, with the PS4 landing on December 13th.