In its continuing push to turn the Xbox 360 into less of a gaming machine and more of a full-service entertainment appliance, Microsoft has decided to unlock all of the device’s video delivery apps for the entirety of this upcoming weekend.
As of Thursday, April 19, even those Xbox 360 owners who refuse to shell out $60 for an annual Xbox Live Gold membership will be able to access Netflix, ESPN and Xfinity TV On Demand through their consoles. Courtesy Microsoft’s announcement, a full list of the unlocked services available here in the US:
- Xfinity TV On Demand
- HBO GO
- Hulu Plus
As Shacknews points out however, many of these services will still require that prospective users shell out for a subscription. Netflix and HBO GO, for instance, both require that viewers sign up for access, though almost all such services offer some kind of free initial trial.
The other major caveat here is that while this weekend-long trial offers access to content normally only seen by those with Xbox Gold memberships, those who lack a subscription will still be unable to utilize Xbox Gold’s online multiplayer functionality. Given that this is a pretty transparent effort to convince Xbox 360 owners to sign up for Xbox Gold, that is to be expected, but it’s still a bit of a downer.
The promotion ends Monday, April 23 (or more realistically at the stroke of midnight on Sunday, April 22), so you’ve got roughly 72 hours to cram in as many adorable YouTube cat videos as possible.