Microsoft has announced that Xbox Party Chat will be free for all Xbox owners soon. This is after the company has forced users into subscribing to Xbox Gold in order to join and create chat parties.
The much-needed change is good news for Xbox owners but it also sheds even more light on the company’s move to unlock more online features for gamers on the platform without the need to subscribe to the service. Microsoft recently announced that they would also do away with the need for Xbox Gold in order to play free-to-play games.
Microsoft has big plans for its online network and while much of it seems confusing at this stage, the company is moving forward with a handful of them. For example, Microsoft is also renaming its Xbox Live service to just “Xbox network” which is part of the latest update being sent out to testers.
Xbox Insiders in Alpha Skip Ahead & Alpha today we are flighting some new features. Multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking 4 Groups and Party Chat on Xbox no longer requires an Xbox Live Gold membership as we flight and test these service changes ahead of general availability
— Brad Rossetti (@WorkWombatman) March 24, 2021
In short, the latest Xbox Insiders build includes the ability to use the Xbox Part Chat feature without an Xbox Gold subscription. In addition, users have been able to access and play free-to-play games such as Fortnite without an ongoing subscription. The new feature set will most likely roll out to the public in the weeks ahead.