Good news for freeloaders: Xbox Live Gold, which costs $60 a year, will be free Thursday through Monday.

Those who have their Xbox 360s hooked up to the internet and opt for the free Silver membership get a temporary upgrade to the high-class status of their paying peers. Well, sorta.

Leave it to Microsoft to accompany a gift with a subtle smack in the face. Although the free preview allows players to access the entertainment apps -- including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crackle and the like -- it's withholding online multiplayer gaming, the true draw of a Gold membership.

So sorry, folks. Cousin Cletus still won't be able to join in on your 'Modern Warfare 3' sessions this weekend. Not only because his free Gold service is fool's gold, but because his copy is pirated and he was probably booted off Xbox Live. You'll still have to settle for 'Draw Something' matches with that guy.

[Via Xbox]