Microsoft announces "free LIVE weekend" for Halo: Reach owners

Tomorrow sees the year’s most anticipated game released, Halo: Reach; it is naturally being accompanied by a very large marketing campaign. Halo: Reach is exclusive to the Xbox and, as with other Xbox 360 titles, if gamers want to play online then they need to have an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription.

However, this weekend Microsoft will be allowing all owners of Halo: Reach, even if they are only Xbox LIVE Silver subscribers, access to the multiplayer gaming content. The company has said that “from 17-19 September, everyone can enjoy the online multiplayer modes as [they] unlock all the benefits of Xbox LIVE Gold for [their] Silver subscribers”.

It is assumed that many people who buy Halo: Reach over the next few days will already be Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers, but this “free LIVE weekend” might encourage Silver subscribers to also purchase the game this week. This could could help increase sales of both the Halo game and Xbox LIVE subscriptions.

Multiplayer gaming on Halo: Reach will allow co-op missions for 4 friends or the ability for 8 players to battle against one another. This weekend will also see some organized multiplayer events such as allowing people to battle against the developers of the game.

Microsoft also said anyone who wishes to buy an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription will be able to buy a specially branded Halo: Reach membership card which provides access to the gaming service for 12 months plus 2 bonus months.

With an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription, more than just multiplayer gaming is available. You can access Twitter and Facebook, watch live TV (various services are used depending on what country one lives in) and watch a lot of films, TV shows and music from various service providers. Later this year, Microsoft will be expanding the Zune integration on the Xbox 360 with access to millions of songs and instant HD movie streaming.

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