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Xbox LIVE Gold Free This Weekend, Chance To Win Goodies

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Freebies, Microsoft, Xbox Live, Xbox LIVE Gold Membership

Xbox LIVE Gold Free This Weekend, Chance To Win Goodies

Microsoft have announced that Xbox LIVE Gold will be free this weekend, offering up all of the services of Xbox LIVE for nothing, with special discount prizes across the Zune marketplace.

On top of that, anyone who accesses Xbox LIVE or jumps onto Xbox.com and enters a few basic details can put themelves in the running for The Xbox Christmas Entertainment Package which includes a Samsung LED television, an Xbox 360 S 250GB System Kinect Bundle, a 12 month LIVE Gold subscription, 8000 Microsoft Points, 10 x Xbox LIVE Arcade titles plus Forza Motorsport 4 and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a Gears of War 3 Wireless Controller, a Modern Warfare 3 Wireless Controller, a Modern Warfare 3 Wireless Headset with Bluetooth and much more!

More details can be found here.

Xbox Companion App Hits Windows Phone 7 Tomorrow

Author:
Felix Kemp
Category:
News
Tags:
Dashboard Update, Microsoft, Xbox Companion, Xbox Live

Xbox Companion App Hits Windows Phone 7 Tomorrow

Following on from Jon's earlier post regarding the upcoming Xbox 360 Dashboard update, Microsoft have announced they'll be releasing a new Windows Phone 7 app, dubbed the Xbox Companion, tomorrow. With the app installed, you can track your 360 friends' activities - what games they're playing, videos they're watching, how their Achievement score stacks up next to yours - and search for content via Xbox LIVE.

Furthermore, the Xbox Companion app allows you to remotely control your 360, launching movies, hitting play, pause, fast-forward or stop, activate apps and even "initiate media purchases". It's nothing too eye-opening, but Microsoft has long promised to integrate the 360 and LIVE with their mobile platform, and it appears they're on the right track towards achieving this.

Xbox LIVE's 'Metro' Update Goes Live Tomorrow, TV Partners Detailed

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
4 On Demand, BBC, Metro update, Microsoft, TV on demand, Xbox Live

Xbox LIVE's 'Metro' Update Goes Live Tomorrow, TV Partners Detailed

Microsoft made a strong pledge back at E3 that they'd be taking the entertainment bull by the horns this year and finally transforming the Xbox into a media centre to finally rival the on demand trinkets offered by its competition. Well, that process finally begins to get rolled out tomorrow with the new Metro update and Microsoft have provided a full list of partner along with a vague indication of when we might expect to see their products on Xbox LIVE. The BBC is on there, but slated for 'Early 2012.

Hit the jump for more details and the full list of TV partners...

Xbox.com Redesign Lets You Cancel XBL Auto-Renewal

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Microsoft, Xbox Live, Xbox.com

Xbox.com Redesign Lets You Cancel XBL Auto-Renewal

Many of you will have noticed that Xbox.com went live with a new 'metro' design over the weekend, which adds new search options and Beacons friend-finding functionality. It's also much easier on the eye.

For savvy consumers, however, the main event is the fact that you can now easily deactivate the much-maligned 'auto-renewal' function for Xbox Live Gold Membership. This nasty little feature usually meant long and tedious calls to customer support in order to dodge months of overpriced subscriptions drawn directly from your credit card, but it's now a thing of the past. About time too, really.

New Alan Wake To Be XBL Game: Night Springs?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Alan Wake, Alan Wake's Night Springs, Rumour, Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live

New Alan Wake To Be XBL Game: Night Springs?

Good news, Alan Wake fans. Microsoft corporate shill Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb has confirmed that the next Alan Wake game will be a "fully standalone experience and released on Xbox Live"... and even more excitingly, XBLAFans claim to have seen it in action. According to their rumour and authentic-looking screenshot, the downloadable offering is entitled Alan Wake's Night Springs, and it features a mode called "Arcade Action" as well as a story campaign. I just hope that it isn't going to be a twinstick shooter.

Regardless, the new Alan Wake title is set for reveal at the upcoming VGAs. We'll shine a torch on it nearer the time.

Gears 3 Horde Command DLC Now Available

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
DLC, Epic Games, Gears of War 3, Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live

Gears 3 Horde Command DLC Now Available

Free DLC Pack Incoming

After a "backend issue" prevented Gears Of War 3's Horde Command DLC pack from releasing on time, Epic Games VP Mark Rein has confirmed that it's now available on Xbox Live. It will set you back 800 Microsoft Points if you haven't bought the Season Pass - and adds three new horde maps, several new fortification upgrades and some extra characters. Details here.

In other Gears 3 news, Epic has announced that a free content pack will be heading to Xbox Live later this month. The Versus Booster Pack will be free to download from November 24th (barring more technical issues), containing five new versus maps including revamped versions of classic Gears 1 levels (Clocktower and Swamp) as well as tweaked Horde Command DLC arenas tuned for competitive play.

