Halo Reach’s “Hard Drive Required For Co-Op On XBox Live” Bug Temporary

Microsoft created a sensation last week with the launch of the new Halo Reach whose sale numbers topped $200 million inside the first 24 hours of release. If you are one of those who excitedly purchased the new game, you may have been disappointed to see this error message

“One or more players do not have an Xbox 360 Hard Drive. An Xbox 360 Hard Drive is required to play co-op on Xbox LIVE or system link”

Basically, the game fails to load in co-op mode when one of the users in the playing mode does not have a hard drive connected to their XBox 360 console. However, Microsoft has noted that this is a temporary issue that should be sorted out soon. The company has issued a statement that says the company is presently “working to resolve it“.

Hopefully, users affected by the issue can soon get back to co-op on their consoles.

New Microsoft XBox Live Gold Subscription Price Announced

Microsoft has been offering its users access to features on the XBox Live service in three tiers – monthly, quarterly and annual. The prices of these subscription offers are reported to see a cost increase starting November of this year.

As per the new pricing scheme, the quarterly package will see a rise in cost from $19.99 to $24.99 for the US market. The annual subscription package too will see an increase in pricing from $49.99 to $59.99. The monthly plans will see a modest rise from $7.99 to $9.99. The prices for XBox Live subscriptions in other countries too will increase.

Microsoft XBox Live Gold Subscription Price

According to Microsoft, the pricing revision is in order to take into account the several feature enhancements that have been effected on the service since it was first launched in 2002. During this period, the subscription costs however remained unchanged. The new costs will thus factor in the new product enhancing features added over the years.

Microsoft XBox Live Audio Codec For Online Chatting Update Coming Soon

Think the quality of voice related services on your Microsoft XBox Live is not top notch? An update could be coming soon – in November that is. XBox Live Europe’s General Manager Jerry Johnson has recently revealed that the company will be overhauling the voice communication services on XBox Live by releasing a new audio codec soon. He has noted that the original audio codec was built for a 64k connection. He says,

“It’s time for us to move on. Especially if we want to think about broadening – a crackly headset on the top of your head – not what people think of when they talk about popular entertainment.”

It is speculated that the update shall be released much around the same time as Microsoft launches Kinect – the new camera based motion-controlled gaming system. Can’t wait for that?

Buy Movie Tickets Online On XBox 360 – For Xbox Live Subscribers

If you are a Microsoft XBox 360 Live subscriber, you may now not only download and watch movies directly from your XBox, but may also make ticket bookings at a cinema near you. How? Microsoft has partnered with online movie ticketing website, MovieTickets.com to allow users to purchase movie tickets while looking for them via XBox 360.

XBox users may have come across movie advertisements as a text-in or as a Microsoft tag that is viewed during these studio advertisements. Clicking on these ads, users will be offered an opportunity to download the movie or engage with the other relevant content. While this has traditionally been available, the new partnership will additionally take users to a co-branded website where users may make their ticket purchase.

But there are a few questions that are still unanswered. We are not sure if the payment will be made via the XBox Live user account or as a traditional online purchase. Eitherway, the new partnership will give Microsoft Xbox 360 users one more reason to cheer.

XBox Live – How Much Money Did Microsoft Make?

Microsoft may have just gotten to something here with XBox Live. The company has revealed that revenues from Microsoft’s digital media delivery service may have topped the $1 billion mark for the first time last year. According to educated estimates, the number is more likely to hover around  $1.2 billion.

Redmond has revealed that more than half of the company’s 25 million users paid subscription fees to access games like “Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 2“. The revenues from subscription fee alone is estimated close to $600 million. On top of this, Microsoft has also conceded that revenues from digital goods like movies and TV shows have topped subscription revenues for the first time last year.

These numbers are higher than what analysts had predicted. Microsoft is learned to have created an amazingly loyal user base for its digital content. Premium subscription services on XBox Live cost $50 a year and the fact that the company has gotten so many of its users to pay for access shows the loyalty that Microsoft has built.