PartnerNet

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PartnerNet is the name of the developers-only alternative Xbox Live network used by developers to beta test game content downloads, and games developed for Xbox Live Arcade. PartnerNet runs on Xbox 360 debug kits, which are used both by developers and by the gaming press.

In a podcast released on February 12, 2007, a developer breached the PartnerNet non-disclosure agreement (NDA) by commenting that he had found a playable version of Alien Hominid and an unplayable version of Ikaruga on PartnerNet. A few video game journalists, misconstruing the breach of the NDA as an invalidation of the NDA, immediately began reporting on other games being tested via PartnerNet, including a remake of Jetpac.[1] (Alien Hominid for the Xbox 360 was released on February 28 of that year, and Ikaruga was released over a year later on April 9, 2008. Jetpac was released for the Xbox 360 on March 28, 2007 as Jetpac Refuelled.) There have also been numerous video and screenshot leaks of game footage on PartnerNet, as well as a complete version of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, which caused for the whole PartnerNet service to be shut down overnight on April 3, 2010.[2] In the following days, Microsoft began reminding developers and journalists that they are in breach of NDA by sharing information about content available on PartnerNet, and has been asking websites to remove lists of games in development discovered on PartnerNet.[citation needed]

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