Microsoft is celebrating five years of Xbox Live by showering its eight million users - many of whom subscribe - with free gifts and introducing downloadable Xbox 1 games.
First up, any of you who venture online between 12.01am PST on 15th November and midnight the following evening will be able to download Carcassonne for free, while every active member who joined in 2002 - when the service first got going - will receive 500 Microsoft points as a token of Microsoft's appreciation for all the money/loyalty you've shown them.
And, as announced yesterday, the upcoming 4th December Dashboard Update will kick off a programme of Xbox 1 releases. All will be downloadable, priced at 1200 Microsoft points (GBP 10.20 / EUR 13.96), and Halo's among the openers.
The other games are Psychonauts (hurrah!), Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, Fable, Fuzion Frenzy, Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex and Burnout 3: Takedown. Fahrenheit was mooted yesterday, but seems to be absent from the official launch list.
Microsoft says it's "only the beginning", although it's worth bearing in mind that since Xbox 1 playback relies on software emulation there will be a few minor bugs to watch out for, helpfully detailed on the official Xbox website, the worst of which seem to be Fable's "random bursts of audio static" (wow, can we pre-order?) and Psychonauts not working in 720p on PAL Xbox 360s. "Running the game in 720p over HDMI will result in the game locking up for PAL users," says the website. "If you are using HDMI output, set the resolution to 1080i or 1080p (anything but 720p)." Hopefully they'll sort that out.
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