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The Info List - Xbox Live


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Xbox
Xbox
Live is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft. It was first made available to the Xbox
Xbox
system in November 2002. An updated version of the service became available for the Xbox 360
Xbox 360
console at the system's launch in November 2005, and a further enhanced version was released in 2013 with the Xbox
Xbox
One.[citation needed] The service was extended in 2007 on the Windows platform, named Games for Windows – Live, which makes most aspects of the system available on Windows computers. Microsoft
Microsoft
has announced plans to extend Live to other platforms such as handhelds and mobile phones as part of the Live Anywhere initiative.[6] With Microsoft's mobile operating system, Windows Phone, full Xbox
Xbox
Live functionality is integrated into new Windows Phones that launched since late 2010.[7] The service shut down for the original Xbox
Xbox
on April 15, 2010, and original Xbox
Xbox
Games are now only playable online through local area network (LAN) tunneling applications such as XLink Kai.[1] The Xbox
Xbox
Live service is available as both a free service, known as Xbox
Xbox
Live Silver and a subscription-based service known as Xbox
Xbox
Live Gold, respectively, with most features such as online gaming restricted to the Gold service.[8]

Contents

1 History 2 Network chart

2.1 Xbox 360
Xbox 360
Features 2.2 Exclusive Xbox One
Xbox One
Features

3 User information

3.1 Gamertag 3.2 Gamerscore 3.3 Gamercard 3.4 TrueSkill

4 Xbox
Xbox
Games Store 5 Xbox
Xbox
Play Anywhere 6 Xbox
Xbox
Live Gold

6.1 Games with Gold

7 New Xbox
Xbox
Experience

7.1 Update

8 Xbox
Xbox
Video 9 Programs 10 Security 11 Availability 12 First-generation Xbox
Xbox
Live shutdown 13 Live Anywhere 14 Revenue 15 See also 16 References 17 External links

History[edit]

The second Xbox
Xbox
Live logo, used from 2005 until 2013

As Microsoft
Microsoft
developed the original Xbox
Xbox
console, online gaming was designated as one of the key pillars for the greater Xbox
Xbox
strategy. Sega
Sega
had made an attempt to capitalize on the ever-growing online gaming scene when it launched the Dreamcast
Dreamcast
video game console in 1999, including online support as standard, called SegaNet
SegaNet
and Dreamarena. Nevertheless, due to lack of widespread broadband adoption at the time, the Dreamcast
Dreamcast
shipped with only a dial-up modem while a later-released broadband adapter was neither widely supported nor widely available. Downloadable content was available, though limited in size due to the narrowband connection and the size limitations of a memory card. The online features, while praised as innovative, were largely considered a failure,[citation needed] and the Dreamcast's immediate competitor, the PlayStation 2, did not initially ship with built-in networking capabilities. Microsoft, however, hoped that the Xbox
Xbox
would succeed where the Dreamcast
Dreamcast
had failed. The company determined that intense online gaming required the throughput of a broadband connection and the storage space of a hard disk drive, and thus these features would be vital to the new platform. This would allow not only for significant downloadable content, such as new levels, maps, weapons, challenges and characters, to be downloaded quickly and stored, but also would make it possible to standardize bandwidth intensive features such as voice communication. Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer
and Bill Gates
Bill Gates
both had a vision of making premium download content and add-ons that would attract many new customers. Based on this reasoning, the console included a standard Ethernet
Ethernet
port (10/100) in order to provide connectivity to common broadband networks, but did not include a modem or any dial-up support, and its online service was designed to support broadband users only. Critics scoffed at it, citing poor broadband adoption at the turn of the century.[9] When the Xbox
Xbox
launched on November 15, 2001, the as-yet unnamed online service was destined for a Summer 2002 deployment.[10] Xbox
Xbox
Live was finally given a name at E3 2002 when the service was unveiled in its entirety. Sound-dampened booths and broadband-connected Xbox consoles—featuring an early version of Unreal Championship—demonstrated the service on the show floor. The Epic title was one of the flagship titles for the service, which was slated for a debut on November 15, 2002, marking the anniversary of the Xbox launch. Microsoft
Microsoft
announced that 50 Xbox
Xbox
Live titles would be available by the end of 2003.[11] Utilizing the required broadband bandwidth, Xbox
Xbox
Live featured a unified gaming "Friends List", as well as a single identity across all titles (regardless of the publisher), and standardized voice chat with a headset and communication, a feature that was still in its infancy. Leading up to the launch, Microsoft
Microsoft
enlisted several waves of beta testers to improve the service and receive feature feedback. The first wave of beta testers were given Revolt! (which never was released officially) and NFL Fever to beta test. Once beta testing concluded, Microsoft
Microsoft
sent these beta testers a translucent orange memory card, a headset carrying case, and a beta tester tshirt with the slogan "I have great hands". When the service debuted, it lacked much of the functionality that later titles included, but Xbox
Xbox
Live grew and evolved on the Xbox
Xbox
and many aspects of the service were included with the Xbox 360
Xbox 360
console out of the box, rather than through a later update. Microsoft's 5000th patent was Live-related and gave Xbox
Xbox
360 users access to watch other gamers compete against each other over Xbox
Xbox
Live.[12][clarification needed] The packaging for playable Xbox
Xbox
Live titles on the original Xbox console featured the trademark gold bar underneath the Xbox
Xbox
header. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and Brute Force sported a Live "bubble" design, as they only featured downloadable content. It was changed later, wherein all Xbox
Xbox
Live titles included the universal gold Live bar. By the time of the Xbox
Xbox
360, all titles were required to provide at least a limited form of Xbox
Xbox
Live "awareness".[clarification needed] In July 2004, Xbox
Xbox
Live had reached 1 million online users.[13] In July 2005, Xbox
Xbox
Live had reached 2 million online users.[14] On November 15, 2007, Microsoft
Microsoft
celebrated Xbox
Xbox
Live's 5th anniversary by offering its then over 8 million subscribers the title Carcassonne free of charge and awarding gamers who had subscribed to Live since its inception 500 free Microsoft
Microsoft
Points. Due to intermittent service interruptions during late December 2007 and early January 2008, Microsoft
Microsoft
promised to offer a free Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade
game to all Xbox
Xbox
Live users as compensation, in an open letter to all Xbox Live members from Mark Whitten, Xbox
Xbox
LIVE General Manager.[15] Increased demand from Xbox 360
Xbox 360
purchasers (the largest number of new user sign-ups in the history of Xbox
Xbox
Live) was given as the reason for the downtime.[16] On January 18, 2008, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced Undertow would be offered free to both Gold and Free members for the week starting January 23 through January 27 as compensation.[17] On November 12, 2009, Dennis Durkin, COO of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, announced that November 10, 2009, the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 marked the busiest day ever on Xbox Live, with over two million active users simultaneously.[18] On February 5, 2010, Marc Whitten announced that Xbox
Xbox
Live had reached 23 million members.[19] On the same day, Larry Hyrb, Xbox
Xbox
Live's Major Nelson, announced on his blog that Xbox
Xbox
Live support for the original Xbox
Xbox
would be discontinued on April 15, 2010, including online play through backwards compatibility on the Xbox 360
Xbox 360
and all downloadable content for original Xbox
Xbox
games.[20] In August 2010, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced an increase to the cost of Xbox Live Gold in several countries by 20%, for the first time since its inception.[21][22][23] The basic service was also renamed. Prior to October 2010, the free service was known as Xbox
Xbox
Live Silver.[8] It was announced on June 10, 2011, that the service is going to be fully integrated into Microsoft's Windows 8.[24] In October 2011, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced live streaming cable television with various providers.[25] In February 2013, Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, shared that Xbox
Xbox
Live members now number 46 million, up 15 percent from a year ago, during the Dive into Media conference in Southern California.[26] In June 2014, Microsoft
Microsoft
retracted the Xbox
Xbox
Live Gold requirements to download streaming media apps (including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Internet
Internet
Explorer, Skype, and others), though various rental or subscription fees may still apply.[27][28] On December 25, 2014, both PlayStation Network
PlayStation Network
and Xbox
Xbox
Live suffered network disruption after a denial-of-service attack.[29] Functionality was restored on December 28, with some users experiencing difficulties in the days that followed.[30][31] A group called, "The Phantom Squad" has threatened to disrupt the Xbox
Xbox
Live network through a denial-of-service attack on December 25, 2015.[32] Network chart[edit] Xbox
Xbox
Live is available as both a free and subscription-based service, known as Xbox
Xbox
Live Gold. A comparison of free and premium services:

