Xbox Live is King

October 18, 2006

Microsoft must be gearing up the PR machine to be ready for the launch of online services by Nintendo and Sony as we just got an email detailing the facts and stats for Live. Many of the points they drive home are in fact huge things that Microsoft built to create the model for online console gaming so I am not going to knock them. Number 8 certainly is a jab at Sony’s pricing model where the services are free, but anything in the store is going to make you pull out your wallet.

While this does reek of PR, it is a sobering reality for Sony and Nintendo that Microsoft has led the way in the online movement and has a bigger head start than anything we’ve seen in console gaming so far. Without further adu here are the top 10 experiences you can only find on Xbox 360 today:

[b]1. Xbox Live delivers one identity across your entire Xbox 360 experience[/b]
– Your unique gamertag, gamer profile; gamer score; gamer zone; reputation and achievements stay with you wherever and whatever you play.
– One friends list across all games, so you are always connected to a global community of millions at any time.
– As we roll out Live across platforms, your identity will be available anywhere, anytime on Xbox, Windows, and mobile devices.

[b]2. Earn Achievements in every Xbox 360 game to compare your progress, skills and accomplishments with your friends on Xbox Live and[/b]
– Achievements are changing the way people play games, the way games are designed and chronicles your entire gaming history.

[b]3. The unified Xbox Live network means you are always connected to a global community of 4 million gamers across 24 countries[/b]
– Connect with your friends online, or play with new ones in a safe, secure, managed environment free from cheating, hacking and viruses.
– Xbox Live provides gamers with access to global tournaments and exclusive programs including online Game with Fame events with Larry Johnson, Matisyahu, Jack Black, The Fray and the forthcoming Pac-Man World Championships in February 2007.

[b]4. Download and enjoy the wide collection Xbox Live Arcade games that are taking the industry by storm[/b]
– Access the collection of over 30 highly addictive games to date from the world’s most creative indie game developers and the biggest game publishers on the planet.
– Sample the free, fully playable trial version for every Xbox Live Arcade game.

[b]5. Ubiquitous voice chat in every game plus video chat, text and picture messaging[/b]
– You don’t have to be in the same game to communicate – chat to your friends anytime while playing a game, watching a movie or even listening to music on your Xbox 360.
– Full access to your community via on your PC anytime, anywhere.

[b]6. Xbox Live connectivity in every Xbox 360 game[/b]
– Call of Duty 2, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Saints Row and Madden NFL 07 are the hottest Xbox Live titles of the moment with even more to come with the eagerly anticipated arrivals of Gears of War, Call of Duty 3 and WWE Smackdown vs RAW on Xbox 360 this holiday.
– And next year, games like Halo 3, the king of all multiplayer games, as well as exclusive, episodic content for Grand Theft Auto 4 will amp up the Xbox Live experience.

[b]7. Free online membership with Xbox Live Silver membership built in to Xbox 360[/b]
– Create your personalized gamer profile and gamertag; download free game demos so you can try games before you buy them; send and receive text and voice messages and access the best in gaming and entertainment content direct from Xbox Live Marketplace.
Or, upgrade to the supercharged Xbox Live Gold membership
– Enjoy all the features of the free Xbox Live Silver membership plus online multiplayer gaming, enhanced matchmaking features and exclusive online tournaments, programs and events for just $49.99 a year.

[b]8. No credit cards are needed with instant access to Xbox Live Marketplace – the digital download center packed with the latest gaming and entertainment content[/b]
– Sample the free game trailers and game demos or purchase the latest download content for your favorite games.
– Enjoy the latest high-definition movie trailers and new music videos.
– The Microsoft Points micro-transaction model provides gamers with access to an online, renewable, prepaid balance to purchase digital gaming and entertainment content direct from Xbox Live Marketplace with ease.

[b]9. Best in class Family Settings tools[/b]
– Xbox was the first video game console to introduce Family Settings, and today Xbox 360 and Xbox Live offer some of the most advanced family settings features in the industry.
– Our best in class Family Settings tools allow parents to manage the games their children play, the rated movies they watch, and who they interact with both online and offline.
10. Enhanced matchmaking tools that mean you are matched with gamers you want to play with for the very best gaming experience[/b]
– Our pioneering matchmaking features – reputation, gamer score, game zone and TrueSkill intelligent matchmaking systems – allow skill-based matches so gamers and teams of equal skill are matched together over Xbox Live for great gaming experiences.