Microsoft's upgraded Xbox Live 2.0 dashboard has launched, and sees a number of enhancements to the online service including voice chat without needing to be in a specific game.


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To get the upgrade simply switch on your Xbox without a game in the drive, and you'll be greeted with a message saying that Xbox Live needs to upgrade - after a wait of a few moments this dissapears and comes up with the account management menu, which itself is in the old design.

Another new feature which we wern't expecting but are glad to see is that the Xbox Live dashboard automatically appears when you switch the Xbox on now, instead of going to the main menu, and also gives you an on-screen indication of how many other friends are online, and the latest news direct from Xbox.

If you don't want the Xbox Live dashboard on start-up then it can be changed to the old behaviour from inside the account management screens, which also contain a few other treats such as subscription details of your renewal date which we can't remember being there before.

A renewal price of 39.99 is also mentioned in the subscription menu, which seems to be the first official details of how much UK gamers will be charged for the follow-on years - hopefully Microsoft will confirm these prices at the X03 event which they're holding next week.

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