Feature Live Free Live Gold Additional requirements Xbox
Xbox
360 Xbox
Xbox
One

Avatars Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Cloud game saves Yes/No[o] Yes

Yes Yes

Free-to-play games[33] No Yes

Yes Yes

Game DVR[34] 5 minutes No Yes Upload Studio No Yes

Games with Gold No Yes

Yes Yes

Live broadcasting[35] Mixer, Twitch No Yes

No Yes

Media sharing[36] OneDrive, YouTube No Yes

No Yes

Online multi-player No Yes

Yes Yes

Social hub Clubs, Looking for Group[37] Yes Yes

No Yes

Video Kinect No Yes Headset (wired or wireless) or Kinect Yes No

Voice/party chat[38] No Yes Yes Yes

Voice messaging[38] No Yes Yes Yes

Web browser Internet
Internet
Explorer ( Xbox
Xbox
360), Microsoft
Microsoft
Edge ( Xbox
Xbox
One) Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade
point results Yes Yes

Yes No

First-party apps and entertainment services

Avatar Kinect[39] No Yes Kinect Yes No

Bing Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Groove Music[e] Yes Yes Xbox Music
Xbox Music
Pass Yes Yes

Kinect
Kinect
Fun Labs Yes Yes Kinect Yes No

Microsoft
Microsoft
Movies & TV[e] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Upload Studio[40] No Yes

No Yes

Skype[d] Yes Yes Skype
Skype
account and Kinect No Yes

Sports Picks No Yes

Yes No

A selection of third-party apps and entertainment services

4oD[c] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

ABC iView[g] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Amazon.com
Amazon.com
Instant Video[b][e] Yes Yes Amazon account(s) Yes Yes

BBC iPlayer[c] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Crackle[d][e] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Canal+[h][e] Yes Yes Canal+
Canal+
subscription Yes Yes

Crunchyroll[m][e] Yes Yes Crunchyroll
Crunchyroll
premium membership Yes Yes

Demand 5[c] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

ESPN[b][e] Yes Yes Watch ESPN
ESPN
affiliated ISP No Yes

Foxtel Play[g][e] Yes Yes Foxtel On Xbox One
Xbox One
subscription No Yes

Halo Waypoint[d] No[41] Yes

Yes Yes

Hulu
Hulu
Plus[b][e] Yes Yes Hulu
Hulu
Plus subscription Yes Yes

iHeartRadio[k] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Live events Yes Yes Requirements vary by event Yes Yes

Live TV Yes Yes Cable provider subscription and set-top box ( Xbox
Xbox
One) Yes Yes

