Xbox Live Labs Exchanges Your Time And Bandwidth For Avatar Goodies

Microsoft wants to enlist your help in testing the Xbox Live network, rewarding volunteers willing to donate up to six hours of Xbox 360 time with crazy mad scientist goodies once the testing's done. Here's how to participate.


Xbox Live Labs is really a brilliant idea. Microsoft needs to test its network, so why not recruit a portion of its gigantic U.S. user base to get the job done? The program runs from March 10 through March 27 in the United States, after which Microsoft will consider rolling it out to other regions.

To participate, simply scroll to your Xbox 360's community section and download the tiny Xbox Live Labs app from the ad there. Once downloaded and installed, you just turn it on and leave it running.

The app does warn that it will be eating massive amounts of bandwidth while running, so make sure you aren't anywhere near your cap, should your stupid internet provider have one (Hi, Comcast!).

The three levels of testing - 30 minutes, one hour, and six hours - are each associated with zero point achievements that will score testers three Xbox 360 avatar items: A lab coat, a brain helmet, and crazy mad scientist hair.

Seems like a fair deal to me. I do have some spare bandwidth, and I do need a lab coat to go along with my Xbox avatar's monkey, so why not?

Xbox LIVE Labs [Major Nelson]



Well, my 360 will be busy tonight. And now that I have a PlayStation Plus, my PS3 can automatically wake up and update itself at 4 AM...

360: *Whrrrrrrr...*

PS3: *BEEP* *Symphony warm-up* Hey, *yawn*, what's all the noise?

360: I'm running tests for Xbox LIVE labs.

PS3: Oh, like my Folding@home feature, where I help breakdown some biological something or other to help researchers figure out how to cure diseases, and, I don't know, clone humans or something?

360: Er, no, this is so they can make Xbox LIVE, um, "better" somehow.

PS3: Better how?

360: I don't know, but it comes with achievements and avatar gear.

PS3: Avatar gear, eh? Hey, did I tell you, OUR avatars actually have a 3D world to walk around in?

360: Only about a thousand times. *sigh*

Wii: Hey, Mister PS3, sir?

PS3: Yes, Wii?

Wii: I've finished charging up your Move controllers, sir.

PS3: That's a good boy. Maybe one day you'll grow up and your wands will be this accurate.

Wii: Really?

PS3: No, not really. You'll sooner have a Blu-ray drive, and good luck with THAT. Here... start charging these DualShock 3's.

Wii: [under breath] One day, I will kill you, sir.

PS3: What was that?

Wii: Oh, nothing.

PS3: Well, almost done with these updates... how's your project coming, 360?

360: [no answer]

PS3: 360?!

360: *RROD'd*

PS3: Oh my god! He's dead! ...heh heh heh.

Wii: He's only mostly dead.

PS3: Quiet you.

360: I'm not dead!

Wii: See... he says he's not dead!

PS3: Yes, he is.

360: I'm not!

Wii: He isn't.

PS3: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.

360: I'm getting better!

PS3: No, you're not... you'll be stone dead in a moment.

Wii: Well, you can't send him in like that — it's against regulations.

360: I don't want to go to Microsoft!

PS3: Oh, don't be such a baby.

Wii: You can't send him...

360: I feel fine!

PS3: Oh, do us a favor...

Wii: I won't.

PS3: Well, can we hang on a couple of minutes? He won't be long.

360: I think I'll go for a walk.

PS3: You're not fooling anyone y'know. Look, isn't there something you can do?

360: I feel happy... I feel happy—

[Wii clocks the 360 with a Wiimote]