Microsoft have announced that Xbox Live, its online gaming service, has reached the two million member milestone. This is mainly due to the number of games now offering online gaming plus the fact it gives users access to downloadable content for their games.

Acording to the press release, "more than 20 million pieces of content have been downloaded to date, proving that gamers today have access to and are experiencing more exciting downloadable content to enhance their gaming experience such as extra levels, maps and weapons than ever to enhance their gaming experience."

Robbie Bach, senior vice president of the Home and Entertainment Division and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft comments, "Reaching the two million member milestone in such a short time speaks volumes about the depth and vibrancy of the Xbox Live community, This enormous growth is a true testament to the compelling content and engaging experiences enabled through Xbox Live today. The service is inspired by the creative power of the individual and fuelled by the passion of a worldwide community."

Microsoft also included details about the features and services of Xbox Live that will come with its new Xbox 360 console:

  • Multiple levels of service To fit the unique needs and interests of each Xbox Live gamer, the Xbox Live Gold membership offers all of the Xbox Live Silver features as well as multiplayer online gaming, tournaments and participation in original programs such as "Game with Fame" and other Prime Time activities. The Xbox Live Silver membership includes free basic features such as Gamer Profile, access to the Xbox Live Marketplace and voice chat and messaging.

  • Gamercards. A quick summary of a player's Gamer Profile, this contains a player's Gamertag, Gamer Picture, Reputation, Gamerzone and personal motto.

  • Gamerzone. Players can choose their style of social gaming and be seamlessly paired with others based on their preferences.

  • An integrated message centre. Members can keep connected even when they're not online playing.

  • Xbox Live Marketplace. This one-stop shop for all downloadable content include free content such as trailers and themes as well as full-featured premium content, such as racing cars and maps.