X03: MS announces Xbox Live revisions

Pricing, Starter Kit, more countries, and so on.

Microsoft has announced a number of new Xbox Live initiatives, some of which we drew your attention to in our Xbox exposé [Xposé, surely? -Foreign Ed] the other week, including pricing options for renewals early next year, a two-months-free offer and a standalone headset for people who don't go for the Starter Kit (which will now include demos of MotoGP and MechAssault instead of Whacked! - a bit crap, given we wanted Re-Volt at least, but hey, we're not buying it anyway).

Firstly, as announced at E3, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland will be able to take advantage of Xbox Live - from October 31st, we found out this evening.

The good thing for these chaps and chapettes is that - as we revealed (blah blah blah) - soon they will be able to get two months free Live subscription with any of the following games: Amped 2, Crimson Skies, Dancing Stage Unleashed, Links 2004, Magic: The Gathering, Project Gotham Racing 2, TOCA Race Drive, Sega GT Online, Jedi Academy, Rainbow Six 3, Top Spin, Music Mixer, and XIII. And if they like it, they can just pop down the hypermarché and pick up a standalone Communicator headset for £19.99 / €29.99.

However for those of us who intend to renew our subscriptions in March, we now know it will cost £39.99 / €59.99 (colour us surprised) or £4.99 / €6.99 per month, and as expected all this will be handled via the dashboard unless absolutely necessary. We can also expect to see various new Live features (all of which have been bandied around the Internet over the past few months - Live statistics available on a website; invites via PDA, mobile phone or MSN Messenger; Live-aware single player games, primed to accept messages and invites from the community; and XSN Sports integration).

All of which is jolly good news, of course.

Anyway - we'll leave you (for the next few news item-free minutes) with a list of Live-enabled games due for release over the next few months: Crimson Skies, Dancing Stage Unleashed, Dead Or Alive Online, Halo 2, Ninja Gaiden, Project Gotham Racing 2, Race Driver 2, Rainbow Six 3, RalliSport Challenge 2, Steel Battalion - Line of Contact, XIII and Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (of which we should have some footage tomorrow morning!)

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About the author

Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

Contributor  |  tombramwell

Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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