Xbox Live Gold free weekend starts today

If your Xbox is getting a bit lonely, kept offline by a lack of Xbox Live Gold membership, get on your glad rags and dancing shoes because Microsoft is treating it to a few nights on the town. Gold features, like online multiplayer, Netflix, and Internet Explorer will be opened up to all and sundry this weekend, in the hope that you'll be swayed into buying it a little Gold as a keepsake.

The free weekend kicks off today and will end on Sunday, Microsoft's Larry Hryb explained. This particular weekend is open only to the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan. Sorry, rest of the world--not this time.

All the fancy online dashboard apps like Hulu Plus, Netflix, ESPN,, and other streaming audio and video services will be yours to sample, assuming you have the appropriate account, as well as features like Video Kinect chat. And, you know, online multiplayer.