Miss Teen USA[n] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

MLB.tv[e] Yes Yes MLB.tv
MLB.tv
subscription Yes Yes

Movistar TV[e][i] Yes Yes Movistar TV subscription Yes Yes

NFL on Xbox[e][k] No Yes NFL account and cable provider subscription ( Xbox
Xbox
One) Yes Yes

Netflix[b][c][e] Yes Yes Netflix
Netflix
subscription Yes Yes

OneDrive Yes Yes

Yes Yes

SBS on Demand[e][g] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Sky Go[c][e] Yes Yes Sky TV and/or pay-per-view subscription Yes Yes

TELUS Optik TV[e][l] No Yes Optik TV subscription & kit Yes No

TENplay[g] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Twitch.tv[d] Yes Yes Twitch.tv
Twitch.tv
account Yes Yes

AT&T U-Verse TV[e][k] Yes Yes AT&T U-Verse Subscription & Kit Yes No

Vodafone Casa TV[e][f] Yes Yes Vodafone Casa TV subscription Yes No

Xfinity[e][k] Yes Yes Xfinity Digital Preferred and Xfinity Internet
Internet
accounts Yes No

Ultimate Fighting Championship[e] Yes[l] Yes Credit card
Credit card
(to purchase fights) Yes Yes

Vevo Yes Yes

Yes Yes

YouTube[d] Yes Yes YouTube
YouTube
account Yes Yes

WWE Network[e] Yes Yes WWE Network
WWE Network
subscription Yes Yes

ZDF[j] Yes Yes

Yes Yes

^ a Some content available one week after Gold subscribers ^ b Available in U.S. and Canada
Canada
only ^ c Available in UK and Ireland only ^ d Over 18's only/parental permission required ^ e Various rental/subscription fees apply ^ f Available in Portugal
Portugal
only ^ g Available in Australia
Australia
only ^ h Available in France
France
only ^ i Available in Spain
Spain
only ^ j Available in Germany
Germany
only ^ k Available in U.S. only ^ l Available in Canada
Canada
only ^ m Discontinued from Xbox
Xbox
Live Marketplace ^ n Available in selected markets ^ o Gold membership required on 360

Xbox 360
Xbox 360
Features[edit]

Virtual avatars representing the user's likeness Achievements earned during gameplay Gamerscores amounting to the total of a user's Achievement points Rep voted by other users preferring or avoiding the user. Rep defaults to five stars over time after the user has been preferred by at least one other user Friends list displaying the user's chosen friends of up to 100 Recent players list displaying the last 50 players the user has met Complaint system allowing users to file reports of other users that have broken Xbox
Xbox
Live Terms of Use Xbox Live Marketplace
Xbox Live Marketplace
offering downloadable content for games, music and movies Voice and Video chat Multiplayer gameplay for up to four players via system link or Xbox Live Cross-platform multiplayer with Windows gamers on select games via Games for Windows
Games for Windows
- Live Matchmaking depending on the user's cumulative gamerscore, rep, location, language and gamer zone Party system for up to eight users for playing games and watching movies Family settings controlling younger users' exposure to other users Inside Xbox
Xbox
video newsletter detailing Xbox 360
Xbox 360
news, events, products, interviews and games. Content is streamed directly from the Xbox 360
Xbox 360
Dashboard Netflix
Netflix
video service offering unlimited streaming for thousands of television shows and movies. (requires Netflix
Netflix
Unlimited account) Xbox Video
Xbox Video
marketplace offering streaming of video content instantly in 1080p
1080p
HD with 5.1 surround sound. (requires Gold membership) Halo Waypoint
Halo Waypoint
multimedia hub for all Halo-related content Game Room
Game Room
virtual arcade space offering a library of classic retro games MSN
MSN
entertainment portal providing the latest news and gossip in the world of celebrities, music and movies AT&T U-Verse and Telus Optik TV set-top box functionality Windows Phone
Windows Phone
compatibility allowing users to manage their Xbox
Xbox
Live profiles, send and receive messages, play video games, as well as earn achievements exclusive to Windows Phone
Windows Phone
titles Xbox Music
Xbox Music
marketplace offering unlimited streaming of music and music videos. (requires Gold membership) Avatar Kinect
Kinect
social media service allowing users to interact with one another and create media using their Avatars Hulu
Hulu
Plus video streaming service offering commercially supported television and movie content from networks such as NBC, Fox and ABC (US). (Requires Hulu
Hulu
Plus account) Kinect
Kinect
Fun Labs development hub allowing users to play, create and share their own Kinect
Kinect
experiences Bing search engine allowing users to search for any piece of content on their console Internet
Internet
Explorer allows users to browse the internet using their console on Xbox
Xbox
360; Microsoft
Microsoft
Edge on Xbox
Xbox
One Cloud storage
Cloud storage
allowing users to access their profiles and save data from any console iHeartRadio streaming service, which streams over 800 US-based radio stations[42] (requires Gold membership and iHeartRadio account) YouTube
YouTube
application allowing for unlimited access to shared video content (requires YouTube
YouTube
account) IPTV
IPTV
service offering region-specific television content. (requires Gold membership) Epix offering movies-on-television content. (requires Gold membership) Dailymotion
Dailymotion
allowing users to access television and movie content (requires Gold membership and Dailymotion
Dailymotion
account) UFC on Xbox
Xbox
Live allows users to view pay-per-view events in 1080p
1080p
HD, access a library of live and on-demand video content, connect with friends to predict fight results and have the ability to compare fighter statistics and records MLB.tv
MLB.tv
offering out-of-market Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
games (requires Gold membership and MLB.tv
MLB.tv
subscription) Live event streaming, including video game announcements, award shows, concerts, sports, beauty pageants and news events (most events require Gold membership and fees) Sports Picks allowing users to predict the outcome of sporting events, including UFC, NBA and NHL games, with future support for MLB games and Miss Universe Organization pageants (requires Gold membership) Various TV on-demand services which are available to all users (no Gold subscription required), albeit restricted by region. Such services include:

