Xbox Live is an online gaming service provided for the Xbox 360, allowing gamers to compete online, among a host of other features. Upon signing up for the service, gamers have the option of either creating a free Silver account or paying for a Gold account. There are numerous differences between the two. While the Gold account allows Xbox Live users to experience everything the service has to offer, the Silver account lacks some of the major features such as online gaming.
One of the main reasons why most gamers log into Xbox Live is to compete online in multiplayer games. This is probably the biggest difference in the two account versions, because the Silver account doesn't allow gamers to play any multiplayer game on Xbox Live. There are numerous features that come with playing games online, such as ranked matchmaking and player matches. Ranked matchmaking pits gamers against others with a similar skill level in a competitive match while player matches offer a more laid-back atmosphere. Player matches also often allow gamers to manually join games or to have Xbox Live automatically place them in a game. Gamers can also commuhttp://write.demandstudios.com/edit.php?articleid=1586966nicate verbally in-game via headset.
Both Gold and Silver accounts can manage a friends list of up to 100 other gamers. With the friends list comes many other features, such as voice and text messaging, party chat and private chat. However, Silver users cannot join Xbox Live parties, which are basically private chats with the ability to host more than one person and a few extra multiplayer options such as game invites. Silver users also cannot participate in video chats, which are video chat rooms using the Xbox Live Vision Camera. However, Silver users still have the ability to participate in private chats and send voice and text messages to others.
Xbox Live allows gamers to download many different types of media from the Xbox Live Marketplace, including movies, game add-ons and demos. The Silver account can download almost anything from the Marketplace, the exception being early access to game demos. A demo must be released for a few days before Silver users can download it while Gold users can download the demo immediately. But Silver accounts have immediate access to all of the other downloadable content available on the Marketplace.
Xbox Live Gold users have access to Netflix, which is another pay service that allows you to instantly stream thousands of movies to your TV. Unfortunately, Silver users do not have access to Netflix. The requirement for Gold users is that they must already have a Netflix account in order to stream videos.
Twitter, Facebook and Last.FM
Other useful features of Xbox Live are the ability to use three popular media websites: Twitter, Facebook and Last.FM. You must have a Gold account in order to access these websites. Users can log into their Twitter, Facebook and Last.FM accounts to check the latest tweets on Twitter, view status updates on Facebook, or stream radio stations with Last.FM. All of the features of these websites are available using a Gold account and Xbox Live.
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