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If you’ve wanted to experience the benefits of Xbox Live’s Gold service but didn’t want to dent your wallet, Microsoft is providing a nice little treat this weekend.

Starting this morning and running through Monday morning, Xbox Live Silver members can enjoy the benefits of a Gold membership without charge.

That means Xbox owners in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Japan can play with others online, access entertainment apps like Netflix and enable Video Kinect.

Xbox Live Gold costs $59.99 for 12 months of service, or $9.99 monthly.

The latest numbers from NPD market research firm came out Thursday and the Xbox 360 was the top-selling console in March, marking the 27th straight month atop the U.S. console market.

Microsoft sold 261,000 Xbox 360′s last month  — down 13.5 percent from last month — and also led all consoles in total retail spend (hardware, software and accessories) at $402 million. The Xbox 360 also had six of the top 10 console game titles for March, though Gears of War was the sole Xbox-only game on the list.

Previously on GeekWire: Deal with it? Microsoft apologizes for employee’s ‘always-on’ console comment

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