April 18th 2013 5:49 pm PT

Free Xbox LIVE Gold Weekend for US, Canada Latin America and Japan

If you’ve always wanted to check out the latest entertainment experiences on Xbox 360, now is your chance. Starting tomorrow (Friday April 19) morning at 10am ET/ 7:00am PT, we’re unlocking Xbox LIVE Gold in the U.S., Latin America, Japan and Canada* throughout the weekend until 1p ET/10am PT on Monday, April 22nd.

All Xbox owners in these regions, regardless of their current Xbox LIVE subscription status, will have access to online multiplayer gaming, Video Kinect, and our entire catalog of entertainment apps.* Here are few of my top recommendations to check out:

  • “Hemlock Grove” – the new Netflix original series premieres on Friday, with the full run of episodes. It’s the perfect weekend for a marathon viewing.

  • Xbox Tournaments with Virgin Gaming – try out a free-to-enter tournament with “EA SPORTS™ FIFA 13,” “NBA 2K13,” “EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL 13” and “EA SPORTS™ NHL® 13.”

  • “Call of Duty Black Ops II” – with weapons double XP for a limited time.

  • “Borderlands 2” – Try out this special Golden Key Code: KTW3T-ZXXS5-JBSJF-5FJT3-6TB9X
    To redeem, at the Borderlands 2 Main Menu, select Extras, then SHiFT Code. Hurry though, this will only be available throughout the Xbox Live Gold Unlock weekend. See
    Gearbox for assistance.

  • “Assassin’s Creed 3” and “Far Cry 3” – with double XP for a limited time

Get your marathon entertainment and gaming fix now and let me know on Monday all the new things you tried.

*Free Gold Weekend will take place on Xbox Live from 7:00 A.M. Pacific Time on April 19, 2013, to 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time on April 22, 2013. Open only to Free (Silver) members in the 50 United States or Washington, D.C. Broadband required; carrier fees apply. Additional subscriptions and requirements also apply for some Xbox Live features. Deal of the Week and early access to demos not included. See www.xbox.com/live.

FAQ:What if I am not in the US, Canada, Latin America or Japan? Where is my Free Xbox LIVE Gold Weekend?
A: UK and Europe had one in March that other regions did not have.
Free Xbox LIVE Gold Weekend vary by region, check your local version of Xbox.com for details.

Xbox 360, Xbox Live By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • MaidenLOKO

    WOW, they are really listening to us!! Sweet!!!

    Good one MS!!Hope that these services become available permanently in the near future. Anyway, this is a good start and show us y are working on it!

    keep the good job!!

  • http://twitter.com/CyberKnight1 Yakko Warner

    Interesting that you highlight a Netflix series — it only calls attention to the fact that no other platform (“smart” TV, blu-ray players, PS3, Wii, PC, smartphone, refrigerator, toaster, and microwave) requires a premium service to access Netflix.
    As much as I love Xbox, and as little as this actually affects me since I already subscribe to Gold, this still annoys me.

    • Solomomgrundy

      I believe that even my Dyson vacuum cleaner has a 3.5″ viewing screen that allows me to enjoy Netflix, for free, while sucking up household dirt.

      • Z4M0

        exactly my thoughts… plus dyson never gave me the RROD (red rings of death)

    • JuanCabrera

      I agree! Even though I am the only one to actually play online, everyone uses my profile to watch stuff online. Because I am not paying $240 a year for what other boxes do for free.

    • John

      I agree. I like what MS does and they have by far a better service than the competition in terms of unification and features.
      But…their business model needs to change at the start of the next generation (it’s the only perfect time to do it). Video and music services that require an additional subscription should not be behind the Gold paywall and the video should not be limited to 720p either.

      As for games, multiplayer should simply be free (it’s already free on Windows 8 and WP8). We all know it couldn’t be changed during the current Xbox 360 generation because all the multiplayer games for it were built around this Gold dependancy and changing it would require patching and reconfiguring all current games and serivices, but it should change when the next gen starts.

      Make a Gold subscription added exclusive value for games (both single and multiplayer) and gamers that want to play those games (and I’m not talking about a week exclusivity for demos). I don’t think the PSN+ rental model way is the correct one but rather let people choose a few items from a good list of weekly and monthly items for free or at VASTLY reduced prices. That list could contain free XBLA games (heck you could even reignite older 360 XBLA games this way), DLC, exclusive content for new games like recording services, you name it MS as you have the ball in your court here. Just don’t drop it when you announce the next Xbox because if you do implement these changes and the system is backwards compatible, it will be a very large incentive for your current fanbase to buy your new system.

      • ikari_paul

        They “had” a far better service. The competition has come a long way, and with the PS4’s souped up online services, its on equal footing. Come next gen, it just doesnt make any sense to continue to subscribe to live gold (250$/€ in 5 years is no nothing)… Unless you really want to play the (few) xbox exclusives, which I simplay dont anymore.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Curtis-Isabell/1036013363 Curtis Isabell

      instead of charging for live they should make gold be free so instead of it being a hinderence to the platform it will be a selling point. having slightly better service but charging so much more doesn’t help the console.

  • MaidenLOKO

    In fact, I was talking about the apps with region restrictions. If I understood correctly all apps will be available, right? Even those with region restrictions are gonna work ouside US for these 2 days?

    Because if they work then the restriction is something more related to microsoft than to the services themselves. In this context it’s a good start, and maybe an indicative that MS is planning to liberate the apps worldwide, which in my opinion it’s a crucial condition for the next gen to succeed, if the rumours about the entertainment focus of the next console were true, of course.

