* Prices may differ from that shown
I have been using XBOX live for a number of years now, starting off with the monthly subscription, but then moving to a yearly pass to save money and the monthly renewal.
I must say how impressed I have been all this time, what started off just as a gaming service soon took a massive change late 2011 / early 2012 with the introduction on many apps and services. Not having a internet enabled TV or Blu-Ray player I find it excellent to use with the all the catch-up / on demand services that are available for normal TV, and the option to use (currently) one of three film streaming services (LoveFilm, BlinkBox and Netflix). Whilst the selection of films is not as great as the postal service, this too is improving and it saves waiting for the film to come.
The online gaming aspect is also excellent, I have found that as it is a paid service you do not get as many people trying to hack games and cheat, something that was always a problem with PC titles.
Whilst there is a cost compared to the PSN service it is extremely reasonable, currently £5.99 per month or up to 50% off if buying a yearly membership. You can opt for an automatic renewal each month or yearly renewal. Also it is worth using the free codes in some games to get extra XBOX live time free after your subscription ends!
I've been played on xbox live for a few years off and on, and it has come a long way in its time. Xbox live is a great way to access the marketplace for new demos and add-ons, meet friends from all over the world, be competitive with other people, and just learn more about the xbox community and future.
My favorite part is being able to quickly download game demos and even free indie games. Trying a game before I buy it is something I like to do to make sure I'm not wasting my money, and xbox live really makes that easy. All you have to do is search for the game you want, see if the demo is available, download it, and play! Searching for games is very easy, and you can even find some free ones. Also, being about to use points for games makes it very easy to purchase them, I don't even need to leave my house!
Playing games with other members in the community is a lot of fun too. There are some users that are out there to mess with everyone and be rude, but for the most part, a high percentage of people on their are polite and play the games properly.
Xbox live isn't free, but it is reasonably priced. You can usually find the yearly subscription online on sale for a decent price. To me it's worth it, and I will continue to use xbox live.
Xbox live is not just about online gaming, there more it it than that. It's brings the gaming community together with a range of social and TV services. It also allows you to buy games and download content for your xbox. I've heard people say "but PlayStation network is free!" yes it is but it's nowhere nearly aswell organized, PSN and doesn't offer the content Microsoft do.
Easy to set up, just plug the the Xbox directly into the router or you can buy wireless adapter for the console. Wireless adapter is about £50.
Sign up with a credit of debit card and your away. Alternately you can buy points and input a code.
Xbox live offers updates to the console along with Facebook,Twitter and BBC iplayer (along with other services) and a rich gaming experience. You can chat online (but be aware it can be a noisy) i turn the sound off but that's just my personal preference.
Cleaver add-on to the Xbox, worth the money if used regularly. Can also be used with Sky for subscription and entertainment packages. I also used service for streaming movies from Netflix for £5 a month and can hook up to my home PC to watch movies and play music.
You will need a reasonably decent broadband connection, anything over 8mb will do.
i have had live for over 3 years now, and its the best part of the xbox 360, you can play online, unlock new modes in games and with the new introductions of apps theres even more to do. there are alot of apps including netflix, youtube, twitter, facebook etc. The only problem is that when you are playing online, you sometimes get the odd rude, arrogent person who is just there to be annoying. The one thing you can do though is mute them its what i do. If you realy want to enchance your playing experience, add friends and get a mic so that you can talk to them and have fun, I have a good few friends who i currently play live with, it makes it more fun, but when you are playing yourself it can become very very boring and pretty dull, but you can always meet new people when playing who you might enjoy playing with. There is also a reoutation system, so if you do not like a person then you can send a negative rewiew against them or if they are being extremley offensive or cheating in game then you can file a complaint.
Xbox live is the best thing about having an Xbox 360, even from the original Xbox. It allows you to play with millions of people from all around the world and also compete against others too.
It's an amazing experience which helps you communicate with people from different countries, whether it is a good or bad experience. but the main thing is to remember speak to people how you wish to be spoken to, if your rude, people will be rude back.
