Your Xbox 360 Achievements Aren’t Totally Worthless Anymore

Your Xbox 360 Achievements Arent Totally Worthless Anymore

If you’ve been consistently building up your Xbox 360 Gamerscore for years, you’re about to get rewarded…kind of.

Microsoft has just launched an all new rewards program for Xbox gamers. It’s called MyAchievements and allows your Gamerscore to be used for some modest prizes.

“You’ve been faithfully building your Gamerscore for years now. To reward you for your dedication, we’ve created MyAchievements for Xbox LIVE Rewards Gold members. The MyAchievements level that you earn – CONTENDER, CHAMPION OR LEGEND – depends on your Gamerscore. The higher your score, the bigger the reward!” says Microsoft.

Once you join the Xbox LIVE rewards program, here’s how it will work:

Once you hit 3,000 Gamerscore, you’ll start receiving a “special gift” on your birthday. According to fine print, that gift will retail at around $0.25. That’s the “Contender” level. When you hit 10,000 Gamerscore, you’ve become a “Champion: and will receive the birthday gift plus a 1% rebate on Xbox LIVE Marketplace purchases accumulated every month. The top tier is called “Legend” and you hit it when you reach 25,000 Gamerscore. At that level, your Marketplace rebate is bumped up to 2%.

When you think about all the hours it takes to accumulate a 25,000 Gamerscore, you start to realize just how modest these rewards really are. But oh well, guess you can’t complain about getting something for free.

You have to be a member of Xbox LIVE Gold to apply for the rewards program. You don’t have to start from scratch, as any achievement points you’ve earned up to this point will count towards your level.

[h/t The Verge]

Xbox Music pricing details outed in Windows 8 app

Microsoft is beginning to pare back its Zune offerings to make way for Xbox Music, a brand new service that is still a mystery for the most part. Today, however, we’re getting some details on Xbox Music’s pricing and an ever-so-brief glimpse at the user interface it will sport on Xbox 360. The pricing information comes courtesy of the Windows 8 Music app, while the look at the UI is the doing of some Xbox dashboard beta testers, who spilled Microsoft‘s secrets in sharing a screenshot with The Verge.

The Windows 8 Music app shows us that a one-month subscription to the incoming music streaming service will run £8.99, while a one-year subscription will cost £89.90. Zune users living in the UK will immediately recognize those prices, as they’re the same rates Microsoft charged for access to the dying service. Pricing details for the US are still missing, but it seems safe to assume that Xbox Music will follow the same payment structure as Zune here in the States as well.

Of course, in order to use Xbox Music, you’ll need to sign up for a subscription to Xbox Live Gold, which runs $59.99 per year in the United States. This means that you’ll be paying more than the advertised price to use the music streaming service, but obviously the expectation is that you’ll use your Gold subscription for more than just access to Xbox Music. Good news for those of you who hate paying monthly fees (don’t we all?), as some keen-eyed gamers on NeoGAF are also saying that an ad-supported free version of Xbox Music will be offered, so it appears that Microsoft is taking a page out of Spotify‘s book with this one.

The screenshot that was sent to The Verge doesn’t show much, but it does indicate that users will be able to sync their playlists across multiple devices. If that’s an actual feature of Xbox Music, then that will be a big bonus for users, so let’s keep our fingers crossed. The service is still obviously in its early stages though, so right now, we’ll just have to wait until Microsoft spills some official details. Stay tuned.

Jerry Rice talks ‘Madden,’ 49ers, Kinect

RiceBrandon Wade/Getty ImagesJerry Rice is now a spokesman against obesity, and we spoke to him about other stuff, too.The NFL is teaming with Xbox to fight childhood obesity, with a goal of recruiting 1 million kids to be physically active 60 minutes per day.

Workout warrior Jerry Rice is helping lead the charge, serving as a spokesman for the project in hopes of getting more kids off the couch and exercising, whether that’s with a Kinect, or, if they’re up for it, maybe taking a page from the G.O.A.T. and running hills in their backyard.

