London 13 September, 2005 â€” Microsoft Corp. today announced that the next generation of online multiplayer gaming service Xbox LiveÂ® will be available in Europe on the Xbox 360TM video game and entertainment system starting this Christmas season. In addition to the Xbox Live Silver membership available to every Xbox 360 owner out of the box, for only Â£39.99* gamers can amplify their gaming experience with a 12-month Xbox Live Gold membership.
Microsoft also today announced that credit cards will no longer be required to create an account on Xbox Live for Xbox 360, removing one of the biggest barriers to entry. Gamers can purchase 12-month Xbox Live subscription cards via cash or other payment methods at any participating retail store. Subscriptions will also be available for purchase by credit card in one-month, three-month and 12-month increments through the Xbox Live Dashboard.
The next generation of Xbox Live will be offered to gamers through two levels of service. Xbox Live Silver is a standard level of the service offered to all who own an Xbox 360 system, a broadband connection, and a memory unit or a hard drive. The Xbox Live Gold membership delivers the full Xbox Live premium online experience annually for Â£39.99,* which averages to around Â£3 a month. The Xbox Live offers include the following:
Xbox Live Silver membership
This allows members to connect to the online community and create their own digital identity with an Xbox Live gamertag and personalised Gamer Profile. Xbox Live Silver members will be able to send and receive text and voice messages and join their friends on Xbox Live. Xbox Live Marketplace is the one-stop download centre for additional game-related content like free trailers and demos as well as content that adds more to games, such as new levels, characters and weapons. Gamers can also purchase and download fun, casual and highly addictive Xbox Live Arcade games directly to their Xbox 360 system (additional fees may apply; hard drive or memory unit required for downloads).
Included with all purchases of an Xbox 360 console
Xbox Live Gold membership
This includes all Xbox Live Silver-level features and access to premium multiplayer experiences exclusive to Xbox Live Gold members. This includes online multiplayer gaming, enhanced matchmaking and feedback tools, along with exclusive privileges and rewards on Xbox Live Marketplace.
Subscription cards at retail & available through Xbox Live Dashboard (via credit card)
"Xbox Live on Xbox 360 gives each and every player the opportunity to become a member of the world's largest online gaming community," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Publishing for the Home Entertainment Division at Microsoft. "With a choice of service level and multiple offerings, gamers everywhere will get the most out of their games by experiencing breakthrough features on the most innovative video-game and entertainment system to date. We're excited to offer our existing 2 million members this supercharged online experience at the same retail price, as well as introduce new users to the next generation in online gaming and entertainment."
About Xbox Live
Xbox Live continues to transform and unite XboxÂ® game communities worldwide, with a presence in 24 countries worldwide and a global community of more than 2 million members. As the first and only global, unified online console games service, Xbox Live offers world-class games, intelligent matchmaking, tournaments, unique programming and integration with Xbox.com. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/live.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around you. The system will launch this Christmas season in Europe, Japan and North America, to be followed by availability in Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan in 2006. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
*Prices are estimated retail prices. Actual retail prices may vary.
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