XBL: Really Live in the USAby Rob Fahey 17:37 18/11/2002 Microsoft's ambitious online gaming service, Xbox Live, has been officially launched in the USA after several months of public testing. Xbox owners can now buy the Live Starter Kit in retailers across the US for $49.95, a price which includes a voice communicator headset, a 12 month subscription to the service and demo versions of THQ's MotoGP and Microsoft's own title, Whacked! Various key games which support Xbox Live have already been launched in the USA, including sports titles NFL Fever 2003, NFL 2k3 and NBA 2k3 and action titles Unreal Championship and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon. Many more are expected to arrive in the coming months, with a large proportion of Xbox developers committing their support to Live. However, Microsoft is slightly late to this party - Sony already rolled out a PS2 online service earlier this year in the USA, although the fanfare for that was rather more muted and publisher and developer support for PS2 online plans has failed to materialise in the volumes Sony may have hoped for. Xbox Live trials are currently underway in the UK, with a public beta test of the service launching at the end of this month. The full public launch of the service in UK and other European territories is not scheduled until next year, however.