“There’s a lot of obese kids out there, and this is a nationwide movement to recruit kids across the United States to pledge to be active for 60 minutes a day,” Rice said. “This is all about getting them active, and you can do this as a family. I remember when I was a kid, I was always outside playing basketball or I was catching footballs, so I was always active. That’s why I want to help get the awareness out there so we can address this situation.”

The initiative is called the 60 Million Minutes Challenge, where families can pledge to play at this website or on the Xbox Live dashboard. By pledging to work out, not only are they committing to good health, but as incentive to keep the sweat pouring, they’ll also have an opportunity to win NFL Shop gift cards. In addition, when the 60 Million Minutes Challenge Facebook page launches Oct. 9, participants will even get a chance to win a personalized “social autograph” on their wall from former and current NFL stars.

“The Kinect for Xbox 360 is so important to this because your body is the controller,” Rice said. “So while you play, it gives you a workout. The Kinect is fantastic because you have to get up, you have to move around.”

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Jerry RiceUS PresswireJerry Rice, widely considered the greatest receiver ever, helped the 49ers win three Super Bowls.This season is one of the more unpredictable that I can remember.

It really is. It’s so unpredictable who is going to win, but I’m sure this 49ers team has a lot of resilience. They are going to fight, and they are going to be ready for the next battle. You just have to get that offense going again. They have the defense, but I want to see the offense throw the ball down the field a little bit more. I want to see Randy Moss out on the football field being a little bit more involved, and I want to see more of Mario Manningham. We have the weapons, we just need to pull everything together.

I mentioned how you’re in the new “Madden” game, and most years, everyone wants to be rated a 99 overall in the game. That’s the highest rating. But back in “Madden 98” you were actually rated 189 in the game. That’s the highest rating ever. Did you know that?

You’re kidding, right? [Laughs] My son plays and loves the game, but I’m not very good at it. But wow, that’s amazing that I was ever rated that high.

Who do you see as the best wide receiver in the NFL today? Maybe they’re not 189 rating worthy, but who do you see as elite?

There are a lot of these guys I call the young generation, these young pups coming along like A.J. Green and Julio Jones, but right now, you have Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson and they’re doing big things for their teams. These guys are big-play receivers who can just completely take over a ballgame.

Do you think any of these guys will ever catch your numbers, or are your records unbreakable?

I think records are always meant to be broken, but I really sacrificed a lot to really play for such a long time. I really had an outstanding cast of teammates who helped me break so many records.

The game has changed so much, now a former teammate like Ronnie Lott wouldn’t even be able to smack people across the middle. He might not have become the legend he is today if you guys played by today’s rules.

He wouldn’t be able to hit. He wouldn’t be able to be the enforcer he was back in the day. You’re still seeing some of those hits, but the league is really trying to cut down on that and protect the players. It’s sort of hard for a defensive player to taper back just a little bit, because when you get that shot, you have been told to drive through that individual, but now you have to taper back just a little.

What would your numbers have looked like if you didn’t ever have to worry about a safety trying to take your head off across the middle?

I don’t know about that. I understand that in today’s game the players are bigger and faster and you cannot lead with your helmet. If you do that, there’s going to be a severe fine.

How do you think that this current 49ers team and this defense would’ve stacked up against some of your old teams? Could they hang with you back in the day?

Oh, we are not going to go there! We are not going there! [Laughs] I think the 49ers are on their way back. They have an excellent coach in Jim Harbaugh, and they have a great defense who will hit you in the mouth. They have a great team, and I picked them to make it to the Super Bowl against the Texans.

Back to the Play 60 initiative, what advice do you have for parents who are trying to help get their kids in better shape?

I think the best way is to lead by example. It’s up to the parents to get out there and be active. If the kids see their parents doing it, they’re going to do the same thing and follow in their footsteps. Working out is still something that I take a lot of pride in, and I still try to stay in the best shape that I can stay in. If you do that, it’s going to be very rewarding.

Do you still go out and run the hill?

Still running hills and a lot of track work. This is something I’ve done my entire life, being active, and there are a lot of kids out there that we need to set the right example for. If we do that, it’s going to be better for them in the future.