If you’re an Xbox 360 gamer with a Silver account on Xbox LIVE, you now have a brand new reason to download the demo for Mass Effect 3. This demo includes with it a glimpse into both the single player campaign and the multiplayer side of the game.
Normally, Silver members wouldn’t be able to access the multiplayer features on a demo as that’s limited to Gold account levels. However, in order to make the demo fully playable, Microsoft will upgrade any Silver account that downloads the Mass Effect 3 demo to Gold until the game releases on March 6th. The demo releases on February 14th.
So, that means that by downloading and playing the Mass Effect 3 demo on your Xbox 360 with a Silver account, you’ll effectively get almost a full month of Gold access for free.
Gold access will let you play games with friends and give you the chance to use premium apps; Netflix, Hulu Plus, Facebook (does anyone use this on their Xbox 360?) and access to the Deal of the Week (which, right now, is Bastion for half-off its normal price).
The same demo will be made available for both the PlayStation 3 and PC platforms, but nothing special happens upon downloading or playing it with either system. Both platforms offer free ways to play games together, so this whole upgrade business isn’t necessary.
Today marks the first day of the Starhawk public beta period that’s opening up the PlayStation 3 owners. The beta itself will roll out to a different set of users over the next month; gamers with PlayStation Plus subscriptions will have acces to the action today. Here’s the full schedule, as shared by the PlayStation Blog:
January 17: All PlayStation Plus subscribers and all Private Beta participants (who haven’t erased their original Private Beta files). You can learn more about PS Plus here.
January 31: UNCHARTED 3 Beta key holders. These voucher codes were found inside of North American copies of UNCHARTED 3.
February 7: Visit GameStop and PlayStation on Facebook and see how you can get early voucher codes.
February 14: IGN.com (details to be revealed soon)
February 21: Everyone with a PlayStation Network account…in other words, everyone who wants in, gets in!
In addition to the beta’s opening and the brand new trailer you see above, Sony officially announced the release date for the spiritual successor to Warhawk. Starhawk will launch for the PlayStation 3 on May 8th, 2012.
As the trailer indicates, Sony plans to rely on feedback from the beta period to make this gaming experience as good as it can be. If you do happen to partake in this free multiplayer madness, make sure you do your part and provide a bit of commentary regarding what you liked and hated within the experience. That includes reporting bugs. Here are Sony’s instructions for doing so:
Where do you report bugs?
Go to http://us.playstation.com/psn/ and use your PSN ID to log in. All Beta players will get private access to the Beta forums. If you find a bug, post it here, but remember, we need specific steps on how to reproduce your issue. You can also visit www.StarhawkTheGame.com and have discussions on our official forums. But please use the Beta forums to post any bugs.
Are you as excited as I am for this epic addition? Tell us what you think!