You can now play free-to-play Xbox games online without needing Xbox Live Gold.
That might seem like an obvious thing; the bulk of free-to-play online games are free because they want you to spend money on new costumes and other cosmetics. Why would there be an additional barrier stopping you from playing their titles and, should you so decide, giving them your money?
But the odd fact is that, up until yesterday, you couldn’t play free-to-play games online, on an Xbox, if you didn’t have Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Live Gold is Microsoft’s online service which enables online multiplayer, er, play, in supported titles. Yes, that’s something you can get for free on the PC, but that’s a separate argument entirely.
So, until Microsoft removed this requirement, there was an extra obstacle stopping you from playing Apex Legends or Fortnite. That’s now gone so you can leap right into those games without paying an extra penny and, if you do choose to fork out for cosmetics and so forth, the money will go to the publisher and, in theory, the developer as well.
And, honestly, it’s about time. Playstation players have been able to leap into Fortnite and their ilk without Playstation Plus and a similar situation applies to the Switch. So it’s just a case of Microsoft catching up on something that has, for a long time, seemed like common sense.