The infrastructure is incredible; Xbox Live has a unified ID system, so you have one login, one friends list, across all the games that you play, and you can keep track of your rankings, friends and downloaded content, some of which is charged at a premium, using the Xbox Lived-up dashboard.
The headset plugs into the controller and works well enough. The ‘mute’ button is definitely useful, as you don’t always want to talk to people in Phoenix, Arizona, playing Magic at 4am local time.
Despite using a very small proportion of my ADSL connection (connected as it is via a network bridge/cross-over cable, via a wireless network), there’s very little apparent latency or lag for either game and the VoIP service that works in game is pretty clear.
At £29.99 including a year’s subscription, I reckon Xbox Live is well worth it, if you play with any keen-ness any of the games it supports (and they are increasingly legion).
Just so y’all know, my Xbox Live ID, oddly enough, is ‘Division6’, and I’m honing my red & white spell book for some major ass-kicking. I’m ranked about 500 in the world (mad skills!), out of about 10,000 Magic players. My aim is to kick the bejeezus out of Matt (aka CSmith), who’s a couple of hundred above me in the league table. He’s a little raging goblin.
Alright, that was remarkably geeky. I think I’ll write about sport and women for a while to straighten myself out.