At their pre E3 press conference, Microsoft have announced that a number of new features will come to Xbox Live during the next 12 months, in an effort to provide extra features to Xbox gamers.

Xbox press conference

Xbox Live Alerts will let gamers send and receive invitations to play against other friends via their Pocket PC, mobile phone, PC or MSN messenger.

Gamers will also get a place where they can chat both before and after gaming, with Xbox Live Now, which lets you use voice chat to decide what games you want to play with your Xbox Live friends list members, discuss tactics, and chat about the game once you've finished your gaming session.

Microsoft will also make the friends list web accessible allowing you to view when your friends are using the Xbox Live service from your computer, so you can decide to go online or invite friends to play games via the web and meet them in the Xbox Live game lobby. Player stats will also be viewable on the website, providing for the possibility to have teams and competitions.

There are also plans to make more Xbox Live Aware Games, which will allow users to be "logged on" while playing, even when playing in single player "offline" mode, so as you can receive invitations to play in the Xbox Live online games, which isn't currently possible when you're not logged in to the Live service.

Related articles: E3 2003: Xbox Music Mixer details revealed
E3 2003: Conker: Live and Uncut announced
E3 2003: Microsoft announce XSN Sports
Xbox to get Live upgrade?