Microsoft: Xbox Live Has Not Been Compromised

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Hackers, Microsoft, Xbox Live

Microsoft: Xbox Live Has Not Been Compromised

"Evolving Threats" From External Source

We recently reported that a number of Xbox Live accounts have been hacked in order to purchase FIFA 12 Ultimate Team DLC using the attached payment schemes... but Microsoft are certain that the problem isn't on their end. In a recent statement, the Redmond giant suggests that the personal details used in a "limited number" of incidents haven't stemmed from a weakness in their online service and that they're working directly with the affected parties.

Click here to read more...

Rumour: Xbox Live Accounts Hacked To Buy FIFA DLC?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
DLC, FIFA 12, hacker, Xbox Live

Rumour: Xbox Live Accounts Hacked To Buy FIFA DLC?

EA Servers Compromised?

Over the last couple of days, numerous worrisome reports have surfaced regarding the hijacking of Xbox Live accounts in order to purchase FIFA 12 Ultimate Team DLC. Many accounts have been illegally recovered to other consoles, allowing the hackers to use their payment schemes with impunity (and even unlock achievements in some cases). Microsoft has locked any accounts with suspicious activity while they investigate these claims with a view to compensation. Note, however, that many of these reports are unverified and we have no clear way of knowing the extent of the problem at this stage.

However, if true, it appears that the EA servers may have been compromised.

Click here to read more...

Xbox 360 Dashboard Maintenance Update Goes Live Today

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Update, Xbox 360, Xbox Live

Xbox 360 Dashboard Maintenance Update Goes Live Today

PR guru Major Nelson has announced that Microsoft are rolling out a new dashboard update today... but before you get too excited, it's only basic maintenance. "No new features," I'm afraid. We'll have to wait for the big new content update that adds TV providers, a new dashboard design and Kinect integration - which will arrive in late November if recent reports are to be believed.

Report: Microsoft "Targeting" 25th November For XBL Update

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Microsoft, Update, Xbox Live

Report: Microsoft "Targeting" 25th November For XBL Update

We recently brought you the news that Microsoft has finally decided to offer a slew of TV providers as part of the Xbox Live experience; including BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, Channel 5 and LoveFilm. A new report from GigaOM suggests that Microsoft are "targeting" a November 25th launch for the update, which will also include Kinect voice controls, voice recognition and improved gesture controls. The dashboard will also be redesigned in a new format that Microsoft has branded "Twist Control."

We'll keep you posted.

Microsoft's Costs Too 'Prohibitive', Self-Publishing On XBLA 'Impossible'

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Eufloria, Indie Games, Omni-Labs, PSN, Rudolf Kremers, Xbox Live

Microsoft's Costs Too 'Prohibitive', Self-Publishing On XBLA 'Impossible'

Another week, another few indies slamming Microsoft's support of indie devs. Following Ron Carmel's disparaging comments about XBLA's restrictive content policies earlier this week, Eufloria designer Rudolf Kremers has suggested that PSN was the obvious choice for their game, as self-publishing on XBLA would have been 'impossible'.

Click here to read more...

Xbox LIVE Adding A Raft Of TV Providers

Author:
Felix Kemp
Category:
News
Tags:
4OD, BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, Channel Five, Microsoft, Xbox Live

Xbox LIVE Adding A Raft Of TV Providers

BBC, LOVEFiLM, Channel 4 And More!

While it's a great machine for games, the Xbox 360's multimedia prowess lags behind the PC and especially the PS3, what with Sony's lacquered behemoth boasting all manner of mass-media features. However, that all looks set to change, with Microsoft announcing all new partnerships with the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and even LOVEFiLM to provide additional services to Xbox LIVE.

Click here to read more...

Portal 2 'Peer Review' DLC Out Now

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
DLC, Portal 2, Xbox Live
Discuss:
Portal 2

Portal 2 'Peer Review' DLC Out Now

Just a quick PSA: the free Peer Review DLC pack for Portal 2 is now available for download (as promised) on Xbox Live, automatic Steam update and the PlayStation Network. The co-op testing track delivers new challenges for P-Body and Atlas, the adorable robotic BFFs from the original cooperative campaign, as well as some singleplayer content and leaderboards.

Note, however, that the content pack weighs in at a massive 1.37 GB. It might be time for a bit of spring hard drive cleaning for console owners.

Xbox LIVE Newsbeat: September 20th – October 3rd

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
FIFA 12, Gears of War 3, Microsoft, Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live, Xbox LIVE Newsbeat

Xbox LIVE Newsbeat: September 20th – October 3rd

Busy fortnight, this one! To celebrate the release of Gears of War 3, Microsoft are holding 'Gears of War 3 Golden Wings Week'. Play any match on Xbox LIVE from 20 – 26 September to unlock the Golden Lancer and Golden Hammerburst multiplayer weapon skins. Furthermore, FIFA 12 lands on September 27th for all you footie fans there, be sure to check out our hands-on preview here, and let us know what you make of the much-vaunted new features in the demo.

