Two million members are now signed up to Microsoft's Xbox Live online gaming service - doubling the figure which it was at just a year ago.

Sign-up's to the service are happening at such a rate that a new member is currently added every 30 seconds according to Microsoft, with the network now available in more than 24 countries around the globe.

With the Xbox 360 due to launch later this Christmas the figure looks set to grow yet further, as all machines will come with a free Xbox Live "Silver" account as standard, allowing access to features such as the gamercard, message centre and marketplace.

Existing subscribers will automatically be upgraded to the new Xbox Live "Gold" membership, which will work across both consoles and gives all of the "Silver" features plus full access to full online gaming as with the current Xbox Live subscription.

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