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Some New (And Old!) Xbox Live Services to Require Gold

And AT&T is apparently crediting U-verse customers to allow them to upgrade.

Comcast is offering its On Demand service for XBL, while Verizon's doing
Comcast is offering its On Demand service for XBL, while Verizon's doing "select" live channels.

UPDATE: Microsoft is now telling me Best Buy's Cinemanow application may not be free to all Xbox Live members. As seems to be the case with much of these new content updates, there are plenty of details that remain in flux.

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There was some confusion about Microsoft's big entertainment news yesterday, in which Verizon, Comcast, HBO and other companies pledged to bring content to Xbox 360 in the next few months.

What content is coming over depends on the company, and there was some question about whether it would require Xbox Live Gold.

Plenty of questions remain, but Microsoft did provide me with a tiny bit of clarity on the Gold question.

"Public service broadcasters, like BBC, and transaction-based applications, like Best Buy’s Cinemanow, will be available to all Xbox LIVE members," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "Other applications and services, such as HBOGO, Bravo and Dailymotion, will require an Xbox LIVE Gold membership. We’ll have more details to share about each of these experiences soon."

I'd actually asked for a breakdown of every subscription requirement, but that's all I got back.

Verizon, for example, outright listed the Gold requirement in its press release.

"Using a Verizon-developed software application," read the release, "FiOS TV and Internet customers who are also Xbox LIVE Gold members will be able to view popular live TV channels through their Xbox consoles without any extra hardware required."

It appears some services that were once on the Silver side will be brought over to Gold, as well. One Giant Bomb reader passed along an image from AT&T that confirmed its U-verse service will be making the transition to Gold before the end of the year. In response, AT&T is giving a one-time $60 credit to U-verse customers to use towards a Gold upgrade.

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When asked about its decision making process behind putting some service applications but not others behind the Gold requirement, Microsoft sent me a pretty boilerplate answer that doesn't say very much at all.

"Xbox LIVE is free to any Xbox 360 owner with a broadband Internet connection and includes access to tens of thousands of movies and TV shows in 1080p HD, not to mention nearly 25,000 pieces of gaming content all through Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Also available is a 12-month Xbox LIVE Gold subscription for only $5 per month. Gold members have access to all the music, movies, games and now live and on demand TV available on Xbox LIVE. No other device brings together all of this entertainment with the social connectivity of Xbox LIVE and the ability to use Kinect for voice search and voice commands, which allows users to easily look across a variety of content catalogs and play entertainment without ever raising a finger."

If I hear anything more, I'll let you know, but to assume most things are going Gold would probably be accurate.

Patrick Klepek on Google+