Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox Live Gold is not required for the Play Anywhere feature announced today whereby buying an Xbox One game gets you the PC version free or vice versa. You will, of course, need Gold for online multiplayer, including the new Arenas feature.
“Xbox Live Gold isn’t required for playing games that are Xbox Play Anywhere other than enjoying online multiplayer with those games on Xbox One,” a Microsoft representative told GameSpot today. “Similarly, Xbox Live Gold is needed for playing online multiplayer on Xbox One through Arenas on Xbox Live.”
Microsoft also confirmed with GameSpot today that Gold is not required to use two upcoming Xbox Live features: background music and language region independence. These features are due to arrive this summer through a new Xbox One update, and there was never any reason to believe they would require Gold.
GameSpot has followed up with Microsoft in an attempt to find out if the new Clubs and Looking for Group features require Xbox Live Gold. Since they both are connected to online multiplayer, it seems likely that they would.