From the Xbox dashboard they can see which friends are online, know what games they are currently playing, and view announcements about new Xbox Live programming, including content downloads, tournaments, new titles, and other exciting events. All of this before entering a single game. With the option to chat with friends right from the Xbox dashboard, organizing games is a breeze. Xbox Live subscribers need only to turn on their Xbox without a game in the tray and "Xbox Live Now" will self-install.
In addition, new subscription options and updated starter kits are making it easier than ever to join the Live service. Beginning in October, Xbox Live will be available at the following prices:
- $49.99 – Xbox Live one year renewal/subscription
- $5.99 – Xbox Live monthly rate
- $29.99 – Xbox Live Voice Communicator
- $69.99 – Xbox Live Starter Kit (includes full version of MechAssault and Xbox Communicator headset)
Xbox Live, which launched in the United States Nov. 15, 2002, allows gamers to play multiplayer Xbox games with other gamers worldwide via a broadband connection. With a built-in hard drive and Ethernet port, the Xbox console is the only video game system built from the ground up for online gaming. Xbox Live enables gamers to easily find their friends; talk to other players during gameplay through the Xbox Communicator headset; download current statistics and new levels and characters to their Xbox hard drive; and play online -- all exclusive features to Xbox Live.