While it might be fair to say Microsoft always hopes you're "lazy" and in front of their system, Major Nelson announced something a little fun. Anyone who uses their Xbox 360 without having an Xbox Live Gold account probably feels a little left out. Without one, there are many entertainment apps sitting on the screen which you're not allowed to touch. For example, using Netflix or Hulu not only requires subscriptions to those services but also the payments you make to keep your Gold account going.
Microsoft isn't intending to change this but they are going to let every gamer get a taste of their system as a media center with their Entertainment Unlocked promotion. Both Gold and Silver users will be granted access to the various entertainment apps available on the system this weekend. It's even a bit more than the weekend as the event spans from April 19th to 23rd. That's actually from Thursday to Monday and should be enough time for everyone to test things out.
This is a list of the apps which will be unlocked for everyone in the US:
- HBO GO
- Hulu Plus
- Xfinity TV on Demand
Now time for the fine print. Some of the apps will be restricted based on your TV provider. The only one specified as that is EPIX, but it seems like some of these others may be too. Interestingly, since the Hulu console app requires you have a Hulu Plus subscription to access, they will be doling out free one month trials for those trying to access it on 360. Netflix fares similarly by giving out a free trial to users, although if you've used the one month free trial before you won't be able to use it again.
The promotion seems a good way to showcase the various services a 360 offers aside from gaming. In fact, there is no focus on gaming. While Entertainment Unlocked grants use of Gold-only apps, it will not open up all Gold features. That means you won't be able to be a Silver user and play online multiplayer games this weekend. If you've ever wanted to watch TV shows and movies through your console though here's a nice chance to try it out.