Australia: ABC iView Germany: ZDF
ZDF
Mediathek[43] UK: BBC iPlayer[44]

Various TV on-demand services which require a Gold subscription. Access to these services varies by region and some require a separate subscription to the provider. Such services include:

Australia: SBS on Demand France: Canal+[45] UK: Demand 5, 4oD
4oD
and SkyDrive U.S.: Xfinity On Demand Canada: Tou.TV

Exclusive Xbox One
Xbox One
Features[edit]

Ability to record gameplay using the Upload app and Game DVR (requires Gold membership) Access to "OneGuide", a customizable electronic program guide that integrates TV content and internet content – such as Hulu
Hulu
Plus – into one screen Skype
Skype
support allows users to video chat and voice chat with each other while playing games and using apps (requires Skype
Skype
account and Kinect) Ability to edit saved gameplay clips in the Upload Studio and upload to OneDrive
OneDrive
(requires Gold membership)

User information[edit] Gamertag[edit] A Gamertag is the universal name for a player's username on Xbox
Xbox
Live. A Gamertag used online must be unique and can be up to fifteen characters in length, including numbers, letters, and spaces. Gamertags can be changed using an Xbox One
Xbox One
or Xbox 360
Xbox 360
console (first time is free, then for a price of £8 / $10), the Xbox 360
Xbox 360
supports eight Xbox
Xbox
Live-enabled profiles per memory unit and thirty-two profiles on the hard drive.[46] A player's Gamertag account status can be checked using a variety of online tools, which is useful especially when looking for a new Gamertag, or confirming that a Gamertag exists. Using a valid Gamertag, any player can be located and messaged from within Live. There are also several websites which allow users of Gamertags to upload photos and information about themselves. Gamertags can be used in a variety of places, including Games for Windows – Live, Zune, XNA Creators Club, and of course on Xbox
Xbox
One and Xbox
Xbox
360. Gamertags also contain avatar images (or "gamer pictures"), sometimes associated with certain games or game characters. On Xbox
Xbox
360, individual gamerpics cost between $0.17 and $0.25, but they are usually bundled into packs; packs of four or five gamerpics usually cost $1, while packs of ten typically cost $1.87. It is also possible to take "Public" pictures (which are shown to all that view a profile, unless the user has a different "personal" picture set) which can be taken of avatars while using the avatar editor. Users were formerly forbidden to use strings such as gay or refer to homosexuality in any way in their Gamertag or profile due to it being considered "content of a sexual nature", even if the string occurs in a legitimate surname. Incidents where a woman was suspended from the service for identifying herself as a lesbian, and an incident where a male user was suspended for using his surname "Gaywood" in his username attracted controversy.[47][48][49][50][51] In February 2009, Xbox
Xbox
Live Lead Program Manager for Enforcement Stephen Toulouse clarified the service's policy on sexual identification, stating that "Expression of any sexual orientation [...] is not allowed in Gamertags" but that the company is "examining how we can provide it in a way that won't get misused."[52] Changes announced in March 2010 permit Xbox
Xbox
Live members to express sexual orientation in their gamertags and profiles.[53] Gamerscore[edit] The Gamerscore (G) is an achievements point accumulation system that reflects the number of achievements accumulated by a user on Xbox
Xbox
Live through the displaying of the number of points accumulated. These Achievement points are awarded for the completion of game-specific challenges, such as beating a level or amassing a specified number of wins against other players in online matches and other various in game challenges. Initially, retail Xbox 360
Xbox 360
games offered up to 1,000G spread over a variable number of Achievements, while each Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade
title contained 12 Achievements totaling 200G. On February 1, 2007, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced on their Gamerscore Blog some new policies that developers must follow related to Gamerscore and Achievements in future releases.[54] All regular disc-based games must have 1,000 Gamerscore points in the base game; the title can ship with fewer than 1,000 points, but anything added later must be free. Game developers also now have the option of adding up to 250 points via downloadable content every quarter after the first year of release (for a total of 1,750 points). Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade
titles also allow players to obtain Gamerscore, initially up to 200 Gamerscore with additional points up to 50 Gamerscore via downloadable content (for a total of 250 points),[55] but some XBLA games now contain up to 400 Gamerscore without DLC. On May 26, 2007, Halo 2
Halo 2
was the first Games for Windows
Games for Windows
title to feature Achievements, which counted towards a player's Gamerscore. On March 25, 2008, Microsoft
Microsoft
cracked down on "Gamerscore cheaters" (those who used external tools to artificially inflate their Gamerscore), and reduced their Gamerscores to zero without the option to recover the scores that had been "earned", and branded the player by denoting on their Gamertag that they were a "Cheater".[56] The development of the Gamerscore system has created a new niche in the internet economy. Many websites have been created to provide gamers with tips and tricks for getting achievement points. Some sites are solely devoted to these achievement guides, and some blogs provide gaming guides in addition to their other content. On March 13, 2014, Ray Cox IV or "Stallion83" became the first player in history to reach 1 million Gamerscore.[57] Gamercard[edit] The Gamercard is an information panel used to summarize one's user profile on Microsoft's Xbox
Xbox
Live. The pieces of information on a Gamercard include:

