Starting this weekend and in the days ahead, Microsoft will offer free Xbox Live Gold services to Silver members on the weekends, giving them a chance to try out recently-launched features.
New social networking features like Twitter and Facebook just launched on Xbox Live on November 17, and Silver members will be able to try them in addition to the online multiplayer normally only available to Gold subscribers.
As revealed by Xbox Live program manager Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb on his blog
, the free Silver weekends run November 20-23 in all regions except Europe, and in Europe the promotional period runs November 25-30.
The promotion for the new features, which in addition to Twitter and Facebook integration include Last.fm and HD video for Microsoft's Zune handheld, are part of the company's aim to make its platform into "the largest social network connected to the TV."
It also comes alongside a surge in Xbox Live activity driven by the record-grossing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
, whose players spent a collective 5.2 million multiplayer hours with the game
just on its launch day.