I have met many interesting people via Xbox Live and it's nice to play games such as team games with people other than you friends. It's also a good way of playing with friends you know in real life especially if there is a big party of you. Xbox livebrings a whole new experience to the Xbox, especially with music players and being able to watch films whilst signed into facebook or msn messenger.
The only downsides to Xbox live are there can be people who like to argue about nothing and use bad language and also the Xbox customer services sometimes aren't as helpful as they could be.
For all the hoopla that's made about the merits of the Xbox 360 gaming system, the fact remains that without Xbox Live it's nothing.
XBL remains one of the consistently best, most accessible and best value for money online gaming services available today and adds something to gaming which cannot be underestimated: Friends.
For games like Battlefield and Call of Duty, an XBL subscription is absolutely essential, since these games are built around their online play. For other games, I cannot under-sell the value of being able to chat with friends while playing through games, even just for the social value of being able to share amusement at elements within games, or hear their taunting jibes as you lose your mind trying to get past The One Bit with The Thing.
And alongside this, you're also given access to an entire library of downloadable games, updated game content, trailers and other online service such as streaming movies and TV shows.
Xbox Live, simply put, turns your console into a media centre.
Xbox Live is by far one of the best online services around, but with online gaming being free on, both, the PC and on the PS3, Microsoft has to wonder just how longer they can sell it as an extra product on top of the users Internet payments. While Xbox live can be seen only good for gold members (users who pay a subscription for the service), but silver members also get their fair share of perks.
While gold members specifically get their service to play games online, other than getting demo's earlier there isn't much difference between silver and gold members. Looking past the membership status, all users have ability to do anything from play games from the original Xbox to watching movies, all at a price though. Xbox live is more than a gaming service now, its much more of an entertainment service.Here is a list of what the service has to offer users:
* Tons of movies - There is literally a huge selection of movies to rent on Xbox live, and with the choice to download HD or normal versions, the choices have never been so plentiful
* Downloading demos from home - No longer do users have to buy magazines to get the newest game demos, they are now all available over Xbox live
*Xbox live arcade - the arcade is seen as more of a small side option than a fully fledged gaming option, the user has the ability to buy classic games such as Golden Axe to newer, Xbox live specifically made games. But it's not just that, now the community can create their own games and sell them to Xbox live users around the world.
*Trailers - from movie trailers to game trailers, they can now all be accessed from Xbox live.
*Gaming - restricted to gold members only, the gaming aspect of Xbox live is arguably the best online service your going to get on any console ever made, the matchmaking system is flawless and rarely do games lag. And with every console being sold with a headset , your bound to bump into a number of players that you'll get on great with and some you won't like so much, but then again there is always another server waiting to be entered. But at $50 it's starting to become less and less worth the money, especially since the PS3 has free online gaming and PC's have had free online gaming since its creation, so charging people to play their games online when they could just buy them for their PC is starting to make less and less sense
Overall Xbox live gets a 4/5, only when gaming is free will it get a 5 out of 5 score.
Firstly before even purchasing Xbox Live you have to have the wireless Ethernet adapter or trail an Ethernet cable from your router to your Xbox. I chose the latter simply because I didn't want to pay £40 for a feature Microsoft could so easily have built into their console.
After trawling the web I found the best deal was 12 months Gold Live for £27.99 from this place xboxsubscription.com.
The multiplayer experiences on the Call of Duty games are amazing and would recommend MW2 with Xbox Live. With the headset you can chat to the other players in the games, although be warned there are a lot of squeaky hyperactive twelve year olds playing!
The Live servers are amazing, when I had the Wii the server would time out ever 1/10 games. On Xbox Live dedicated server's means it's now only around 1/60.
Live also allows you to download game demos, updates and movies which do require a hard drive if you have the arcade model. Last.fm is great as it offers a range of music to listen to, Social network site Facebook is on there and you can be logged into MSN messenger whilst playing games which is great.
I've played XBOX Live for about a month now after purchasing a month's subscription just to test it out first.
Now, I'm only a casual video game player so I don't keep up to date with all the latest video game news and ancticipate all the new game releases but there has been a lot of hype about Live so I thought I would check it out.
