SEGA has released a major new update for its online Xbox 360 role-player Phantasy Star Universe, and made the Ambition of the Illuminus expansion a free download.
The Guardians Advanced Content, an automatic update for subscribers, adds new missions, weapons and items, a new customisation system and an overhaul of the game's classes and skills.
The Guardians update requires the Ambition of the Illuminus expansion to work, so that add-on - which previously cost 800 Microsoft Points - is now free.
SEGA has said that PS2 and PC versions of Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus will be released on 11th January 2008 - but Xbox 360 owners can buy it online right now.
The 1.92GB expansion is available on Xbox Live Marketplace and costs 1600 Microsoft points (GBP 13.60 / EUR 18.60), and introduces new single- and multi-player content.
New missions see you (as a custom character, if you like) looking into a fundamentalist group called the Illuminus, while new levels are the Ruins of Old rozenom City and the Granigs Mines.
Perhaps unaware that Microsoft was going to haul down Xbox Live for the whole of Tuesday, SEGA has a Phantasy Star Universe open beta planned for Xbox 360 users - starting this weekend and ending on Wednesday, 18th October.
The beta, explicit details of which can be found on the game's official website, will allow anybody with an Xbox Live Gold account to download the game, create a character and go adventuring with friends.
The download file, which is up on Marketplace right now (940MB), will be available until Sunday, and, as you might imagine for a beta, SEGA's hoping you'll offer some feedback using the form on its official website.
New details have emerged of forthcoming PC, PS2 and Xbox 360 title Phantasy Star Universe - including news that you'll be able to create and customise your very own virtual living space.
That's according to an article in Famitsu, partially translated by GameSpot, which says you'll use special "remodelling tickets" to choose yourself a room from a range of designs.
You'll be able to spruce up your space by purchasing special items, and give other players presents, too. When you're online, up to five players can come and join you in your room - and even when you're offline, it'll still be open for others to come and visit. And if you need to drum up a bit of cash, you can even hold a jumble sale in your room to get rid of any unwanted junk.
Those of you looking forward to Phantasy Star Universe on Xbox 360 will have to encourage your friends to do the same - SEGA's confirmed that while people with the PS2 and PC versions will be able to play together, Xbox Live players will be closed off to them.
SEGA's announced that Phantasy Star Universe will be released on Xbox 360 this autumn along with previously announced PlayStation 2 and PC versions.