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Microsoft plans 24 hours Live downtime

Live aid.

As regular Xbox Live users will know by now, Microsoft is planning 24 hours downtime this coming Wednesday, April 21st, starting just after 6AM PDT, in order to perform a system-wide upgrade codenamed "Tsunami". Users are currently being notified of the downtime when they log on, and will be expected to download a small update when the service resumes.

Tsunami, or Xbox Live 3.0 as it's sometimes called, will enable developers to add additional functionality like MSN Messenger integration to future Live titles. Details of Microsoft's plans found their way into the open earlier this year via an Xbox Development Kit (XDK) readme file, promising voicemail, clan-specific features, user mod storage systems and the aforementioned integration of everyone's favourite instant messaging client.

However, late last week Microsoft was trying to dampen the frothing excitement from fans, with Live Director of Programming Major Nelson pointing out "Most [features] will not be visible until game developers decide to implement specific features into their titles." In other words, while MSN Messenger integration will be enabled, you're not going to turn on your Xbox this Thursday and suddenly be able to enjoy abusive conversations with your friends sat in front of PC monitors at work.

We also have certain, um, reservations about the aforementioned MSN integration. With a lot of folks taking advantage of the infectious IM client these days, it's only a matter of time before somebody gets us in trouble for playing Topspin at 2PM on a Monday afternoon when we should be writing about how much we enjoy Game X. Can we get an 'off' button? Please?

To read about the new Xbox Live 3.0 features in more detail, please refer to our previous article. Or make it all up in your head or something.

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