It's no secret that Microsoft's messaging surrounding the Xbox One has been convoluted, and it seems even the company's own representatives don't quite have a grasp on all the console's features and policies.
But some of the TV-related features that Microsoft previously said will require an Xbox Live Gold subscription might not after all.
The Xbox One's "OneGuide" feature, which turns the console into an interactive and powerful cable guide, will not require a Gold subscription, Microsoft’s Xbox group Lead Planner Albert Penello reportedly told GameFront yesterday at PAX. Gold also isn't required for features that require a TV to be connected to the console via HDMI, like TV-controlling voice commands.
OneGuide is listed on Xbox.com under the heading "Xbox Live Gold Features" alongside the console's Game DVR, NFL on Xbox, SmartMatch matchmaking, and Skype features. And if that didn't make it clear enough, I confirmed with a Microsoft spokesperson earlier this month that the list is accurate.
So what's the deal here? Is this just another case of Microsoft's representatives being confused about the console's features, or is the company backtracking once again? I reached out to Microsoft again to get confirmation either way, and I'll update this post if I hear back.
Update: A Microsoft spokesperson sent over a brief statement, saying, "Xbox One will have a TV experience for everyone, including non-Gold members. We’ll have more to share and show in the coming weeks." It's not much, but at least it's something.