Microsoft kills another Xbox One feature

Microsoft kills another Xbox One feature, and people aren't happy

The Xbox One is shedding some extra weight at the expense of those trying to do the same, as Microsoft Studios announced today that its Xbox Fitness program is coming to a close.

Effective immediately, content for the Xbox One's virtual personal trainer is no longer available to purchase, while any workouts purchased by users will remain available for one year before being completely inaccessible on July 1, 2017.

The trial version of the service for Xbox Live Gold members will also go under on December 15, 2016, which provided over 30 fitness routines for free as part of subscribing to Xbox's premium online membership.

Why is Microsoft cancelling Xbox Fitness' gym membership? It basically boils down the unsustainability of keeping Fitness fresh with new content.

Microsoft hasn't yet discussed plans to reimburse those who purchased soon-to-be-obsolete workouts, adding some vitriol to already disappointed users of the service who have let their feelings be known. There's even a petition to have Microsoft reverse its decision or otherwise allow access to the service after its closure.

Xbox Only-Does-One

Launched with the Xbox One back in 2013, Xbox Fitness was one of the first major features touted alongside the console back when it originally pitched itself as more of an all-in-one media hub than a gaming machine.

Instead, Xbox Fitness joins the likes of DVR functionality, Kinect, and that whole DRM debacle as cancelled or half-hearted attempts by Microsoft to expand the Xbox One beyond gaming.

It's not necessarily a bad thing that the Xbox One is evolving into a more gaming-focused console; the PS4 found success in simplicity, leading to Microsoft firing back with popular decisions like lowering the One's price and adding backwards compatibility to help tip customers on the fence onto their side.

However, those who originally purchased the Xbox One on the promise of all their entertainment in one place probably have a sour taste in their mouths right now.

We asked Microsoft about the direction the Xbox One is heading, as well as about whether it plans to issue refunds for Xbox Fitness, but were only given this statement by a Microsoft spokesperson:

"This was not an easy decision. Since November 2013, Xbox Fitness has continually evolved since it launched on Xbox One, with new content and ongoing updates. Given the service relies so heavily on providing new and exciting content, we've given much consideration to the reality of updating the service regularly in order to sustain it. We're communicating the decision to scale back support over the next year in order to give the Xbox Fitness community advance notice to these changes."

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.