Gamertag (in front a silver or gold bar) (active gold members who have had Xbox
Xbox
Live for less than a year feature small bubbles. Anything a year or over will feature the number of years.) Gamer picture (avatar) Reputation Gamerscore Gamer Zone Recent games played

A player's Gamercard can be viewed via the Xbox 360
Xbox 360
Dashboard, or online through Xbox.com. The top bar that displays the Gamertag is shown in front of either a silver or gold bar which designates if the gamer has an Xbox
Xbox
Live Free or Gold subscription (respectively). If the gamer is part of the Xbox 360
Xbox 360
Launch Team, the top bar will also have additional text stating "Launch Team" in the background. Third-party sites allow users to post a rendered version of their Gamercard as a small Flash applet or JPEG
JPEG
image on any website or Internet
Internet
forum. Similarly, Mac OS X
Mac OS X
users can download widgets that display their Xbox Live Gamercard within Mac OS X's Dashboard. These can be downloaded onto any Mac with OS X 10.4 or higher via Apple's widget download page. There are four Gamer Zones; Recreation is for casual gamers, Family is for family-friendly gamers (without profanity, etc.), Pro is for competitive gamers who enjoy a challenge, and Underground is for no-holds-barred gaming where anything goes (as long as it does not violate the Xbox
Xbox
Live Terms of Use). However, in practice these gamer zones are displayed only on the Gamercard of the player, and do not tend to affect the gameplay experience or the matching of players in online games. TrueSkill[edit] Main article: TrueSkill TrueSkill[58] is a ranking and matchmaking system which was first implemented as part of the Xbox
Xbox
360[59]'s Live services. Developed at Microsoft
Microsoft
Research Cambridge
Cambridge
(United Kingdom), the TrueSkill ranking system is now used in over 150 titles for the Xbox
Xbox
360[citation needed] and in the Games for Windows – Live
Games for Windows – Live
game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II. It uses a mathematical model of uncertainty to address weaknesses in existing ranking systems such as Elo. For example, a new player joining million-player leagues can be ranked correctly in fewer than 20 games. It can predict the probability of each game outcome, which enhances competitive matchmaking, making it possible to assemble skill-balanced teams from a group of players with different abilities. When matchmaking, the system attempts to match individuals based on their estimated skill level. If two individuals are competing head-to-head and have the same estimated skill level with low estimate uncertainty, they should each have roughly a 50% chance of winning a match. In this way, the system attempts to make every match as competitive as possible. In order to prevent abuse of the system, the majority of ranked games have relatively limited options for matchmaking. By design, players cannot easily play with their friends in ranked games. However, these countermeasures have failed due to techniques such as alternate account(s) and system flaws where each system has its own individual TrueSkill rating. To provide less competitive games, the system supports unranked Player Matches, which allow individuals of any skill level to be paired (often including "guests" on an account). Such matches do not contribute to the TrueSkill rating. Xbox
Xbox
Games Store[edit] Main article: Xbox
Xbox
Games Store Xbox Games Store
Xbox Games Store
(formerly Xbox
Xbox
Live Marketplace) is a unified storefront which offers both free and premium content for download including Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade
titles, Xbox
Xbox
indie games, original Xbox games, Xbox 360
Xbox 360
game demos, game expansion material (e.g. extra maps, vehicles, songs), trailers, gamer pictures and themes, television shows, music videos, movie rentals, Apps and games and more.[60] On November 17, 2009, Microsoft
Microsoft
released a downloadable Zune application for the Xbox
Xbox
360. This application turns the Xbox 360
Xbox 360
into a Zune
Zune
device. Once one downloads the Zune
Zune
application, it takes over the Marketplace menus and sections of the console. With the addition of the Zune
Zune
Marketplace to a Xbox 360
Xbox 360
console, one is able to purchase movies instead of only being able to rent them. The Zune
Zune
Marketplace has a much more extensive content offering compared to the classic Xbox
Xbox
Live Marketplace.[60] Xbox
Xbox
Play Anywhere[edit] See also: List of Xbox
Xbox
Play Anywhere games

Xbox
Xbox
Play Anywhere logo

Xbox
Xbox
Play Anywhere is a cross-buy program (between Xbox One
Xbox One
and Windows 10) announced at E3 2016 and deployed in September 2016.[61] The supported games can be bought either on the Windows Store
Windows Store
or on the Xbox Games Store
Xbox Games Store
(on the web or directly on the Xbox
Xbox
One) with a unique Xbox
Xbox
/ Microsoft
Microsoft
account and will be available globally for the account (supposedly that the targeted Windows 10
Windows 10
computer can technically support the game). A comprehensive list of supported game can be found on the Xbox
Xbox
Play Anywhere website.[62]

Xbox
Xbox
Live Gold[edit]

