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Xbox Family Share now individualized

by William Schwartz

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Earlier back in March, Microsoft announced that they would be discontinuing the Xbox Live Gold Family Share Packs, which allowed for the purchase of 4 years of Xbox Live Gold to share among family members for the price of 2 years of Xbox Live Gold. Now, on a recent FAQ posted on the Xbox Support Website, it has been announced that Xbox Live Gold Family Share Packs will become individual accounts effective August 27. According to the FAQ, “Starting August 27, 2013, each activated account in your Gold Family Pack will convert to an individual Xbox Live Gold membership. Each of your family’s new individual memberships will have the same amount of time remaining on them as your Gold Family [Share] Pack does at the time of conversion. Plus, we’ll add a bonus of 3 months to each account!”

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Because of this discontinuation, two features are no longer active. Family members may not activity monitor or allocate Microsoft points between users. Also, only the primary Xbox Live Gold member will be able to auto-renew. Other users will need to “add or update the billing information” before they are allowed to auto-renew. This discontinuation of  the Family Share Plan is presumably to aid the transition into Microsoft’s new Xbox One Gold Home program, which allows “an unlimited number” of Xbox Free members on a single console to enjoy the benefits of Xbox Gold, assuming there is one account with an active Xbox Gold subscription, whether it be the home console or a friend’s console. Here’s how Marc Whitten, Xbox chief product officer, described it. “So how it works is, on your console, anybody else on the console, whether it’s a babysitter that’s come over or a friend or your family, can participate in all the experiences like they’re on Gold. It’s with their Gamertag so they’re not on your Gamertag, you don’t even have to be there, they’re not messing up your Gamerscore or your storage or your queues or anything like that. It’s their full account experience, but it really gets to take full advantage of many of the Gold features.”

More can be found on Xbox Wire.

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