microsoft games with goldMicrosoft has announced that the Xbox One version of their Games With Gold promotion will require a subscription to access the free games.

The promotion on the Xbox 360 allows you to continue to access the free games in the promotion even if your subscription to Gold expires.

The small print on an Xbox Wire post though states: “On Xbox One, active Gold membership required to play free games you’ve downloaded. You must download titles during designated window. Kinect and/or hard drive required for some games.”

So it seems as though you will still have the games on your hard drive, but will be unable to boot them up if your subscription expires, in a similar fashion to Sony’s PlayStation Plus service on PS3 and PS4, which has been given some high-profile games for its free games service, perhaps due to the game being free for a limited time. It is unknown whether these same restrictions will be applied to the 360.

The Games With Gold programme is launching next month for the Xbox One, offering Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault as the first games available for free.

The Xbox 360 is getting an extra game in June to celebrate one year of the promotion, with players being given Dark Souls, Charlie Murder and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.

The launch of the Games With Gold programme on Xbox One coincides with the release of a Kinect-free version of the Xbox One, which will cost $399/£349. Kinect will also be made available separately.

What are your thoughts on the new restrictions to the Games With Gold promotion? Do you think this will help the service get a similar calibre of games that PlayStation Plus gets?