Xbox
Xbox
Live Gold

Developer Microsoft

Type Premium online service

Platform Xbox
Xbox
360 Xbox
Xbox
One

Website US website

Xbox
Xbox
Live Gold is a paid subscription service for the Xbox
Xbox
community. Signing up to Xbox
Xbox
Live is free, but, with the exception of the Windows 10
Windows 10
version, in order to play online and access some core services, a periodic fee is required. Features that require a Gold subscription include online gaming, matchmaking/smartmatch, private chat, party chat and in-game voice communication. Other features, such as game recording and media sharing also necessitate Gold membership.[36][40] Similarly, ordinary Xbox
Xbox
Live members can download and access the Twitch live streaming application, but in order to broadcast gameplay of one's own, a Gold subscription is necessary.[35] Free-to-play titles also remain behind a paywall.[33] Subscribers are benefited with space "in the cloud" for storing files, and granted early or exclusive access to betas, special offers, Games with Gold, and Video Kinect. Games with Gold[edit] See also: List of Games with Gold
Games with Gold
games Games with Gold
Games with Gold
is a program in which digital downloads of games are offered at no charge to Xbox
Xbox
Live Gold subscribers. Games with Gold launched for Xbox 360
Xbox 360
in July 2013,[63] while Xbox One
Xbox One
games were added in June 2014.[64] Xbox 360
Xbox 360
receives a game twice per month, while Xbox One
Xbox One
receives two games once per month. Games downloaded through the program on Xbox 360
Xbox 360
are free to own with no further restrictions.[64] Xbox One
Xbox One
Games with Gold
Games with Gold
titles require active Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to use, and become locked and unplayable if the subscription lapses.[64] As of November 2015, all Games with Gold
Games with Gold
titles for Xbox 360
Xbox 360
are backwards compatible on Xbox One.[65][66] New Xbox
Xbox
Experience [edit] At E3 2008, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced that all Xbox 360
Xbox 360
owners would receive a new dashboard update, titled New Xbox
Xbox
Experience (NXE), on November 19, 2008[67] that added several new features. Though the new interface is generally downloaded when a new Xbox
Xbox
is connected to Xbox
Xbox
Live, some games, including Fight Night Round 4, Portal 2
Portal 2
and Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, will also update it. One feature is the ability to watch standard quality and 720p streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix
Netflix
through the Xbox
Xbox
360. This feature is only available in the U.S. and Canada, and requires an Xbox Live Gold subscription and Netflix
Netflix
Unlimited. Users are also able to watch Netflix
Netflix
titles with their friends in a party of up to 8 players. Xbox
Xbox
Live members have the ability to view over 12,000 movies and episodes. Users can browse for titles based on their interests and Netflix
Netflix
ratings with the Xbox
Xbox
interface. Users no longer need to visit the website to choose the content to watch.[68][69] When a player parties up with a group, they also have the ability to join games together, chat together or view a slideshow of photos. Another feature gives players the ability to create Avatars. Players are able to customize avatars by changing body shape, facial features, hair and clothes, as well as new clothing being released from time to time.[70] Xbox
Xbox
Live requires that users select an avatar.[67] Another feature is the ability to install an entire game disc onto the Xbox 360's hard drive, which decreases loading times, and significantly reduces noise due to the game being read from the hard drive and not the louder disc drive (similar to the PS2 HD LOADER Feature). For most games this feature also reduces the amount of time spent reading the disc, thereby helping to extend the life-span of the optical drive mechanism.[71] During the Press Conference at E3, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced Xbox
Xbox
Live Primetime, a series of scheduled programs where Xbox
Xbox
Live members can play against each other. The first announced game is an adaptation of the Endemol
Endemol
game show 1 vs. 100 in which one Xbox
Xbox
Live member will play against 100 other members with a live host and prizes awarded.[72] On July 15, 2010, Microsoft
Microsoft
confirmed that 1 vs. 100 would be cancelled. The Xbox
Xbox
Guide has also been redesigned. Players are not only able to view their friends and messages, but are able to access their game library. If a user has installed any game onto their Xbox 360
Xbox 360
Hard drive, they are able to immediately start the game from the guide, whether they are in a game or in the dashboard. Microsoft
Microsoft
also confirmed that every new 360 comes with 3 free Xbox
Xbox
Live Gold trial accounts, upon creating a new account the player is allowed to claim a trial period upon refusing to pay for Gold subscription; therefore allowing the user to try online gameplay for that one-month trial period, after which the player is required to pay subscription fees to continue matchmaking online.[73] Major Nelson also announced that the update supports 16:10 on VGA or HDMI, expanding the choice of resolutions.[74] While previous system updates have been stored on internal memory, this is the first update to require a storage device. The update requires at least 128 MB free space on either a memory card or a hard drive.[75] Microsoft
Microsoft
has stated that many Core or Arcade users will not have sufficient space on their limited memory cards for the new update and thus provided them with a free 512 MB memory card or a discounted 20 GB hard drive for a limited time.[76][77] This promotion has since ended and all new arcade units now come with 512 MB of internal memory.[citation needed] The NXE was leaked onto Torrent sites and could be installed via a USB drive. Microsoft's Major Nelson stated that unauthorized installation of NXE would result in the user's console being banned from Xbox
Xbox
Live until its official release which was on November 19, 2008.[78] Update[edit] On September 22, 2010, Major Nelson announced that the Xbox
Xbox
Live dashboard would be redesigned once again. The new design would incorporate the Metro interface used in other Microsoft
Microsoft
products, such as Zune
Zune
HD and Windows Phone. As well as a new color scheme and other minor tweaks to the overall layout, the update would also include a " Kinect
Kinect
hub", designed specifically for the Kinect
Kinect
sensor for easier dashboard navigation. Xbox
Xbox
Live members were able to sign up for a preview program, which opened on September 29, 2010.[79] The new dashboard officially went live on December 6, 2011.[80][81] On June 6, 2011 at E3, it was announced that the dashboard would be updated again to include the Bing search engine, allowing users to search for games, trailers, movies etc. Kinect
Kinect
would also be updated allowing users to navigate the dashboard and Bing using their voice. Other updates would include cloud storage, YouTube
YouTube
access and live television streaming.[82] The dashboard update was delayed till December 6, 2011.[83] On May 13, 2014, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced changes to the Xbox
Xbox
Live Gold membership that would allow subscribers to access available apps such as Netflix, Twitch, MLB.tv, etc. without a Gold membership on both Xbox One
Xbox One
and Xbox 360
Xbox 360
consoles, though various rental or subscription fees still apply.[84] Microsoft
Microsoft
would be offering pro-rated refunds for the service for requests up until August 31, 2014. The company also announced "Games with Gold" that would give subscribers free games on both Xbox 360
Xbox 360
and Xbox One
Xbox One
with one single membership, and "Deals with Gold" for exclusive discounts for Xbox One
Xbox One
games at the Xbox
Xbox
store.[85] Xbox
Xbox
Video[edit] On November 6, 2006, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced the Xbox Video
Xbox Video
(formerly Xbox Video Marketplace), an exclusive video store accessible through the console. Launched in the United States
United States
on November 22, 2006, the first anniversary of the Xbox
Xbox
360's launch, the service allows users in the United States
United States
to download high-definition and standard-definition television shows for purchase and movies for rental onto an Xbox
Xbox
360 console for viewing. With the exception of short clips, content is not currently available for streaming, and must be downloaded. Movies are available for rental from the Video Marketplace. They expire in 14 days after download or at the end of the first 24 hours after the movie has begun playing, whichever comes first. Television episodes can be purchased to own, and are transferable to an unlimited number of consoles. Downloaded files use 5.1 surround audio and are encoded using VC-1 for video at 720p, with a bitrate of 6.8 Mbit/s.[86] Television content is offered from MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Turner Broadcasting and CBS; and movie content is Warner Bros., Paramount and Disney, along with other publishers.[87]