And while playing with people *can* be fun, at times, I got the impression that most of these people have never seen the outside of their front door and I get battered in a lot of the games I played.
Of course, that's a reflection on my lack of skill but it's the lack of maturity from other gamers that I have a major gripe about because they often send rude messages telling me how much of a useless (for the better word) player I am.
I really got the impression that there are a lot of people on there that take all this gaming lark way too seriously.
Registration to sign up was quite easy, using the online keyboard was a bit of a drag, though, as I had to scroll across each letter to enter them one by one which grated on me in the end.
I also had to enter my debit card information to purchase the subscription but my Live service was activated almost instantaneously afterward.
Some games did have a laggy frame rate but that's more to do with my (or their) internet connection than the service itself, however, it did affect my enjoyment.
I'm still in two minds whether to purchase a full year's sub, not sure if I can put up with the silly immaturity of the gamers on there and the fact that I get smashed.
I guess it's really for hardcore gamers than casual ones.
Recommended only for dedicated players!
Where do I start? Well Xbox Live was brought out in November 2002 with the original Xbox now since 2006 with the launching on the Xbox 360, Xbox Live has become more and more popular (especially teenagers).
To get your Xbox Live set up you need one of the wireless adapters, The white one is £35-£40 and the black one is £45-£60. Or you could plug a ethernet cable (which you get free with the Xbox) into a Wireless Modem or a laptop.
When your connected to the internet you then need to set up a Xbox Live account and you will get a month free. You can purchase Xbox Live off of Xbox or in a suitable shop. 1 month - £4.99, 3 months £11.99-14.99 and 12 months around £34.99. When you have set up your account you can play whatever game you want.
With all the games for the Xbox I'd say that the Call of Duty Franchise, Halo and Fifa are probably the most popular on Xbox Live as they have the best features for online gaming.
On my opinion Modern Warfare 2 and Fifa 10 are the best two games to buy if you are going to be playing online all the time as there are different game modes to play.
Aside form gaming you can download movies to watch and they will stay on your Xbox 360 Console, You can go onto Last.Fm and listen to whatever music you want. You can play 1 vs 100 which is fantastic when your bored of the game you are playing and you cna even go onto Facebook via the Xbox which is great if you need to update your status and you can't be bothered getting up to go onto the computer.
So Overall, I feel that Xbox Live is must buy if you own a Xbox. If you havent yet felt the online experience I strongly recommend it.
I have not wrote a review for a while as I have not felt very motivated but decided to write one on something I know well and was easy to write on. Also I should say parts of this review are from another review written by me about Xbox Live Gold Subscription!
Xbox Live is the online section of the Xbox 360 games console. Xbox Live gives you lots of benefits and really lets you get the most of the Xbox 360. Without Xbox Live you really are not getting the most out of your Xbox!
There are two levels of membership, Silver and Gold. Silver membership lets you download demos, talk to your friends and send messages to them and buy, download and update content through the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Gold membership lets you do all this and also has other bonuses including Xbox Live Parties which let you talk to your friends even if you are playing different games which is very handy, download new content up to a week before Silver members and most importantly be able to play games online with other players which makes nearly all games much more fun and increases their lifespan. Gold members also get special offers every week whether DLC for half price, an arcade game with a third off or just a theme.
The only disadvantage about the service is you have to pay a small fee if you want to be a Gold member. This is about £35 online for a year and there are some sites that email you the code which are even cheaper! However with other consoles such as the Wii and PS3 online play is free. It`s main opposition is PSN the Playstation 3 online which is free but much worse.
For example the games are much more laggy online, have less support, less features and is basically not as good as well as more people have Xbox Live. I think the fee is well worth it though as Xbox Live is better than the other online services with more players, better connections and speed, more features and it is updated often with new features such as Sky Player if you have Sky, Facebook and Twitter coming soon and the excellent new 1 vs 100! They are also in the process of making a new free game for Gold members called Joyride which looks lots of fun!
