Xbox Live Free Next Week

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Microsoft is pulling out the stops next week in an attempt to reach out to the portion of its Xbox 360 owners that haven’t opted to pay for an Xbox Live Gold membership by making the service free for the week.

The word from Microsoft is that Xbox 360 owners who aren’t already on the Xbox Live Gold service will be getting free access to those features normally reserved for Gold membership for the week starting on November 25th. The whole thing comes after Microsoft added support for Twitter and LastFM to the Xbox yesterday, resulting in hundreds of near-identical “Tweeting from my Xbox” updates.

It’s good to see Microsoft reaching out to its European users too. Those Xbox owners in the US will only be seeing their free access last for the 48 hours over the weekend, while we’ve got a full week to play with it. While it likely won’t go too far towards making up for the fact that Live membership is more expensive here, it’s nice to get something.

Of course, there are a couple of big questions raised by the whole Xbox Live promotion. The first is whether or not Microsoft’s servers will be able to handle what’s likely to be a monumental increase in traffic. Given the fact that Live has suffered outages just after Christmas before (due, one presumes, to the sheer number of extra Xboxes out there) it seems quite likely that a free week of Live use might well do some harm.

The second major question it’ll raise for many users is whether or not Microsoft intends to keep charging for Xbox Live at all. In a world where Sony’s PlayStation 3 has been price dropped to the far more competitive sub €300 mark and made that bit slimmer, the fact that multiplayer over PlayStation Network (PSN) is free starts to look like a very good reason indeed to go the Sony route. Indeed, if you factor in the cost of an Xbox Live Gold membership the PS3 will have cost less within the first year…

Still, if the service Microsoft can provide during a week of free Xbox Live is solid we imagine it will reap the benefits in the form of a nice bump in subscription numbers.

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2 Responses to “Xbox Live Free Next Week”

  1. Free xBox live Says:

    Only for next week? PSN is free – why don’t they make the whole dam thing free?!

    Microsoft hardly need more funding…

  2. All Xbox Games Says:

    Great news!
    Thank you for sharing.
    Keep up your good work!

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