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New Xbox Live will cost £40 a year

A sub to the 360's new online service will cost the same as the current Xbox Live tariff. And that's not the only good news - Microsoft's also going to offer several ways to pay

To play games online with the new Xbox 360 you’ll only have to shell out £40 a year.

That’s the word just in from Microsoft, which has announced pricing for the new version of Xbox Live.

Anyone who buys the £210 console will automatically get access to Xbox Live Silver, which allows you to send text messages to mates and buy new game content – maps, weapons etc – from the new Xbox Live Marketplace.

However, to partake in online multiplayer games and videochat you have to upgrade to the Gold membership. You’ll be able to pick from three subscription options:

Even by our clownish mathematic standards, we can tell you that makes the annual subscription a big saving over the piecemeal alternatives.

The Xbox 360’s official launch date is still shrouded in secrecy, but our  insiders say it’ll definitely be this November. We’ll keep you posted.