Xbox Live Turns Five – Let the Celebration Begin!


Guess what, folks? As of tomorrow, Xbox Live turns five! To celebrate the occasion, Microsoft will be providing each and every single one of the more than eight million Xbox Live subscribers the chance to download Carcassonne (or Hexic 2 in Korea) from the Xbox Live Arcade completely free between 12:01 a.m. PST on Nov. 15 and 11:59 p.m. PST on Nov. 16. All active subscribers who joined the service back in 2002 will also bag a free 500 MS Points too!

“In just five short years Xbox LIVE has revolutionized the way friends and family have fun in the living room,” said John Schappert, corporate vice president of LIVE, software and services at Microsoft. “On its fifth birthday, Xbox LIVE truly is the place for hanging out with friends and enjoying downloadable TV shows, movies, videos, game add-ons and now downloadable Xbox games on demand.”

As Xbox Live turns five, Microsoft has announced the next phase in evolution for the service. Starting on December 4th, a free system update will be released and with it will come the launch of Xbox Originals, a new Xbox Live Marketplace feature that will enable members to purchase downloadable versions of old Xbox titles, so far including Halo, Burnout 3: Takedown, Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex, Psychonauts, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, Fuzion Frenzy and Fable.

Unfortunately, the games won’t come cheap, set to cost 15 bucks a pop (1,200 MS Points). That seems pretty pricey for games you can buy physical copies of for cheaper if you look online or scour bargain bins. What’s worse is that some of the titles will be prone to various bugs, crashes and content omissions due to the woes of software emulation. Halo, for example, will suffer from minor framerate drops, while Fable will have some audio and texture issues. Microsoft actually has a web page up detailing known issues for the Xbox Originals lineup, I suggest you check it out.

Alongside Xbox Live’s fifth birthday, the Xbox Live Arcade has reached a significant milestone as well. With today’s releases of Shrek-N-Roll and Screwjumper!, the XBLA has officially launched its 100th title! So it’s a big week of news for Xbox Live all around.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!