Microsoft wants everyone with an Xbox One to play Titanfall. Every one.
In order to achieve this, Microsoft is easing back its Xbox Live Gold paywall for one weekend. One weekend that just happens to coincide with the start of the Titanfall beta test.
The free Live Gold weekend begins at midnight on Valentine's Day and lasts until midnight on Sunday February 16. During that time all Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners will be able to access multiplayer games, apps (like Netflix and Hulu), and Video Kinect. The free Gold only applies to Xbox owners in either the U.S. or Canada.
This, of course, means that everyone using an Xbox One that signed up for the Titanfall beta will be able to play it this weekend - regardless of Xbox Live subscription status. EA earlier this week announced that a beta test for the PC and Xbox One version of Titanfall will begin on February 14 and last into next week.
This synergy between the free Xbox Live Gold and the Titanfall beta is almost certainly not a coincidence. The offering could demonstrate just how important Microsoft believes Titanfall is for the success of the Xbox One. Microsoft has positioned its console as a device for Call of Duty and Madden gamers who also love to watch sports on TV. Partly because of this focus the Xbox One is less powerful, yet more expensive than the PlayStation 4 console. If Titanfall - an Xbox One "exclusive" with loads of industry and marketing hype behind it - cannot drive Xbox One sales, it may be a sign the console will continue to fall further behind Sony's competing platform for years to come.