MS announces Live 360 pricing

How much the Yanks are paying.

Details of the various pricing plans for the Xbox Live service on Xbox 360 have been officially revealed, confirming earlier reports which hinted at a variety of subscription packs with different price points and benefits.

The basic pricing for Xbox Live Gold - as the subscription service is known, distinguishing it from the free Xbox Live Silver service - is $7.99 per month, with a three month subscription priced at $19.99 and twelve months at $49.99.

These subscriptions can be purchased directly through the Xbox Live Dashboard using a credit card, or acquired from retail outlets, and will give users access to play online games and use the matchmaking functions of the Xbox Live service, as well as doing all the things that Silver users can such as voice and text messaging, downloading demos and trailers and accessing the Xbox Live Marketplace.

However, two other more expensive packages will also be launched, which will only be available through retail outlets.

The Xbox Live Premium Gold Packs will be available in three-month and one-year variants, priced at $39.99 and $69.99 respectively. Both packs will include all of the Gold features, along with an Xbox Live headset and access to an Xbox Live Arcade game - Joust for three-month subscribers, and Bankshot Billiards for twelve month subscribers.

Three month subscribers will also receive a $10 mail-in rebate coupon for any Xbox 360 games, and 100 points to spend in the Xbox Live Marketplace, while twelve month subscribers get a $20 rebate and 200 marketplace points.

European pricing for the service has yet to be announced, but is likely to match up closely with the American price points.

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