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(Pocket-lint) - We already knew that Microsoft's plans for Windows 10 gaming will centre around Xbox Live, with the service stretching to PCs and phones running the new operating system after launch. But there was always a question mark over how it would technically work. Would an Xbox Live Gold subscription be needed to play multiplayer games on PC or mobile device in future, much like it is for Xbox One or Xbox 360?

The answer to that seems to be "no". That will come as great relief to the millions of PC gamers out there and those who like to dabble with friends online on a Windows phone or tablet, but console gamers are up in arms over the suggestion. Why should they have to pay, they say, while those on other devices do not?


Xbox head Phil Spencer has not been shy over the company's plans to spread Xbox Live across multiple devices - rebranding the Windows gaming service in the process. And it's a great move, combining elements and profiles so that they work in tandem and things like achievements are shared across phone, tablet, computer and console.

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However, Larry Hyrb (Major Nelson) confirmed last week on Twitter that on all formats bar console, the service would be completely open. " Xbox Live Gold will not be required for online multiplayer gaming using our service on Windows 10 PCs and phones," he wrote.

Of course, Microsoft has been keen in recent times to stress that multiplayer gaming is not the only thing offered with an Xbox Live Gold subscription; Xbox One and Xbox 360 gamers also get free games to download on a fortnightly or monthly basis. In addition, many games are available with exclusive discounts for Gold members.

But that won't stop the Twitteratti from venting their anger. Nor will it change the subscription process, we feel.

Writing by Rik Henderson.