Xbox Live going dark June 16

Server maintenance will bring down Microsoft's online service for up to 24 hours next week; no firmware updates planned.

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Xbox 360 owners planning a Left 4 Dead zombie massacre party next Tuesday are going to have to reschedule. Microsoft said this week that Xbox Live will be taken offline for server maintenance on June 16. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. PDT, the online service and My Xbox section of Xbox.com, will unavailable for a period of up to 24 hours, the publisher said.

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No new features will be implemented as a result of the downtime. However, Xbox Live director of programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb said on his blog that the server maintenance will prepare the service for the various new features Microsoft announced during this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo.

As part of its E3 press conference, Microsoft announced Xbox Live integration deals with GameSpot sister site Last.fm, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and UK TV broadcaster Sky. The publisher also announced its Games on Demand digital distribution initiative, which will allow console owners to purchase and download Xbox 360 games directly to their hard drive, as well as a new Avatar Marketplace and a user rating system for games and downloadable content.

Microsoft has yet to announce when any of the aforementioned features will be available on Xbox Live, saying only that at least some of the new functionality is slated to arrive later this year.

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