Microsoft revealed today that the free, lower tier of its popular Xbox Live online service is being renamed from Xbox Live Silver to Xbox Live Free, though the features of the service will not change.
The rebranding was first made public by Xbox European Community Manager Graeme Boyd, who tweeted
about the change today.
The new branding appears on the recently redesigned Xbox Live Web site
, but won't appear on the Xbox 360 dashboard until the system's upcoming Fall dashboard update, according to Just Press Start
Despite the renaming, the service will still offer the same set of free features, which include demo downloads, customizable avatars, and the ability to download videos, games and game add-ons.
Xbox Live Gold service is still required to play online multiplayer games, watch streaming Netflix movies and use Facebook and Last.fm features on the Xbox 360. Microsoft will raise the price
of Gold membership from $50 to $60 per year on November 1.
November will also see the launch
of Xbox Live's Gold Family plan, which will allow up to four users to access Xbox Live Gold features on a single console for a flat rate of $99 a year.
This is not the only Xbox-related service to see a recent rebranding -- last week, Microsoft renamed
its XNA Creators Club independent Xbox 360 development program to "App Hub," in a move designed to integrate Windows 7 Phone development into the service.