Microsoft has taken away the need for a credit card to sign up to its online gaming service for the new Xbox 360 by partnering with a number of retail stores to offer prepaid subscription cards in the Uk.

The company is hoping the move will open up the subscription service to a much wider audience, and reap it more money in subscription fees.

The company also announced today its pricing structure for the new console and confirmed that every new customer will get Xbox Live Silver membership out of the box.

Those looking for Gold member with exclusive features will have to pay an additional £39.99 per year to upgrade to a 12-month Xbox Live Gold membership.

Gamers can purchase 12-month Xbox Live subscription cards via cash or other payment methods at any participating retail store although Microsoft has not yet confirmed which stores in the UK will be offering those, although our guess would be HMV, Virgin and the regular players.

Subscriptions will also be available for purchase by credit card if you want in one-month, three-month and 12-month increments through the Xbox Live Dashboard.

The next generation of Xbox Live will be offered to gamers through two levels of service. Xbox Live Silver is a standard level of the service offered to all who own an Xbox 360 system, a broadband connection, and a memory unit or a hard drive. The Xbox Live Gold membership delivers the full Xbox Live premium online experience annually for £39.99.

The Xbox Live Silver will allow members to connect to the online, send and receive text and voice messages, use the Xbox Live Marketplace for additional game-related content, and have access to download Xbox Live Arcade.

Those wishing to push the boat out for the Gold membership will get the same as above plus premium multiplayer experiences exclusive to Xbox Live Gold members including online multiplayer gaming, enhanced matchmaking and feedback tools, along with exclusive privileges and rewards on Xbox Live Marketplace.

Those not wishing to sign up for a year can opt for 1 Month (£4.99) and 3 Month (£14.99) options.