Sunday, April 30 2006 @ 09:35 AM CDT
Xbox Live is set to go offline from 02:00 - 15:00 Tuesday Pacific Time (10:00 Tuesday - 01:00 Wednesday GMT).
While no official word on the reasons for the outage other then the downtime time, odds are this is for the Xbox Live spring update that will allow for marketplace downloads in the background just in time for all the E3 content MS has planned. During this time, Xbox.com, the forums and Xbox Live will not be accessible.
Various Xbox enthusiast sites are reporting that Microsoft's update to the Xbox Live online game service will add key communications features, such as the ability to send and receive voice and text messages to foes and teammates during games.
Later, the company will reportedly add a voicemail feature. To foster a better community around Xbox Live, Microsoft will also improve support for clans--teams of gamers who compete together--by adding clan-tracking statistics.
We were unable to contact representatives from Microsoft when this story posted, but will be sure to follow up on this report.
As of Monday, May 8 at 8am and running through to Monday, May 15 at 8am, all Silver xbox live accounts will be automatically upgraded to the Gold level of service. What this means, of course, is that, for free, you'll be able to enjoy all the giddiness that Gold has to offer, including playing xbox 360 games online against other users.
The free Gold access runs during E3 week, so expect Microsoft to unleash some new Marketplace downloads to go along with major announcements at the show.
Microsoft's freebie is all part of an event called xbox live Football Free-For-All, which is sponsored by Adidas.
UPDATE: Microsoft has denied the dashboard update for May 2nd.