Playing games online usually works really well with matches having little lag and you can find a match quite quickly normally! Games like Fifa 10 and Call of Duty are great fun online and makes the games last longer and makes them much more fun!
Xbox live just enhances the Xbox experience whether using the friends list, watching videos (xbox related) or movies which you can pay to watch, playing online, playing with friends, talking with friends, making new friends, sending messages, watching Sky Player, using Twitter, listening to music using Last.fm, downloading demos, arcade games which are smaller games but there are some brilliant ones and they are cheaper than retail games, indie games, updating games and downloading extra content to make games last longer, add new maps, missions e.t.c and the list literally goes on and on!
If you have an Xbox 360 you really do need Xbox Live to get the full experience and without it really are missing out on lots of fun, cool, interesting and good things.
SO go on Try Xbox Live for lots of fun and features!
(There are parts of this review which are from my review about the Xbox Live subscription)
Thanks for reading!
This review may also appear on other sites under the names ns1209 and mariofan123.
If you have an Xbox 360 and don't have a gold live membership, you are missing out on so much and not using your xbox to its full potential. At first I didn't see the point of online gaming through a games console such as the Xbox 360, but now I am glad that I was turned into an online gamer as I feel it has made my gaming much enjoyable and it is such a sociable thing too!
To get live you need an Xbox 360 (obviously!) a high speed internet connection, and a Live Gold subscription. These can be bought by credit card on the xbox itself or in stores or online as prepaid cards with a code, bought in 3 month or 12 month options. There are also many websites that sell it, but beware of fake codes and dodgy sellers. It is best to pay a slightly higher price to ensure you are getting the genuine thing.
The best value is the 12 month card, but shop around as some great deals are to be had on a membership. I generally pay arond £12.99 for a 3 month and £32.99 for a 12 month from Amazon. I always buy mine from Amazon and it is the best price I think.
Once you have set up your gold membership, there is so much you can do. The main idea of live is so you can play games online with people around the world, making all those old games seem like a whole new game, as the game play never ends. Millions of people play games online through xbox live, and you can always find someone to compete against, no matter what game you have. Get a microphone headset and you can chat with them too, and join in groups with your friends for a group chat.
There is a whole world of games now that have online capability, the biggest two being Halo and Call Of Duty. I am a big player of COD online, and it makes most games completely playable for life, as each game is different and you can play with different people, giving you different challenges as you go through the game. To find out if a game has Xbox Live capability, just look on the box of the game and it will tell you yes or no.
You can also use live to download games, demos and game add ons, movies and personalisation items for your xbox dashboard. The market place on the Dashboard is where you will find all that you could ever need to buy and download for the Xbox.
You can access facebook through this too, and if you want to listen to music of your choice just jump onto last.fm and hear what you want to hear. There is also the option of sky player, which is free if you have a sky subscription already, and can be bought in packages for those who don't have sky already, no installation needed, just sign up and away you go. There is so much you can do, it really is worth just having a look to see what you will be able to have once you go gold.
Beware, you may lose your social life by playing online too often, it is so addictive! I give this a 5 out of 5 stars, and I hope you guys enjoy it all as much as me and my partner do.
*This review is also on Ciao under the user name of Hailee*
Xbox Live is without a doubt the Xbox 360's biggest selling point. Through the incredible service you can play with your friends online, chat with them in parties or in private. You can also download free demos, full price games, arcade games, themes, gamer pictures, clothes & props for your avatar and even feature length films. There really is a plethora of things that are unlocked by Xbox Live.
The currency in which you buy the aforementioned game content and films is Microsoft Points, or 'MSP'. To find out more about these, check out my '2100 Microsoft Points' review.
The service itself has much more to offer and overall runs a lot smoother than its major competitor PSN (Play Station Network). The difference between the two is huge and largely contributes to why the Xbox 360 is the console you buy to play with others online and by yourself, whereas with the PS3 unfortunately it's mostly about the 'by yourself'. Which is a real shame, as I wanted to get a PS3 before I realised how poor the online is.
