Posted on July 28, 2008,

Some Xbox 360 Games Now Playable on Xbox Live for Free

Gaming TodayThe rumor over the weekend was that Xbox Live Silver members could play certain games online, starting with Shadowrun. A message was first posted on the Xbox.com forums this past Thursday but couldn’t be confirmed over the weekend thanks to a Live Weekend event that allowed everyone and anyone to play online.

make Games for Windows Live free.

Now the question becomes: is the ability to play the rest of the 360′s catalog of games online enough to justify $50 per year? We all know there’s almost no other benefit to being a Gold member, particularly since Microsoft seems to have abandoned its policy of stagnating DLC releases between Gold and Silver members.

Perhaps some of the features in the “new Xbox experience,” like being able to stream Netflix movies, will be made available only to Gold members. But in the meantime, selling Xbox Live Gold subscriptions might become a bit tricky.

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7 Comments on Some Xbox 360 Games Now Playable on Xbox Live for Free

Steve

On July 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm

It’s good to see it’s on the table now. I’m sure it’s being debated fiercly by the MS execs right now.

Would you fork over a significant amount of no-strings attached income to try and keep your customers from defecting? It would seem to be a decent marketing scheme, if a bit too late.

From discussions I’ve had with 360 owners over the past year, most aren’t bothered by the Gold requisite. Those handful who actually were disasatisfied defected already. Apathy seems to be the rule of thumb there.

However, if MS were to ever poll its active customers, they would find a unanimous result.

Phil Migrowen

On July 28, 2008 at 7:06 pm

“This is the first time any game has allowed you to play online on Xbox 360 without an Xbox Live Gold account, which we can likely trace back to Microsoft’s recent decision to make Games for Windows Live free.”

It is not just “likely.” It is the direct result of Games for Windows Live now being free. The three games in question are all Games for Windows Live games, and all three support cross-platform play between PC and XBOX. So, this is the result of either one of two possibilities: Either Microsoft has intentionally allowed XBOX users to play these titles for free to increase the numbers of XBOX users playing these games online against PC users. Or, the Live authentication servers simply can’t tell the difference between a PC user’s account and an XBOX user’s account so any user who tries to play one of these cross-platform games online is allowed to do so by Live.

“But in the meantime, selling Xbox Live Gold subscriptions might become a bit tricky.”

No, it doesn’t. Microsoft completely controls the online multiplayer market for the XBOX360. XBOX360 owners who want to play online must use Live and therefore must pay Microsoft for the privilege. Since there is no direct competition to XBOX Live, XBOX customers must either pay up or do without. And, that fact hasn’t changed since XBOX Live was first introduced.

are you stupid

On July 29, 2008 at 4:16 am

PS3 FTW.

Stephany

On July 29, 2008 at 7:18 am

Its only until Fall anyway, so enjoy it while you can people

Steve

On July 29, 2008 at 7:59 am

“…its policy of stagnating DLC releases between Gold and Silver members.”

I think you mean “staggering”.

Phil Migrowen

On July 29, 2008 at 11:47 am

“Its only until Fall anyway, so enjoy it while you can people”

Actually it’s only until the next Dashboard software update which is supposed to be released this fall. That strongly points to my possibility #2 above which is that this is actually an unintended side-effect of Games for Windows Live games being free for Silver accounts and Live currently not being able to distinguish between XBOX and PC users’ accounts. That is why a software update to the XBOX is needed to make that distinction apparent to Live.

Zaruka

On July 29, 2008 at 1:36 pm

so they mess up and are saying enjoy it xbox 360 players while you can.