Over a period of its evolution, the video gaming activity has become highly interactive. The cheap and easy accessibility of broadband Internet technology has transformed gaming into a global online activity where multiple players from different locations can play with each other online in real-time.
Xbox LIVE is the registered trademark of Microsoft's Xbox 360 online version that allows multi-user online gaming and interactive participation around the world.
Within a short span of time, the Xbox LIVE community has grown into a wonderful network of over twelve million subscribers worldwide. The industry recognizes the commanding position of Xbox LIVE that also acted as a major differentiator for Xbox 360 and strengthened its position in a highly competitive global gaming market.
Xbox LIVE enables exclusive access for the users to view new game demos, and even movies and television shows through its special online service Xbox LIVE Marketplace. The premium content from the LIVE Marketplace can be bought for a price and downloaded online, while some content is provided free for all subscribers.
The "Silver" membership of Xbox LIVE comes for free, while the "Gold" membership is its premium paid membership.
In November, 2008, Xbox 360 is all set to revolutionize the era of online gaming further with an enhanced experience of Xbox LIVE. It is popularly being called "The New Xbox Experience", which promises a host of new facilities and features to the product as well as its online version.
Some of the prominent new features of Xbox LIVE that are ready to be launched soon, are as follows:
XBOX LIVE PARTYING:
Xbox LIVE will enable the users to set up a virtual party of up to 8 friends, located anywhere in the world with access to Xbox LIVE. These friends can play games together, move from one game to another together, watch a movie together, listen to some great music together, engage in voice or video chat together, and share pictures and slideshows together.
XBOX LIVE PRIMETIME:
There is going to be an entire new segment of games to be enjoyed online with friends and community. These games will support popular features such as Achievements and Leader-boards, and many of the games will also have real rewards and prizes. All such games will be broadcast at the same time everywhere, so that every participants gets equal opportunity to play and win. Many online events will have a live host or master of ceremonies to conduct the show smoothly.
XBOX LIVE AVATAR:
Originally the subscribers to Xbox online service were provided an identity as a "Gamertag". It finally evolved into a customized GamerCard. And now, with the New Xbox Experience, the user's identity is going to evolve one step even further into an "Avatar". This unique Avatar will allow you to create your own identity, make your own style statement, try out new outfits for your Avatar, and share the Avatar in its final shape with the entire community. The Avatars will also get seamlessly integrated with the Xbox LIVE Arcade games, LIVE Partying, as well as games acquired through retail.
SUMMARY: Xbox LIVE enhances the overall gaming experience of the users, allows for multi-user gameplay, and takes the gaming activity to an entirely new level of virtual social networking and social entertainment.