A couple of days ago, Microsoft raised the price of an annual Xbox Live Gold suscription by $10, to $59.99 per year. However, realizing that there are people out there with multiple accounts in a family setting, the company has finally incorporated an Xbox Live Family subscription into their offerings, and it's a great deal. For $99.99 per year--$20 less than the cost of two Xbox Live Gold subscriptions--you get a pack of four Xbox Live Gold accounts. Even cooler, though, is if you have young children, you get details on their activity and can set up preferences and allowances, and even get activity reports. Here's a look at the features that are exclusive fo the Family Pack:
- Family Center: It’s a single easy-to-use destination to manage your family’s memberships and online settings.
- Activity reports: Sign in to Xbox.com to view reports on your family’s activities on Xbox LIVE, and encourage discussions with your family about safer, healthier, and more balanced gaming.
- Microsoft Points Allowances: Parents and caregivers can purchase and gift Microsoft Points to their children.
- Family Pack Deal: Get exclusive discounts on family-friendly content.
You can convert over to the Family Pack from any existing Xbox Live account. If you're already a Gold member, then you get $5 towards the purchase of the Family Pack for each month of Gold that you have remaining on your account. Even better, if other accounts that you want to add to your Family Pack have time left on a Gold subscription, the entire family will get another month of Gold added for every two months remaining on each account.
The Xbox Live Gold Family Pack is available now, and you can set it up online, or from the Xbox 360 dashboard.
Read More | Xbox Live Family Pack FAQ
If you've been waiting for the Fall 2010 Xbox Live dashboard update to drop, tomorrow is the day, just in time for the launch of Kinect. This'll be a mandatory update, and anyone who refuses to get it will find themselves unable to connect to the service. According to the message Xbox Live users are receiving in their inboxes, the update will also add minor changes the Dashboard so that: "You will notice a change to the layout of the Xbox LIVE Dashboard, a new color scheme, and new fonts being used.
If you want a look at all the new features the update will bring to your Xbox 360, hit our video after the jump.
Wanna get your hands on the next big Call of Duty release? Call of Duty Black Ops is our Deal of the Day, and you're saving a nice 25% off the total cost with this Dell pre-order deal. You get both the Xbox 360 version of COD Black Ops and a 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription card for $59.99, saving you $20. Shipping is free, and the game will ship to you on November 9, when it's released to the public. A nice way to save some cash if you were gonna pick this one up anyway.:
Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread.
Windows Phone 7 launches on November 8 here in the US, and in just three days over in Europe. I got a chance to sit in (okay, I kinda took it over) on Windows Phone Radio a couple days ago to talk to Brian Seitz and Matt Akers about what we can all expect from the launch, from the software, and from the hardware devices that we will see launching. We chat about Zune, Xbox Live on the devices, and also what it took to bring a bunch of Microsoft divisions together to collaborate on this operating system. It's all good stuff, and if you're interested in WIndows Phone 7 or mobile devices in general, give it a listen.
I'm gonna try and make semi-regular appearances on the show, so if there are any questions you have, feel free to send them my way!
The next major Xbox 360 dashboard update happens in November, and we’ve got a look at all the new changes and additions in this episode of Bleeding Edge TV. This is a big update that brings another big redesign to the Xbox 360, similar to what they did a couple years ago with the New Xbox Experience. Things are a lot more flat and boxy, like what you’d find on Windows Phone 7, and the synergy is understandable…plus, it makes things a lot more user-friendly as it pertains to Kinect.
What else do you get? Netflix search and DVD queue management, along with a Netflix app redesign. ESPN brings 3,500 live sporting events per year (close to 100 per day!,) Zune finally brings music to the Xbox 360 with Zune Pass integration, and more. Get a look at the video above for the full scoop.
Microsoft is helping to promote Halo: Reach and their online service by enticing gamers with an offer they cannot refuse - a whopping 40% off a full year Gold member ship, in addition to avatar swag. This brings the price of Gold down from $49.99 (and increasing to $59.99 starting November 1) to $29.99. With Gold member privileges you will have access to features such as: the deal of the week, Twitter, Netflix, Facebook, online multiplayer, and last.fm.
Ahhhhh snap! Microsoft is officially bringing “it” by touting the Windows Phone 7 as the next revolution in smartphones. Introduced with a cinematic touch by utilizing Lawrence of Arabia themed teaser trailer, Windows Phone 7 rides blurringly from out of the distance into the forefront. Okay, we’re a bit too enthusiastic, but something about Xbox Live on our phones makes us get all giddy inside!
If you haven’t heard by now, Microsoft is going to be increasing the yearly cost of Xbox LIVE membership by $10 per year starting on November 1. This comes after 8 years of the service remaining at a steady $50 per year, and kills rumors that the service would actually go free sometime soon. On November 1, a year of Xbox LIVE Gold will cost you $59.99, one month will cost $9.99 (up from $7.99,) and the three-month subscriptions will go from $19.99 to $24.99. They say it’s to support new features like Kinect, ESPN, and Hulu Plus coming to Xbox LIVE (despite the fact that Hulu Plus costs $10 a month in the first place.)
The one silver lining here is that you can currently buy yourself a one-year Xbox LIVE subscription for just $39.99, locking in that $20 savings for a year. It will just get tacked on to your current subscription if you already have one. If you want multiple years of savings, you can always find Xbox LIVE discounts on Amazon.
Read More | Xbox LIVE Price Lock
Wanna get an in-depth preview of what Microsoft has in store for Windows Phone 7? In this episode, we chat with Brian Seitz of the Windows Phone team, and he gives us a tour through the entire Windows Phone 7 interface. We get a look at a bunch of features and hubs, including things like social networking integration, Microsoft Office, Xbox Live, photos, friends, Zune, Outlook, and much more. Seeing how Microsoft was able to tie a bunch of their different service offerings (Xbox, Office, Zune, Bing, Explorer, etc.) so tightly into one device is impressive, and definitely gives us hope as they gear up for the launch of Windows Phone 7 devices this fall.
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