To celebrate Xbox Live’s tenth anniversary, Microsoft is giving its earliest subscribers a free Live-themed console. That’s right, for those who stood outside their retailer of choice and bought one of those first Xbox Live Starter Kits, the ones with the crappy Whacked! demo and an inaugural year of the service, it appears the software giant will be dropping the goods right on your doorstep. Oh, and if they miss me (or Johnny, who I believe is the only other FEZ staffer who’s held an account that long), someone’s throat will seriously get ripped.
Last year (has it already been a year? (has it already been ten years?)), I waxed nostalgic about the debut of Xbox Live, when expectations were much humbler and Halo had only begun to sell consoles. Let’s see if we can pull a quote:
I stood alone outside my Denver-based Best Buy in chilly, overcast conditions for half an hour before the store opened. I’d fondled the Xbox Live Starter Kit in our warehouse since they’d arrived early ahead of the launch, but to finally get my own was a rush. […] When I brought it back to the school apartments, I simply slipped the ethernet port into the back of the console and watched as it tried repeatedly to connect to the service, failing each time. After several futile phone calls and wandering around the complex looking for heads, I wound up back at my place to find it had resolved itself. The next best thing was that my gamertag, TFX, hadn’t been taken. I played all day, winding up on the Top 100 players list for MechAssault – the last time I’d ever scale such a major leaderboard ever again – and let my roommates play as they rolled back in.
If you weren’t one of those cool, elite gamers that were there on day one, or in the first week, or in those first years, Major Nelson has announced that they’ll be giving away some extra ones. There’s no word on Microsoft’s distribution of the hardware, so pay close attention!