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A Gamertag is the universal name for a player's username on Xbox Live.

Nevertheless, due to lack of widespread broadband adoption at the time, the Dreamcast shipped with only a dial-up modem while a later-released broadband adapter was neither widely supported nor widely available.

Downloadable content was available, though limited in size due to the narrowband connection and the size limitations of a memory card.

The online features, while praised as innovative, were largely considered a failure, and the Dreamcast's immediate competitor, the Play Station 2, did not initially ship with built-in networking capabilities.

Microsoft, however, hoped that the Xbox would succeed where the Dreamcast had failed.

On November 15, 2007, Microsoft celebrated Xbox Live's 5th anniversary by offering its then over 8 million subscribers the title Carcassonne free of charge and awarding gamers who had subscribed to Live since its inception 500 free Microsoft Points.

Due to intermittent service interruptions during late December 2007 and early January 2008, Microsoft promised to offer a free Xbox Live Arcade game to all Xbox Live users as compensation, in an open letter to all Xbox Live members from Mark Whitten, Xbox LIVE General Manager.

Microsoft has announced plans to extend Live to other platforms such as handhelds and mobile phones as part of the Live Anywhere initiative.

The Xbox Live service is available as both a free service, known as Xbox Live Silver and a subscription-based service known as Xbox Live Gold, respectively, with most features such as online gaming restricted to the Gold service.

Leading up to the launch, Microsoft enlisted several waves of beta testers to improve the service and receive feature feedback. (which never was released officially) and NFL Fever to beta test.

Once beta testing concluded, Microsoft sent these beta testers a translucent orange memory card, a headset carrying case, and a beta tester tshirt with the slogan "I have great hands".

The packaging for playable Xbox Live titles on the original Xbox console featured the trademark gold bar underneath the Xbox header.

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