Burnout Crash is out today, as is Rotastic, and the excellent Might & Magic Clash of Heroes HD is down to 800 MSP. Click here to find out why you need to snap that badboy up if you're yet to play it!

Hit the jump to see what Xbox LIVE looks like over the next couple of weeks...

Xbox LIVE Newsbeat: September 6th - 19th

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Microsoft, Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live, Xbox LIVE Newsbeat

Xbox LIVE Newsbeat: September 6th - 19th

This fortnight it's all about Crimson Alliance, BloodRayne and a little gem we checked out at Gamescom from Digital Reality, called SkyDrift. You can read our preview of it here. FIFA fans should get ready for this year's demo, out on September 13th, and you'll be able to experience the buzzword-heavy new features for yourselves. We'll be very eager to hear what you make of them, consider our own hopes and reservations post-convention season.

Hit the jump to see what Xbox LIVE looks like over the next couple of weeks...

Red Dead Redemption DLC Due In Two Weeks

Author:
Felix Kemp
Category:
News
Tags:
PSN, Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar Games, Xbox Live

Red Dead Redemption DLC Due In Two Weeks

Myths and Mavericks

A quick update for all you Red Dead Redemption fans still wandering the wastes; a DLC pack is due in less than two weeks. Dubbed 'The Myths and Mavericks' pack, it adds a handful of new multiplayer characters to romp around with, a bunch of new maps to master and, best of all, it's all absolutely free! It must help being so damn rich you have to sell stuff for free just to loosen your pockets.

Click here for more details

Xbox LIVE Newsbeat: August 23rd – September 5th

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Microsoft, Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live, Xbox LIVE Newsbeat

Xbox LIVE Newsbeat: August 23rd – September 5th

Here it is: the fortnightly roundup of everything you need to know about what's going on in terms of Xbox LIVE. Black Ops: Rezurrection is out, the Indie Summer Uprising is a-go-go, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike will send fighting fans into enraptured throes of bliss and if you have a Kinect, Hole in the Wall will help you become the contortionist you always dreamed you could be...maybe.

In any case, hit the jump to see what's coming in the next two weeks...

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown For Xbox LIVE, PSN

Author:
Felix Kemp
Category:
News
Tags:
PSN, Sega, Virtua Fighter 5, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, Xbox Live

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown For Xbox LIVE, PSN

Virtua Fighter fans, prepare to rejoice; as Sega has today announced Final Showdown, an upcoming expansion pack to 2007's fighter, overhauling all the mechanics, updating the animations, including new modes and online features, not to mention two brand new characters to master. It'll be available on Xbox LIVE and Playstation Network in the Summer of 2012, with Sega dubbing it the "definitive version of Virtua Fighter 5".

Click here for more

Xbox Live Deal Of The Week | Mass Effect 2 DLC

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
DLC, Mass Effect 2, Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live
Discuss:
Xbox 360

Until the inevitable Game Of The Year edition inexorably shambles out of the EA machine, this is probably the best time to get your hands on Mass Effect 2's downloadable content packs. Gold members will be able to pick up Kasumi's Stolen Memory for 280 Microsoft Points and Lair of the Shadow Broker for 400 (a 50% saving for both), but arguably the most important purchase is Arrival. This piece of DLC bridges the gap between Mass Effect 2 and the events of next year's sequel... and is relentlessly linear and disappointing. BioWare have been cutting a lot of corners recently, and shoehorning you to go down a particular route just to force Shepard back to Earth in the next game seems... well, a bit lazy to be honest.

Still, you'll probably want to get it while it's cheap. And nasty.

As always, click the links to hit up the marketplace and queue up the downloads. Remember to log in, Gold Members!

UPDATE: Microsoft has also slashed the price of several first-party DLC packs for one day only.

Click here for the full list!

Black Ops Annihilation Map Pack Out Now On Xbox Live

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Annihilation Map Pack, Call of Duty: Black Ops, DLC, Treyarch, Xbox Live
Discuss:
Call of Duty: Black Ops

annihilation hazard

Just a quick PSA for Call Of Duty: Black Ops fans. The gleefully leaked Annihilation DLC Map Pack is out now on Xbox Live, which contains four multiplayer maps (Hangar 18, Drive-In, Silo and Hazard) - and a brand new Zombies map entitled Shangri-La. It will set you back 1200 Microsoft Points, and you can read up on its new features in our previous trailer analysis.

The Annihilation Pack is also headed to PS3 and PC, though a date has yet to be confirmed.

If you're sick and tired of downloadable content, you might want to read up on Josh's recent DLC tirade... and join in the debate!