Programs[edit] The "Game with Fame" initiative has been Microsoft's way to connect Xbox
Xbox
Live members with celebrities and game developers.[88] Notable participants of "Game with Fame" include Shia LaBeouf, Jack Black, Rihanna, Velvet Revolver, Victoria Justice, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Scissor Sisters, Paramore, Korn, OK Go, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Dream Theater, Linkin Park, Green Day[89] and Insane Clown Posse.[90] " Xbox
Xbox
Ambassadors" are Xbox
Xbox
Live members selected by Microsoft
Microsoft
who have proven themselves to be helpful towards others, and are willing to assist new Xbox
Xbox
Live users and answer their questions. As of March 2009, there are ambassadors representing 18 countries in more than 30 languages.[91] " Xbox
Xbox
Rewards" was a promotion designed to provide gamers incentives to play on Xbox
Xbox
Live by subsidizing achievement points earned with actual rewards. Gamers were required to register for specific challenges which, if successfully completed, would yield a challenge-specific reward. " Xbox
Xbox
Live Rewards" is a current promotion providing Xbox
Xbox
Live members with Reward Points (not to be confused with the defunct Microsoft Points) when they renew their Gold Membership, buy something on the Marketplace, etc. " Xbox
Xbox
Live Labs" was a program found in the community section and was available from March 10 to 27, 2011 for members in the United States. If a player chose to participate, they were rewarded with avatar items and 3 zero-point achievements.[citation needed] SentUAMessage was a show which aimed to answer questions sent in by viewers on anything related to the world of Xbox. The show ran for four series and was released every other Saturday. The show was driven entirely by user-generated questions. To ensure the volume of questions remained high, fans could contact the show in a variety of ways, including sending questions to the SentUAMessage Gamertag over Xbox
Xbox
LIVE, writing an email, or using social network websites.[citation needed] Security[edit] Microsoft
Microsoft
implements a number of different security measures on its Xbox
Xbox
Live service. One of these takes the form of a proactive security check that assures that only unmodified machines may access their service. On May 17, 2007, Microsoft
Microsoft
banned consoles with modified firmware from Xbox
Xbox
Live. According to Microsoft, consoles with firmware of unknown origin, quality or intent were banned permanently from Xbox
Xbox
Live. A Microsoft
Microsoft
representative indicated that the action was taken to assure "the integrity of the service and protect our partners and users." It has been discovered that pretexting has been used to impersonate an Xbox
Xbox
Live user for sabotage. Microsoft
Microsoft
has implemented greater security to decrease the service's susceptibility to social engineering.[92] In early November 2009 Microsoft
Microsoft
banned approximately 1 million consoles with modified firmware from Xbox
Xbox
Live.[93] In October 2011, users of Xbox
Xbox
Live reported having unauthorized access to their Xbox
Xbox
Live accounts, with Microsoft
Microsoft
points subsequently being used and/or bought to purchase various in-game items for FIFA 12. Microsoft
Microsoft
is responding to such incidents by restricting access to the account for 25 days whilst the fraud team investigates. Both EA and Microsoft
Microsoft
have denied that there is a problem with security.[94] On December 25, 2014, both PlayStation Network
PlayStation Network
and Xbox
Xbox
Live suffered network disruption after a denial-of-service attack.[29] Functionality was restored on December 28, with some users experiencing difficulties in the days that followed.[95] Availability[edit] As of December 16, 2017, Xbox
Xbox
Live is currently available in 42 countries/territories:[96]

 Argentina  Australia  Austria  Belgium  Brazil  Canada  Chile  China  Colombia  Czech Republic  Denmark  Finland  France  Germany  Greece  Hong Kong  Hungary  India  Ireland  Israel  Italy  Japan  Mexico  Netherlands  New Zealand  Norway  Poland  Portugal  Russia  Saudi Arabia  Singapore  Slovakia  South Africa  South Korea  Spain  Sweden   Switzerland  Taiwan  Turkey  United Arab Emirates  United Kingdom  United States

