Multiple Levels of Service
On Xbox 360, you'll have a choice of service level. The Xbox Live Silver service means you can connect your Xbox 360 console to a broadband Internet connection and get functionality right out of the box. The premium Xbox Live Gold service delivers the complete online connection package. The breakdown is as follows:
Xbox Live Silver level
- Create an online Gamer Profile
- Access the Xbox Live Marketplace
- Engage in voice and text messaging
- Talk to a single friend at a time using voice chat
- Receive video messages from Gold level members
- Access massively multiplayer online games (additional fees may apply)
Xbox Live Gold level
- Paid level of service
- All the features of Silver level, and additionally:
- Play multiplayer games online
- Video chat
- Multiplayer online tournaments
- Participate in Xbox Live online programming, such as Game with Fame, Play and Win, and Prime Time activities
Xbox Live Marketplace
The Xbox Live Marketplace will provide a one-stop shop for consumers to download new game trailers, demos, and episodic content, along with new game levels, maps, weapons, vehicles, skins, and other types of new content on demand. The Xbox Live Marketplace is accessible to everyone who connects their Xbox 360 console to a broadband connection and creates an Xbox Live account.
Ubiquitous Voice Chat
You can now chat with your friends anytime, while doing anything on your Xbox 360 system, regardless of subscription level. You no longer have to be playing the same game or be in the same game session to communicate; you can be playing a game while your friend is watching a movie, for example.
On Xbox Live, every member will have his or her own gamer profile, which is a summary of their preferences, achievements, and online personality. Your gamer profile can be used for everything from deciding if the person who just sent you a friend request is worthy of addition to your Friends List to creating online matches between players who are more similar in background, styles, and skill. Elements of your gamer profile include the following:
- Gamer card: Get a quick look at the key stats for your friend or that new player who just challenged you to a multiplayer match. Like a personal identification card, the gamer card gives you a quick overview of other personalities on Xbox Live: their Gamertag, Gamerzone, Achievements, Reputation, and Gamerscore. Gamer cards let you instantly connect with people with similar skills, interests, and lifestyles, as well as maintain bragging rights over your achievements and scores.
- Gamerscore: A cumulative score of all achievements allows you to quickly compare profiles between other gamers.
- Reputation: A rating provided by the community indicates how you are perceived by other players. Think of it as the Xbox Live equivalent of a reliability rating.
- Gamerzone: Your Gamerzone indicates your style of social gaming. The choices are R&R, for those who just want to hang out and play without undue competitive stress; Pro, for those who are fiercely competitive and must win at all costs; Underground, for those who take an alternative approach to gaming; and Family, for those who want to make sure the environment they play in is kid-friendly.
- Achievements: Whether offline or on, you can earn achievements and accolades in all Xbox 360 games to indicate progress, skill, and accomplishment. Taking achievements online lets you compare what you've accomplished with your friends, or use them as indicators of skill to new friends. Achievements are bragging rights redefined.
Using profile data such as location, Reputation, Gamerscore, and Gamerzone, the matchmaking system on Xbox Live will help ensure that you are matched with the users you want to play with.
With Xbox 360, Xbox Live lets you provide feedback on other players that will determine how frequently you are matched with them. Give them a good rating, and matches will happen frequently if you're both available. Give them a bad rating, and you're far less likely to play with them online again.
User Safety and Security
The new, more robust safety and security features in Xbox 360 help parents control the online and offline game experiences of their children by determining whether they can play online and whom they play with, and by locking the console to play only games that meet a certain rating.
The new Gamer Profile feature is going to be great because it will keep kids out of certain games and allow you to play with people you actually want to play with. We're also really excited about being able to chat with friends anywhere, anytime. Everything looks good and we can't wait!