Microsoft hides the Xbox One's DVR (and other killer features) behind a paywall

Microsoft made a big deal out of the Xbox One's in-game DVR, which lets you share footage of your in-game adventures with friends. But now, the company says the feature will only be available with a $60 per year Xbox Live Gold subscription.

The Xbox One automatically records the last five minutes of any game. Players can then go back to that footage and share it over Xbox Live or on social networks. The Xbox Live requirement was confirmed by One Hit Pixel this week.

That's not the only feature Microsoft is hiding behind the Xbox Live paywall. As with the Xbox 360, players will need a subscription to play online multiplayer and use streaming apps such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. Skype video chat will also require an Xbox Live subscription. In other words, Microsoft is trying to make the Xbox Live subscription an essential part of owning an Xbox One.

Using the Xbox One's DVR feature with Forza 5.

The strategy contrasts sharply with Sony's Playstation 4, which will only require a Playstation Plus subscription for online multiplayer. Users won't need a subscription for streaming apps, in-game recording, or free-to-play games.

On the bright side, Microsoft has decided to follow Sony and include a wired headset with the Xbox One, instead of making players pay an extra $25 for it. Originally, Microsoft had opted not to include a headset with the console, pointing out that the included Kinect was sufficient for in-game voice chat.

But last month, Albert Penello, Xbox One's director of product planning, wrote on Twitter that Microsoft “heard the feedback” and was looking into including a headset. Now it's official.

Including a headset is a good move for Microsoft, as it will encourage more voice chat during games (and hopefully more of the good kind, given the console's new reputation system). While Kinect's voice recognition might have the same effect, it's not the same as having a dedicated earpiece for communicating with other players.

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