Cross-platform multiplayer free on Xbox 360 [update: limited-time only]

lost planet
When Microsoft recently flipped the switch to turn Games For Windows Live into a free-for-all, several cross-platform multiplayer games apparently brought their Xbox 360 denizens with them. That's right, all three cross-platform titles (Shadowrun, Universe at War: Earth Assault and Lost Planet: Colonies) can be played online by any Xbox 360 user with a high-speed internet connection -- freeloading Xbox Live Silver account holders specifically -- according to a thread on Xbox Forums. Of course, the catch is you've got to have a copy of one of the participating game discs. So when Joystiq went to verify the reports, we realized our chest-o-games only contained the good ones. Any far less snobby readers care to shout out a "yea" or "nay" on the matter? [Update: X3F's Xav de Matos has confirmed that the Xbox 360 version of Lost Planet: Colonies can be played online using a Silver account.]

In the interim, we've contacted Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for Xbox 360, who told us we can expect Microsoft to issue an official statement shortly.

Update 7:10pm: And we've heard back from a Microsoft rep who tells us, "Last week we announced that we were taking off the Gold-only restriction for multiplayer gaming over Games for Windows- LIVE. For a limited time, we are offering free online multiplayer on Xbox 360/ Games for Windows titles that offer LIVE cross platform play. This promotion won't last, so we encourage everyone to take advantage of it while they can." You heard the man, go take advantage of it!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.