Where PSN is free, Xbox Live is £34.99 for 13 months of Xbox Live Gold. This works out at under £3.00 a month and is well worth the money. I'm sure a lot of PS3 owners would pay a small fee a month for decent online. Xbox Live Gold basically gives you access to everything - special offers on arcade games, ability to enter into Xbox Live parties, and of course - to play online with your friends and others.
Recently new features have been added to the Xbox 360 Live experience. These are: Zune, Facebook, Last.fm and best of all: Sky Player. Zune lets you pay to watch TV shows, movies and music. You can also sync your Zune player with it. Facebook, as you probably know is a social networking site. Last.fm (I'm using it right now) generates new music for you to listen to based on music you listen to regularly. It's a great way to discover new artists and is integrated well into the Xbox 360.
The Sky Player requires you to have the relevant subscription packages to view its content. For example, you require a Sky Movies subscription to view Sky Movies on demand and access the Sky Movies live channels (2 provided on the player). Live TV on the Sky Player is limited, but runs smoothly and you can alter the image quality to suit your network speed/usage. When I said limited - I meant very limited. You get G.O.L.D, Sky Sports channels, a couple of historic/geographic channels, Sky News, Sky Movies (2) and kids channels, such as Disney and Cartoon Network. Yeah - no Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky 3, or Comedy Central. But ahh well, it's still pretty awesome to have.
On balance, the Xbox Live experience is incredible value for money at under £3.00 a month and is one experience no one should have to miss out on, be it playing games online lag free or watching a film!
**This review is also featured on Ciao, under my username "MonsoonBaby88"**
The Xbox 360 has over the time it has been out, become one of the most popular games consoles around. As well as the ability to play offline games, listen to music, and play DVDs, the Xbox has a truckload of online content at your disposal. If you have an internet connection, and a Wi-Fi internet box (this is essential), get an Xbox live membership, you'll realise that without it, you are missing out on a considerable amount.
All Xbox 360 owners automatically have a"Silver" level membership as soon as they have picked up their Xbox. This level of membership is a little limited, but it allows the user to create their Gamercard profile, and chat to friends. Online gaming is blocked, as is the accessto a few other Xbox Live features, although the Marketplace is allowed to be browsed. In order to get the rest, the user can upgrade to a Gold membership.
An Xbox Live Gold membership can be purchased for £35 for the whole year. A one-off payment of £50 for the official Xbox 360 Wi-Fi Reciever, so that the Wi-Fi internet connection can be picked up for use with the Xbox. The other competition, Playstation 3 and Nintendo's Wii both have the internet capabilities intergrated into their system for free. So why should the Xbox charge? Whilst this is a fair assumption, Xbox Live offers so much more than the other two consoles internet functions provide, so it actually feels worth the money.
With Xbox Live enabled, players are able to gain a new experience from their gaming. When stuck in offline play, a gamer will be competing against computer enemies. Whilst this is fun and can be very challenging, the option to play against other humans online brings it into a new dimension. Unlike computer players, people will be of different levels, and will have different strategies, so gameplay becomes less predictable, and very exciting. You may find yourself competiting against someone with a much higher ability than you, or vice versa. The ability to play online also means that you are able to play these games over the net connection with those in your Xbox friends list. This is rather handy when you have friends who live a great distance away from you, so you are still able to play games with them without the hassle of either one of you travelling to each others houses.
Communicating over Xbox Live is a key feature which only those who have paid the £35 will be able to access. The Xbox 360 console came complete with a headset, with a microphone attached to it. With this, users can connect to a chat with as many friends as they like at one time, and then they can chat at the same time as playing a game, even if that particular friend is not involved in the game you are currently playing. A good internet connection is needed for this, as it can be hard to understand what someone is saying when their connection is poor; you will find their voices are breaking up, or their is a crackling type sound in the headset. Talking via the headset also means you are not wasting money talking for hours on a phone, this is all free. As well as talking through a headset, gamers are able to sign into Windows Live Messenger, a chat service where people can type their messages through to one another in a chat box. Users can sign in via their Windows Live login to use it, and can then chat via their xbox, instead of usually using the computer. An Xbox Keyboard is advised for this, as typing using the gamepad is a little long and frustrating when you have to type out a long chunk of text. If you have an Xbox Live Vision camera, you will be able to create video chats between friends, even though the quality of this webcam is a little shoddy at times.
