Microsoft brings free Games with Gold to Xbox One, drops Gold paywall for apps in June

Microsoft's Games with Gold program will be available for Xbox One in June, while current Xbox Live Gold subscribers will receive an extra free game and additional discounts, head of Xbox Phil Spencer announced today.

Games with Gold is a program that gifts two free games a month to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. The Xbox One edition of the program kicks off with Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault. Deals with Gold also launches in June and will save members money on Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome "and a few other surprises." The announcement adds that members will now have "subscription-based access" to these games; this suggests that the service will function more like Sony's PlayStation Plus program.

"In the coming months, we will offer significant savings of up to 50 - 75 percent off certain titles," Spencer wrote. "This program will continue to be available for Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox 360. And new on Xbox One, we will launch a virtual VIP room exclusive to Xbox Live Gold members where we will feature free games, monthly deals, and other great benefits."

One membership is valid for both the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

In honor of the program's one-year anniversary, Xbox 360 owners can pick up an extra game in June — Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition — in addition to Dark Souls and Charlie Murder.

Spencer added that in June, Xbox owners will have access to "popular entertainment experiences" with or without a Gold subscription.

"This includes great gaming apps like Machinima, Twitch and Upload, popular video services like Netflix, Univision Deportes, GoPro, Red Bull TV and HBO GO, sports experiences like the NFL app for Xbox One, MLB.TV, NBA Game Time, NHL Game Center and more," Spencer wrote. "Microsoft experiences including Internet Explorer, Skype, OneDrive and OneGuide will also be available to all Xbox customers."

Earlier today, rumors surfaced that Microsoft was planning to remove its paywall for streaming media such as Netflix and Hulu.

Microsoft announced today that it will sell a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One, available June 9, for $399.

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