    • BostonSup

      I am going to guess that it is the entire catalog of entertainment apps for your specific region. I could be wrong, but I think that is what is meant.

      • MaidenLOKO

        yep, just tried Flixter and couldn’t create a free account due my region. Maybe MS is not the devil in this regard after all!
        Anyway, it’s somethind MS will have to deal when next xbox arrive. Thanks!

  • James Butler

    Is the SHiFT code not active yet? The game says it’s not valid.

    • BostonSup

      “this will only be available throughout the Xbox Live Gold Unlock weekend”. No, it is not active yet.

  • http://josedmorales.net/ Joe Morales

    Ugh, I redeemed a 30-day trial just yesterday! I could had saved at least 3 days. Oh well :-(

    • The Dukenator

      Having 3 days of Gold sucks compared to 30 days. I only use the free weekend to get in an mp match or 2, before going back to Xbox Free.

  • Z4M0

    Coming up next: FREE xbox box live gold weekend. Just for TIBET.

  • JuanCabrera

    Please allow video services to be free. Simply add other incentives for gamers to get gold. May I suggest tokens for free Games on Demand rentals?

    • The Dukenator

      This isn’t PS Plus, mind you. I got a few games free due to offers like from Raptr, signing up for Gold (3+3 month gave you 800msp & The Maw free), or taking part in a beta like I did for a dashboard that tested out disc size change using Halo Reach preview discs. They updated Halo Reach, making the preview discs unusable, so they sent out codes to owners of such discs.

      In PS Plus, when your subscription expires, the games vanish and cannot be downloaded unless you either pay full price or renew a subscription.

      For most games, I’ll take the disc over the digital.

  • http://twitter.com/Byyys Byyys

    Make xbox live free every weekend for different regions, then gradually made it totally free?… who cares if the dashboard is cluttered with ads. the service is free. everyones happy! or if microsoft insist in keeping the xbox live subscription. at least makes the apps free to everyone, most apps already show ads, should that not cover costs of keeping them free for everyone?!

  • http://twitter.com/MKTheory John Doe

    It should also unlock every game that requires a stupid online pass to play MP.

    • The Dukenator

      That won’t happen. That online pass could unlock other things as well like early access to items.

    • BostonSup

      That is up to the publishers of those used games, not MS.

  • ElektroDragon

    I’m afraid that if you want to compete with PS4, you’ll have to make this weekend permanent. :D

  • http://twitter.com/Yoruguaman Pedro D. Güida

    When you mean Latin America, which countries are included? (where can I find a list of Latin American countries with XBox Live services?)

  • http://www.facebook.com/sid.meyers.7 Sid Meyers

    For all the naysayers with empty piggybanks, there is the $2 for 2 month XBL deal through the specific xbox web site link (ask your friend GOOGLE). $12 a year for XBL GOLD and a few minutes once every 60 days is hardly a dealbreaker. There is no limit to doing this but you have to wait for your GOLD sub to expire and remember to immediately turn off AUTO-renewal.

  • http://twitter.com/Marusame Marusame

    They need to make the games that have under 1000 online players FREE for Xbox Silver or (free as they now call it)

    This paying for xbox live seems less and less of a deal as every day goes by. I can watch netflix on Wii, ps3, laptop, why do we have to pay for netflix or video services? Ive been a gold for at least 6 years so far, and been a member FAR longer.

    Online games NEED to be playable by silver for xbox to continue, you can literally BUY online games now with out a single player playing ever. The games needs to have playercount next to the buy menu so you know going in if its worthless or not. I suppose its worthless ranting about this, im not getting the next xbox or ps4, im going high powered mac with windows added multiboot here soon. Im done with consoles after ps3 and xbox 360.

  • http://twitter.com/CNWY_Timbo5tyle Caleb Ng

    People in asia wanna play u know!!

  • http://twitter.com/CNWY_Timbo5tyle Caleb Ng

    Pls make it a free weekend soon for the asia region pls!!!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/WorldWarTuck Marcus Allen Tucker

    Did you just do the same thing. Quit trying to put yourself over the next person.

  • RobertMuniz

    Why have ads when we have a gold subscription. we pay so we don’t have to see that jun,k if you’re gonna charge us take off the ads, but if you’re going to keep the ads don’t make us pay, stop being greedy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josh.hull.393 Josh Hull

    From the desk of Tobias Funke
    Off to work.
    -T. (Tobias)

  • http://www.facebook.com/maritox.cacici Maritox Cacici

    Do we have to click somewhere to activate the gold this weekend? I mean i log in and try to buy gold deals and the price its the normal…

    • http://twitter.com/lightsup55 Timothy Leucht

      You should be able to just sign-in on your Xbox 360 console and play any online multiplayer game (i.e. Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield, or whatever) and access to apps such as Netflix (provided that you have a subscription).

      In case you missed the fine print:

      “Deal of the Week and early access to demos NOT included.”

      You’ll need to pay for an Xbox LIVE Gold account for the Deal of Week and get early access to demos.

  • Altered

    god, microsoft only has gears of war and halo. both are not even cool anymore and they’re still charging for online multiplayer? lol

  • Curt

    Yeah it was good while it lasted. I guess I’m not the only one that doesn’t pay for an actual subscription haha, if anyone is without a subscription right now, check out xboxtrial.com, looks like they’ve just launched the same weekend as this promo

  • The Dukenator

    Seems there is an ad on the dashboard claiming IE will be for the entire month of May.