Late last month, rumors about an achievements-for-rewards program sprang up, postulating that Microsoft and an unnamed sponsor would team up to give out prizes based on the Xbox 360's achievement system. Today, Microsoft copped to the plan and unveiled the program's sponsor by announcing the Old Spice Experience Challenge.
Beginning February 12, US gamers over the age of 13 can register at the Rewards Challenge Web site (note: site not live as of press time) and attempt to increase their Gamerscores by 1,500 points before April 12. The contest is limited to a first-come, first-served basis, and there will be a total of $500,000 in prizes to be given out.
The prize selection benefits those who are already "achievement point whores," as the greatest prize package will be given to those who already have a solid Gamerscore foundation.
Level 1 (registrants with a Gamerscore of less than 5,000)
Prizes for completing challenge: A special gamer picture, Xbox 360 dashboard theme, and the Xbox Live Arcade game Contra.
Level 2 (registrants with a Gamerscore between 5,000 and 9,999)
Prizes for completing challenge: A special gamer picture, Xbox 360 dashboard theme, the Xbox Live Arcade game Contra, 100 Microsoft Points (worth $1.25), and a contest T-shirt.
Level 3 (registrants with a Gamerscore of 10,000 and over)
Prizes for completing challenge: A special gamer picture, Xbox 360 dashboard theme, the Xbox Live Arcade game Contra, 200 Microsoft Points (worth $2.50), a contest T-shirt, and a copy of Fuzion Frenzy 2.
Microsoft plans to expand the challenge to a global level in the future.
[UPDATE] Server crashes have prevented anxious gamers from registering for the event, but Microsoft is working on the problem. In addition, the competition has been extended to April 15 and more rewards have been added to the prize pool. Microsoft believes the problem will be fixed within the next day or so, and recommends that gamers "check back periodically." As of the morning of February 14, GameSpot editors attempting to get on the registration site were still seeing an error message.