Users from other countries are not officially supported, although it is possible for them to access Xbox
Xbox
Live if they provide an address located in a country where Xbox
Xbox
Live is officially available. The country selected during account creation affects the payment options, content, and services available to the user.[97] Previously, users were unable to change their account region, but in October 2012, Microsoft
Microsoft
introduced an account migration tool as a pilot project, which allows the user to change their region and maintain their Xbox Live profile. Subscriptions, such as that for Xbox
Xbox
Music, cannot be transferred with this method.[98] On May 18, 2011, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced that it planned to launch Xbox Live in the Middle East within the next twelve months,[99] but it never occurred during that time period. However, on October 20, 2012, Microsoft
Microsoft
officially announced the service will be launching in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
in three days time.[100] On November 4, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced that the service would be launched on November 29 in Argentina
Argentina
and Israel.[101] The service also appeared in the following month in Slovakia
Slovakia
and Turkey. The service was launched in China
China
in late 2014.[citation needed] First-generation Xbox
Xbox
Live shutdown[edit] Xbox
Xbox
Live for the original Xbox
Xbox
was discontinued by Microsoft
Microsoft
on April 15, 2010, encouraging gamers to upgrade to the Xbox
Xbox
360.[102] Though official Xbox
Xbox
Live service has been discontinued for the original Xbox, tunneling software such as Xlink Kai exists, allowing original Xbox
Xbox
users to play system link games such as Halo with other people from around the world, much like Xbox
Xbox
Live. However, no third-party software developed thus far has been fully compatible with all original Xbox
Xbox
titles.[citation needed] Live Anywhere[edit] Main article: Live Anywhere Live Anywhere is an initiative by Microsoft
Microsoft
to bring the Live online gaming and entertainment network to a wide variety of platforms and devices, including Xbox, Xbox
Xbox
360, Microsoft
Microsoft
Windows (XP SP2/SP3, Vista and 7), Windows Phone, Java-based phones and Zune.[103] The concept service for mobile devices has been demonstrated at E3 and CES on a Motorola Q
Motorola Q
mobile phone.[104] Microsoft's Chris Early clarified that Live Anywhere is a long-term project expected to be rolled out over several years.[105] On February 15, 2010, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced its new mobile operating system, Windows Phone. With Windows Phone
Windows Phone
7, Microsoft
Microsoft
has integrated full Xbox
Xbox
Live functionality into Windows Phone. Revenue[edit] Bloomberg estimates that Xbox
Xbox
Live likely generated over $1 billion in revenue in the 2010 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 2010.[106] See also[edit]

Microsoft
Microsoft
portal Xbox
Xbox
portal

Nintendo Network PlayStation Network Windows Live

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

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Xbox
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Xbox
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People

Founders

Bill Gates Paul Allen

Board of directors

John W. Thompson
John W. Thompson
(Chairman) Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
(CEO) Dina Dublon Maria Klawe David Marquardt Charles Noski Helmut Panke Mason Morfit John W. Stanton

Senior leadership team

Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
(CEO) Scott Guthrie Amy Hood (CFO) Terry Myerson Harry Shum Phil Spencer

Corporate VPs

Gabe Aul
Gabe Aul
(VP) Joe Belfiore Richard Rashid
Richard Rashid
(SVP) S. Somasegar
S. Somasegar
(SVP)

Divisions

Engineering groups

Mobile Skype
Skype
unit

Digital Crimes Unit Garage Press Research Studios .NET Foundation Outercurve Foundation

Estates

Microsoft
Microsoft
Redmond campus Microsoft
Microsoft
Talo Microsoft
Microsoft
Algeria Microsoft
Microsoft
Egypt Microsoft
Microsoft
India Microsoft
Microsoft
Japan

Product families

Operating systems

Windows

Software

Office Servers Visual Studio

Hardware

HoloLens Surface Xbox

Web properties

Azure Bing Channel 9 CodePlex Developer Network MSN Mixer Office.com OneDrive Outlook.com Store TechNet

Conferences

Build Inspire MIX PDC TechEd WinHEC

Campaigns

Where do you want to go today?
Where do you want to go today?
(1994) Champagne (2002) Mojave Experiment (2006) I'm a PC
I'm a PC
(2008) Scroogled (2012)

Criticism

Bundling of Microsoft
Microsoft
Windows Clippy iLoo Internet
Internet
Explorer Microsoft
Microsoft
Bob _NSAKEY Windows

XP Vista 10

Litigation

Alcatel-Lucent v. Microsoft Apple v. Microsoft European Union Microsoft
Microsoft
competition case Microsoft
Microsoft
v. Lindows Microsoft
Microsoft
vs. MikeRoweSoft Microsoft
Microsoft
v. Shah United States
United States
v. Microsoft
Microsoft
(2001 antitrust case) Microsoft
Microsoft
Ireland case

Acquisitions

6Wunderkinder Altamira Software AltspaceVR aQuantive Azyxxi The Blue Ribbon SoundWorks Beam Bungie Calista Technologies Colloquis Connectix Consumers Software Danger Farecast FASA Studio Fast Search & Transfer Firefly Forethought GIANT Company Software GreenButton Groove Networks High Heat Major League Baseball Hotmail Jellyfish.com LinkedIn LinkExchange Lionhead Studios Maluuba Massive Incorporated Mobile Data Labs Mojang Nokia Devices and Services Onfolio Pando Networks Perceptive Pixel PlaceWare Powerset ProClarity Rare Revolution Analytics ScreenTonic Secure Islands Simplygon Skype Sunrise Atelier SwiftKey Winternals Software Teleo Telekinesys Research Tellme Networks Twisted Pixel Games Vermeer Technologies Visio Corporation Vivaty VoloMetrix VXtreme WebTV Networks Xamarin Yammer Yupi

.