I must have missed the news about Microsoft discontinuing their Xbox Live Family Gold accounts, because I was rather surprised when I received this email earlier this weekend:
Xbox Live Gold Family Pack Conversion to Individual Memberships
As a valued Xbox Live Gold member, we'd like to thank you and your family for being part of the Gold community.
We continually evaluate our offerings and are always working to provide services that best meet the needs of our customers.
- Starting August 27, 2013, we will be converting each activated account on your Gold Family Pack to an individual Xbox Live Gold membership to prepare for new upcoming features on Xbox Live Gold. Rest assured, each individual membership will work on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
- Through the new Home Gold feature on Xbox One, a single Xbox Live Gold membership will allow anyone in your home to enjoy many Gold features like multiplayer, access to Gold entertainment apps, and more on your Xbox One.*
- As a bonus, we will give each converted individual Xbox Live Gold membership from your Gold Family Pack an extra 3 months of Gold (in addition to the time remaining on your membership term).**
- Before your memberships convert, you can still add family members to your Xbox Live Gold Family Pack, for a total of up to four accounts. However, any unassigned secondary accounts will no longer be accessible after your conversion. Please be sure to update your secondary accounts here.
After your memberships convert, the only Gold Family Pack features that will no longer be available are activity monitoring reports and Microsoft Points allowances. Activity monitoring reports will deactivate at the time of Gold Family Pack conversion, whereas the Microsoft Points allowance feature will no longer be available after the next Xbox 360 system update. Xbox Live family settings, including parental controls for what your kids can access and play on or offline, will still be available.
We hope you enjoy your 3 bonus months of Xbox Live Gold and continue to benefit from your Xbox Live Gold memberships on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
The Xbox Live Team
WTF? We currently use 3 Xbox Live accounts as a family in order to fulfill our needs, and the $99 price tag for the Live family seemed about the appropriate level for what we use it for (video streaming by my wife, online gaming for Anthony, and then a combination of things for me). I cannot imagine paying retail of $59 or any resemblance thereof for this privilege.
They are marketing the Home Gold now, which will be (from what I read) tied to an individual Xbox One box, which again does me no good because there is not a compelling reason to get an Xbox One when it first comes out, especially when the other units I have function well.
Like normal, Microsoft continues to make stupid, anti-consumer moves to just stabilize their revenue stream. I will have to consider all my options if and when I replace our current Xbox devices.