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Xbox LIVE turns 10!

Wow! Has it really been 10 years? Microsoft is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Xbox LIVE, which was released on November 15, 2002.  Xbox LIVE is a paid service that allows gamers to connect and play with one another through online multiplayer.

When it was released it wasn’t nearly as fancy as it is today. It was advertised to have a consistent high quality internet connection with little-to-no lag. At the time it only showed which of your friends were online and what game they were playing on Xbox LIVE. It also had a messenger system and private chat so you could coordinate with your friends while finding the same game.

In the past decade things have changed drastically. We now have party chat and an easy way to jump in on our friends’ games with the push of a button. Xbox Live Arcade allows us to download more indie-style games. Microsoft also released a software developer’s kit so gamers could build their own games and put them on the marketplace for a profit. With the inclusion of Netflix, music videos and now Internet Explorer, Xbox LIVE is no longer just a way to play with your friends online but a hub for entertainment.

Microsoft is celebrating their anniversary by giving out a bunch of gifts, the first of which is a message thanking Xbox LIVE members for their love and support as well as a download code for a free avatar helmet. Next they’re offering 50% off select games including Bastion, Castle Crashers, Battlefield 1943, Fruit Ninja Kinect, Geometry Wars Evolved, Peggie and Full House Poker. Not to mention that they’re giving away Kinect’s Wreckateer for free! There’s also a specialized Xbox 360 up for grabs by just downloading a gamer picture!

It’s been a fun ride this past decade and if history is a guide for what’s to come we can’t wait to see what the next 10 years has to offer.