At $49.99 per year, a subscription to Xbox Live Gold isn’t all that bad of a deal — unless you compare it to the newly announced Xbox Live Gold Family Pack. Starting in November, $99.99 a year will give up to four users access to all of the perks that the single user membership offers. You know, great stuff like multiplayer gaming, a Zune Pass, Netflix streaming, video chat and 3,500 live sporting events from ESPN. Hit the jump to check out the press release. More →
Microsoft is slowly pushing original Xbox owners to upgrade to the Xbox 360. The software giant discontinued the original Xbox in late 2008 and officially stopped supporting the aging console in March 2009. In a final effort to encourage folks to upgrade, Microsoft has announced that it will be pulling the plug on Xbox Live for all original Xbox consoles and Xbox-compatible games starting April 15th. Folks that are stuck in the early 2000’s still playing Halo 2 will have two good months of retro game playing left before their connection goes dead and they must either make the long-avoided jump to the Xbox 360 or be forced to play their multiplayer games in isolation. When that time of crisis inevitably comes, prepare yourself to pack away that Xbox for posterity sake, trade in that copy of Blood Wake for Bioshock 2 and step into the next generation of gaming. Big Daddy promises that you won’t be disappointed. More →
The idea of integrating Xbox LIVE into Windows Mobile has been bouncing around since Steve Ballmer’s CES 2009 keynote where he and his associates showed off Windows 7, Windows Mobile and the new Xbox Experience and promised that “Microsoft will connect your entertainment experience.” That pie in the sky dream was not realized in 2009 but a job posting at Microsoft suggests that the idea has not been forgotten. Recently, Microsoft is seeking a Principle Program Manager to “bring Xbox LIVE enabled games to Windows Mobile” and is someone who “will focus specifically on what makes gaming experiences “LIVE Enabled” through aspects such as avatar integration, social interactions, and multi-screen experiences”. Xbox LIVE integration may be the ace up Microsoft’s sleeve and may help bolster Windows Mobile’s position as a consumer oriented device.
Its official, folks. The Zune HD is real and is slated to drop this fall. All the rumored specs are here – 3.3 inch 480 x 272 OLED capacitive touchscreen display, built-in HD Radio receiver, HD output (requires an optional dock), Wi-Fi, integrated web browser, multitouch support and Xbox LIVE integration. Attendees at E3 will get the first look at the Xbox LIVE integration in what Microsoft calls “a game-changing entertainment experience”. Sounds sweet and may turn out to be the one item that differentiates it from the competition. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Amazon announced today that it has added a dedicated Xbox LIVE store to its myriad of electronic storefronts. This latest partnership allows customers to purchase Xbox LIVE Arcade games, subscription cards and Microsoft points directly from Amazon. Customers who purchase Xbox LIVE content from Amazon will be provided with a digitally-delivered code that they can redeem via their own console or give as a gift to an Xbox 360 owner. The ability to give a select Xbox LIVE Arcade game as a gift is a feature unique to Amazon’s store — previously, all Xbox LIVE Arcade games had to be purchased through an Xbox 360 console which made it difficult for a non-gamer to give such a gift. The Xbox LIVE store also features Amazon’s typical recommendation system and online customer reviews. Check it out and let us know what you think.