Sunday, October 1, 2017

Xbox Live - Benefits of Gold Membership

When the whole question of subscribing to Xbox Live (paying in other words) came up years ago, the issue that decided it for me was that some games basically required you to be a Gold Level Member just to access the online features for those games - and since I wanted to do that and assumed that other games would follow suit, I subscribed.

Just to be clear here, I am not being paid for this glowing endorsement...  And I also subscribe to the PlayStation Network's Social Community too.

But then what I assumed to be true turned out not to be.  Basically it was mostly the free or reduced price games that had that requirement - the vast majority of AA and AAA titles didn't do that.  But by the time I figured that out, I was already hooked on the features of Xbox Live - and this was before they did the whole Gaming with Gold program mind you. 

Arya Stark is TOTALLY a Young Lara Croft
Among the Gold features that I discovered I liked a lot was equally split between the social aspects that help you find other gamers to play online with, and the Achievements Scheme with its Gamerscores and bragging rights.

That kept me hooked until the whole membership thing exploded with the release of the Xbox One and a massive expansion to Live which included a selection of free games every month.  Speaking of that - this month the selections you can download and play for free are:
  • Gone Home: Console Edition for X1
  • Oxenfree for X1
  • Rayman 3D for X260
And later in the month will be added:
  • The Turing Test (for X1 from 10/16 thru 11/15)
  • Medal of Honor: Airborne (for X1 from 10/16 thru 10/31)
All of the 360 titles can be played on X1 so really if you think about it they are all X1 games, you can just play some on your old X360.  You don't even have to download the games immediately either.  As long as you click on the get game button and thus have the game license added to your console and Gamertag before the offers expire, you can download the games whenever you like.  Just saying.

Add to that the other Gold-related features of membership that include discounts for purchasing the digital versions of games via the "Deals with Gold" in the online Xbox Store, which range from 50% to 70% off selected titles. 

Regular "Free Play Days" offers (currently that includes the game Paladins) and an Xbox Live Quests Contest that's giving away a 55" Samsung 4K TV...

 I'm telling you all this because if you own an X360 or an X1 and you're not a member you should join.  When you factor in just the free monthly games that more than offsets the cost of membership, and the 50% to 75% off on game buys from the Xbox Store is like gravy on top of that considering it only costs $4.99 a month!?

The primary benefits of Gold Membership:
  • 12-Player Racing (in games like Forza: Horizon);
  • Contests with great prizes; 
  • Discounts of 50% to 75% off games and game add-ons / Expansions / DLC;
  • Free Games every Month  (worth more than $700 a year);
  • Game DVR;
  • Online Multi-Player Play;
  • Upload Studio;
  • Xbox 360 Multi-Player Gaming on Xbox 1.

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Original Xbox Games Coming to Xbox 1

If you have not heard it yet, prepare yourself for some exciting news indeed!  You see games from the original Xbox? Yeah, they're getting backwards compatibility added so you'll be able to play THREE generations of games on ONE Xbox - your Xbox One (of course).  Heh.

The wizards at Live have not yet released the list of the first batch of backwards compatible Original Xbox titles - but we expect them to do so any day now.  We'll keep you informed.

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