Play Lost Planet for free

Wednesday 3 May 2006
For one week only, starting next Monday, 8 May, Xbox Live will be free to any 360 owner. And what is more the service will feature up to 60 E3 demos, teasers and tastes of forthcoming big name titles including Sonic, Splinter Cell and Viva Pinata.

From 8:01am on 8 May until 7:59am on the following Monday (15 May), not only will the whole of Xbox Live be completely free but gamers will also be able to download a playable demo of Capcom's Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, watch a Gears of War trailer in high definition and nab extra map packs for Call of Duty 2.

And the broadband bonanza doesn't end there, for there will be backstage footage from the E3 games show, movie trailers, football themed events, competitions based on Live gaming, celebrity match ups and limited E3 themes and gamer pics.

Above: See Gears of War in its full 720dpi glory, if your TV is up to the job

The full list of titles available to download, demo or watch across the week is as follows:

Test Drive Unlimited
MotoGP '06
Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2
The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth II
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
Sonic the Hedgehog
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Viva Pinata

And Microsoft's little magical elves haven't ceased their labours there. Afteryesterday's upgradeto Live and, Silver and Gold subscribers can now use to chat via text message, with the capacity to send up to 200 messages a day to friends and 25 more to rivals.