XboxTM Live is the first comprehensive, world-class online game service fully dedicated to fast-action, always-connected broadband gaming experiences.
Xbox Live allows gamers to play multiplayer Xbox games with other gamers everywhere on the Internet via a broadband connection. With a built-in hard drive and Ethernet port, the Xbox console was built from the ground up to be an online gaming system so there's no need to buy additional peripherals or upgrade the console.
Xbox Live enables all gamers to find their friends easily; talk to other players during game play through the Xbox Communicator headset; download current statistics, new levels and characters to their Xbox hard drive; and play online.
To play Xbox Live, gamers need an Xbox, an online-enabled game (available at retail); a broadband connection (available from any broadband service provider); and the Xbox Live Starter Kit. The Starter Kit includes a year's subscription to Xbox Live, a Xbox Communicator headset that plugs into the Xbox controller and facilitates all voice communication with other players, and two pack-in online trial versions of THQ's "MotoGP" and "Whacked!" from Microsoft Game Studios.
With its service approach, Xbox Live delivers the most seamless, easy-to-use and consistent online gaming environment for gamers, developers and publishers alike.
It was designed by gamers for gamers and includes features such as delivery of real-time scores and statistics so gamers can compare themselves to the best players in the world; quick and easy game launches; fast downloads; the ability to find friends online across games with only one click; and the ability to maintain a single identity across all games with a single password.
Microsoft built four data centers — in Seattle and Tukwila, Wash., Tokyo and London — in order to run a scalable, secure and gamer-friendly service. Xbox will assist publishers by managing the hosting, networking, security and billing so that game creators can focus on creating awesome game content.
Xbox Live Key Features:
Gamertag - Players have a single identity across the entire global gaming service. Similar to one's "handle," gamertags are one's call sign or alias. Players only get one gamertag per account, so their reputation's on the line.
Friends list - Using the Gamertag's, players will be able to find their friends online and invite them to a game, no matter which Xbox Live game they're playing.
Xbox Communicator - Voice communication is required to ship with all Xbox Live multiplayer games, enabling teammates and opponents to speak to one another during games. Key elements of this feature exclusive to Xbox include voice masking, global muting and parental control.
Matchmaking - QuickMatch allows players to enter a multiplay experience with a single button click, and with OptiMatch, an Xbox Live exclusive, players will be able to select games and opponents based on similar skill levels.
Ability to download content to the Xbox hard disk - Only Xbox enables console players to download and permanently store both free and fee-based content that can include new levels, characters, missions and statistics.