Browsing YouTube all day is now free for everyone. Silver users get Xbox Live entertainments apps free this weekend.
Free-for-the-weekend access has now been extended to entertainment apps, starting this weekend
Microsoft has run numerous promotions in the past that allows everyone to play Xbox Live multiplayer … for free! While that’s great, a weekend is hardly the time to get invested into games and basically pushes players out as quickly as it pushed them in. Still, the promotions continue: Microsoft is opening up entertainment apps this weekend.
The promotion will run from April 19 – 23, and covers all of the entertainment apps. There are dozens, but some of the notable apps are YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. So get renting those movies.
Additionally, Hulu, Netflix and EPIX will offer free trials as part of the promotion meaning more free access to TV shows and movies (that means more Mad Men and Game of Thrones, unfortunately for me).
With the dashboard update late last year, entertainment apps arrived. The result is their usage has overtaken multiplayer gaming, meaning more people are watching movies than they are playing Call of Duty.
Movies more popular than Call of Duty
An average of 84 hours per month are spent using the app – just over three days worth. This also led to a 30 percent in the total hours spent on Xbox Live worldwide. That was despite a 20 percent decrease in video game sales, though the Xbox 360 managed to remain the top-selling video game console in the US across 14 months. With all the usage, it’s no surprise.
We can expect a lot more of this in the next generation of consoles, which could arrive as early as next year from Microsoft and Sony. Consoles aren’t about video games anymore – the decline in sales demonstrates that – so pushing other types of media content is essential.
Undoubtedly Microsoft will tie the services into Windows 8, as the company is already supporting cross-platform saves from Windows Phone 7 to Xbox Live. Imagine watching a movie or TV shows on a phone, tablet or PC and resuming on your Xbox? That’d be pretty cool, because I’ve had to stop mid-video plenty of times when traveling, so keep an eye on E3 this year. You may be in for a surprise.