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Transforms your Xbox 360
Adds more to your video games, video apps, Xbox Live parties, DLC, deals, fun
You have to pay whereas on the PS3 or Wii you don't pay for online multiplayer
Look & Feel
Robustness & durability
Value For Money
Range of Extra FeaturesGood
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Xbox Live is the online section of the Xbox 360 games console. Xbox Live gives you lots of benefits and really lets you get the most of the Xbox 360. Without Xbox Live you really are not getting the most out of your Xbox!
There are two levels of membership, Silver and Gold. Silver membership lets you download demos, talk to your friends and send messages to them and buy, download and update content through the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Gold membership lets you do all this and also has other bonuses including Xbox Live Parties which let you talk to your friends even if you are playing different games which is very handy, download new content up to a week before Silver members and most importantly be able to play games online with other players which makes nearly all games much more fun and increases their lifespan. Gold members also get special offers every week whether DLC for half price, an arcade game with a third off or just a theme.
The only disadvantage about the service is you have to pay a small fee if you want to be a Gold member. This is about £35 online for a year and there are some sites that email you the code which are even cheaper! However with other consoles such as the Wii and PS3 online play is free. It`s main opposition is PSN the Playstation 3 online which is free but much worse.
For example the games are much more laggy online, have less support, less features and is basically not as good as well as more people have Xbox Live. I think the fee is well worth it though as Xbox Live is better than the other online services with more players, better connections and speed, more features and it is updated often with new features such as Sky Player if you have Sky, Facebook and Twitter coming soon and the excellent new 1 vs 100!
They are also in the process of adding lots of new video apps such as Iplayer, 4OD, Demand 5, Lovefilm, Muzu, MSN and Blinbox to improve the whole Xbox 360 experience, all of which (excluding Iplayer) require a gold membership.
Playing games online usually works really well with matches having little lag and you can find a match quite quickly normally! Games like Fifa 12, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Halo Reach and Gears of War 3 are great fun online and makes the games last longer and adds more to a game, increasing their replay value too. You can also play with friends making Xbox live even better.
Xbox live just enhances the Xbox experience whether using the friends list, watching videos (xbox related) or movies which you can pay to watch, playing online, playing with friends, talking with friends, making new friends, sending messages, watching Sky Player, using Twitter, listening to music using Last.fm, downloading demos, arcade games which are smaller games but there are some brilliant ones and they are cheaper than retail games, indie games, updating games and downloading extra content to make games last longer, add new maps, missions e.t.c and the list literally goes on and on!
If you have an Xbox 360 you really do need Xbox Live to get the full experience and without it really are missing out on lots of fun, cool, interesting and good things.