Though Microsoft's big E3 presentation was mostly about games, the company did manage to slip in a bit of good information for gamers who are sticking with the Xbox throughout this year. Xbox Live Gold members who don't unsubscribe will be getting two free games each month, from July until December. This "Games with Gold" program is Microsoft's way of encouraging a bit of loyalty going into the next console generation, and is also an acknowledgement of the value gamers are finding in Sony's PlayStation Plus subscription.
Since Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed II were name-dropped as two of the titles gamers will be getting for free, the first free game coming to gold subscribers might be a disappointment. Microsoft today announced that Defense Grid: The Awakening is the first title in the "Games for Gold" lineup. The game will be free until the 16th, when a new free game will take its place. Though the game was well-received when it was released, that was all the way back in 2008. Considering that Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed II were released in 2007 and 2009 respectively, Microsoft is setting precedent, suggesting that its upcoming free games might all be four or five years old (though Fable III was handed out last month, before the program started).
In other Xbox news, Microsoft has announced the release of a special edition gold Xbox 360 controller, sold only at GameStop and Microsoft Stores starting in August: