Microsoft Xbox Live turns five

Microsoft Xbox Live turns five

Redmond to offer retro Xbox titles to celebrate

Microsoft's Xbox Live online gaming platform will celebrate its fifth birthday on 15 November.

Xbox Live has grown from a small community of gamers in two countries playing a handful of games online, to a worldwide social entertainment network offering online access to gaming, music, movies and TV shows.

The service connects gamers across 26 countries in nine languages and boasts more than eight million members.

To celebrate the platform's birthday every subscriber will have the opportunity to download a free Xbox Live Arcade game from first thing on 15 November until last thing on 16 November.

Every active member who joined the service in 2002 will also receive 500 Microsoft Points which can be redeemed for content on Xbox Live.

The Xbox Live service came under fire recently when Georgia resident Francisco Garcia launched a class action suit against Microsoft accusing the company of consumer fraud.

Garcia claimed that Microsoft "fraudulently induced a contractual relationship for Xbox Live services" when his son used his debit card to buy a one-year subscription to Xbox Live, according to reports in InformationWeek.

Microsoft automatically renewed the subscription when it expired, putting Garcia's account into the red.

The Xbox team also announced the upcoming launch of Xbox Originals offering full versions of Halo, Psychonauts, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge and Fable to download and own.

Following a system update on 4 December, the games will cost 1,200 Microsoft Points each and will be stored directly on the console's hard drive. Microsoft has promised that more games will added to the line up over time.

There is also speculation that the platform's video marketplace will be opened up to European customers soon, possibly with the December update.

The service is already available in the US and allows users to download movies via Xbox Live to view within 14 days at which point they are deleted from the console.