Confusion over whether the UK and the rest of Europe would get the Xbox Live upgrades at the same time as gamers in America has been cleared up today, after Microsoft confirmed the upgrade schedule.

A message had been on the American Xbox Live webpages for a number of days, and this same message has now appeared on the UK Xbox Live site, confirming the four-part rollout of the new Xbox Live features, starting with up to 8 hours downtime on Thursday August 14th.

This will be followed by the launch of a new Xbox website on August 25th, which will incorporate new features for Xbox Live users, such as the ability to check game rankings, view your Friends List, and see which games your friends are playing.

Microsoft's XSN sports is due to follow a few days later, based around the same system and allowing the new XSN Sports branded titles such as NFL Fever 2004 to be used in leagues and tournaments.

The final stage of the upgrade will follow in mid-September, when Microsoft provide Xbox Live users with a new dashboard, called Live Now, which will not only change the appearance of the service, but also provide easier access to the Friends List, and also voice chat without having to be in a game.

We'll bring further news of the upgrades and new features as they appear, and in the meantime you can find out more about Xbox Live 2.0 on the American Xbox Live website.

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