During the X03 event being held on a beach in the South of France last night, Microsoft confirmed details of the Xbox Live renewal pricing, announced that the two month trial access offer will be coming to Europe, and other Xbox Live related news.


X03 in Nice, South of France


Gamers will be expected to pay an annual renewal fee of 39.99 once the first years subscription runs out next March, or opt to pay monthly at 4.99 (nearly 60 over a year) by updating your subscription via the Xbox Live dashboard. It's not however known if mobile phone style scratch cards will be available to purchase for those who don't wish to use a credit card for payment.

To help get more gamers on to the Xbox Live service in the UK, Microsoft are going to offer a free two month trial voucher with a number of upcoming games including Amped 2, Crimson Skies, Dancing Stage Unleashed, Links, Magic: The Gathering, Project Gotham Racing 2, TOCA Race Driver, Sega GT Online, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3, Top Spin, Xbox Music Mixer, and XIII. The trial will run from October until the end of March 2004, but will require a valid credit card to take part for what Microsoft claim is security reasons.

Microsoft are also to start retailing the communicator headset on it's own, priced at 19.99 from October 17th, and clearly pitched at gamers who have either broken their headset during the first 12 months or gamers who are taking part in the two month trial and missing out on what's probably the most vital part of the whole Xbox Live experience - voice chat. A concern which we raised back in May when the American trial was first announced, and also means that gamers are ultimately paying much more if they use the free trial than if they were to simply buy the starter kit.

We'll have further details of the other Xbox Live announcements and new Xbox titles which have been shown for the first time at X03, later today.