The Xbox Live Marketplace is available to those who have subscribed for the use of Xbox Live. This marketplace allows users to download game demos and trailers, watch videos, and download extra downloadable content for games. The downloadable content in particular is definitely worth checking out, as it adds more to your favourite games, including new missions, new achievements and new objects which can be used in game. Full games can also be downloaded, like Arcade games, which feature old hits such as Pacman, and full games, such as Assassins Creed. The DLC often comes with extra achievements, so if you are after a few more achievements, then the Marketplace is the place for you. These can be purchased with Xbox Points, which can either be purchased via the Xbox Live Marketplace, or in stores. They'll range from around £6 upwards.
A recent addition is the Avatar Marketplace, which will allow you to buy props and clothes for your Avatar, again with your Microsoft Points. Big name companies such as Addias have got involved with their endorsed products, and fans of certain games such as Fable 2 can buy game related attire. This is regularly updated, and will include special items on holidays such as Christmas and Halloween.
Also available via Xbox Live is a film and TV episode rental service. Users can use their Microsoft Points to download a film for a set amount of time. The films are up to date, and are constantly being added to. Music videos and features can also be bought and downloaded in the Music Marketplace section. Online users also have access to Last.FM, a music player which plays music based on your interests, and social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
Having a membership on Xbox Live (either silver or gold membership) also gives you a slot on the Xbox website to save your profile. This means that in the event of your Xbox breaking, or your data being wiped in some way, you'll be able to get your gamerscore-with all your unlocked achievements-downloaded again from the website. It acts as a safeguard against any unfortunate accidents or breakages, so it is definitely worth doing, otherwise you may find yourself kissing goodbye to perhaps years worth of achievements.
Unfortunately in order to effectively play online, you will need to have an excellent internet connection for the most part. In large multiplayer games such as Call of Duty, horrendous lagging can occur if your connection is poor, meaning that proper gameplay cannot happen.
So overall, Xbox Live has a huge amount of features available through your console, perhaps more than people initially thought there was. More features are constantly being expanded whenever Xbox initiate updates. There are plenty of features at your disposal, but it is the communicating via the headset, and the online play against friends, or people from all over the world that makes this such an essential purchase for any Xbox owner. The Silver membership is fine, but it is very limited, especially as you cannot take part in any online gaming, so once your free 1 month Gold Membership runs out, I strongly suggest at least buying another months subscription, just to experience the variety of features on offer. An excellent internet service for an excellent console!
Many people believe that if quality was the main issue at stake Xbox Live is probably the best online gaming network available at the moment outstripping its main rival Playstation Network (PSN) because of its better features (like the Facebook application) and easier usability. However when including other important features Xbox Live is far from perfect and this gives PSN an improved claim to the throne of best gaming online network 2009.
Xbox Live is pretty expensive to use as it costs about 35 pounds a year and considering PSN is available for free even though it makes a loss on every Playstation 3 it sells Microsoft seems very greedy. It may not sound like much but to gain access to new features of games like new map packs you also need to buy expensive Microsoft Points and these bills can quickly add up to a large amount of money. If you do not pay these costs for your children if they want it you will be liable to a lot of detrimental feedback (i.e temper tantrums and begging). Not to mention the fact that keeping track of how much Microsoft Points are worth is very confusing whereas on PSN all purchases are in real currencies. Although Xbox Live has applications for Facebook and Twitter PSN has an internet browser so that Playstation 3 users can access these websites anyway.
There are actually advantages of owning Xbox Live over PSN, however, and one of the main ones for me is the use of achievements and Gamerscore to measure how good a player is. I also find it very useful to check who is playing on Xbox.com and be able to go straight onto Xbox Live, and quickly join their games through the use of invites.
Overall I would probably choose PSN over Xbox live but Xbox Live is still pretty fun if you are willing to pay the price for it