As is the case every year, this year too saw E3 as a launch pad from which the giants of the gaming industry launched their corporate dreams. This year has seen the push for bringing the next generation of consoles online. All three major players, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, have presented some form of plan. As usual however, it was Microsoft who presented the most far-reaching and ambitious one.
Following the multitude of press releases and updates from Microsoft here is what Microsoft dreams XBox live will provide:
For your US$49.95 you will receive the XBox live pack, a one year subscription and a free voice communication headset, but that is only the beginning the real experience will begin the moment you plug everything in.
Sign up just once and access Xbox Live games with your unique name, or Gamertag. You don't have to start over with each new game you buy. You don't have to adjust to a different online experience with each game you play. You always join the online community with the same name and the same reputation you've worked hard to get. You'll start recognizing other players and making new friends. Learn from each other and you may even start climbing the rankings together.
How do you know you're playing a real person? Listen for the taunts of victory and groans of defeat. The Xbox Live Communicator headset allows you to use your voice like never before. The headset allows for games to do really amazing things, like changing the sound of your voice. Want to intimidate your opponents with a deep, threatening voice? Always wish you could sound like a robot? It's easy to do. Did your parents tell you not to talk to strangers? Chat only with your friends while you play. Shout out strategic commands to your teammates - it's way faster than trying to type them. (Do try to mute yourself before muttering about their incompetence.) If your game character is in a cave, your voice could echo off the walls. Catch up with old friends while you play. Who knew chatting with distant relatives could be this fun?
Xbox Live allows you to add other gamers to your Friends List. Enjoy competing with a particular player? Invite them to be your friend with a couple button presses from the pause menu. It's also easy to see if your friends are online and even what game they're playing. If they're already in a game, you can send them an invitation to join you. Of course, you can always delete your friends from the list if they're not what you expected. No worries, though - you're going to make so many new friends when you go Live that your old friends had better behave themselves.
[[XBox Live Ease]]
Playing an Xbox Live game with friends is fast. Just choose an Xbox game that is online-enabled. Start the game and select Play Live. Sign in and have Xbox Live matchmaking find your favorite style of gameplay. It may seem like luck the first time you find a perfect game match. Don't be fooled - it's the result of our skilled team sweating the details, all for you. (More on our skilled team in the coming weeks.)
Want the first available game so you can play right away?
We've got that.
Want to look for a specific map or game type?
Don't like laggy, choppy gaming?
We sort out the slowpokes for you.
Feel like teaming up with friends and ambushing an unsuspecting group of strangers?
Looking for opponents who are your skill level?
Whatever you choose, Xbox Live takes care of the set-up so you can save your energy for the important stuff - having fun, winning games, and talking trash!
Downloading New Content
Have you ever beaten a game that you really liked and gotten tired of it soon afterwards? Did you obtain every last item and finish every last quest? You may have gotten used to waiting a few years for the sequel to come out. Well, Xbox Live may ease some of that pain. With the ability to download new content from our servers, games may never get old. Imagine new cars, drivers, and race courses for your racing game. Maybe that first person shooter could use a new weapon, character skin, or capture-the-flag map. Role playing games could continually get new spells, equipment, or quests. Almost anything's possible. It's sort of like getting an expansion pack, but you choose only what you want. Why only get cool gifts on your birthday?
World Wide Service
With Xbox Live, you can enjoy multiplayer action with people everywhere. Thanks to the wonders of time zones, you always have a good chance of finding someone awake and ready to play. We knew there was a good reason for the earth being round.
Stay tuned for the first feature article with all the gritty details. We'll be covering all the cool things you can do with the Xbox Communicator and voice…Don't miss it.