In preparation for how Xbox Live will function once Xbox One gets here, Microsoft will convert Gold family subscriptions to individual accounts beginning on Aug. 27. Since everyone in the house will now have to pay for a subscription, Microsoft is adding another three months of Gold to anyone affected.
It's all in a notice sent out yesterday to subscribers, but it's worth pointing out that in addition to managing individual subscriptions, the dissolution of family accounts means the loss of features like activity reports (see what the kids are up to) and doling out Microsoft points allowances. Parental controls will remain in place.
Not being a family account holder, I can't speak to the multiple what-ifs that come from such a move, so check out the FAQ Microsoft posted for more specific answers. Why would Microsoft do this? Well, with Xbox One, every account in a household will be able to share their games and perks with one another. That means sharing digital games — within the same household. There's more on how that works at this announcement on Xbox Wire.
As some have pointed out, there's a benefit to family gaming on Xbox One, thanks to something called "Home Gold" which allows a single Gold member (heh) to share all of his perks and games with every other account created on the console. That said, for families that remain Xbox Live subscribers on the Xbox 360, they will have to pay for individual subscriptions — again, that's why the extra three months of Live is being offered as a consideration. Image of fake family fake-playing video games by auremar [Shutterstock] To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @owengood.