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Monday October 30, 2006 6:35 pm

Xbox 360 Fall Update Hits Tomorrow, Adds 85 New Features


Xbox 360

Alright Xbox 360 owners, with the launch of the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii around the corner, Microsoft is doing what they can to make the Xbox 360 look just a tad more impressive this holiday season. Tomorrow the Xbox team is releasing the second major dashboard upgrade since the release of the Xbox 360 last year, in the Fall System Update. Some of the more impressive additions are 1080p output for both movies and games, and the ability to stream video (WMV only, though) from any PC running Windows Media Player 11 or Windows Media Connect. Here is a list of all the new goods:

Expanded HD Display and Video Playback Options:

  • With 1080p resolution, gamers now have the ability to enjoy both game and video content in the best HD resolution currently available.
  • Expanded video playback options increase the ways gamers can enjoy video content on Xbox 360. It is now possible to stream WMV video from a Windows PC running Windows Media Player 11 or Windows Media Connect.
  • Gamers can now play video files from data CDs and DVDs, as well as from storage devices like USB 2.0 flash drives and Xbox 360 Memory Units.
  • Xbox 360 will support 50hz HDTV display modes, providing viewers greater choice in how they watch DVD and HD DVD content.

Xbox Live Arcade Enhancements:

  • Keeping up to date on Xbox Live Arcade games is now even more convenient with the ability to automatically download newly released Xbox Live Arcade trial games. This eliminates the need to manually search for new downloads on Xbox Live Marketplace each time a new game trial is released.
  • Fast enumeration of games: you’ll see the games in your Xbox Live Arcade collection appear almost instantly. Get in and play right away.
  • With so many games to choose from, Xbox Live Arcade added new sorting options such as “Recently Played” and “By Category.” These enhancements make managing Xbox Live Arcade collections faster and easier than ever.
  • A new expanded Friends Leaderboard within Xbox Live Arcade allows gamers to compare themselves directly against their friends and view leaderboard details of their top 10 friends.
  • A new expanded Achievements View within Xbox Live Arcade lets gamers view their full Achievement details for their Xbox Live Arcade games including descriptions, icons, allotted Gamerscore and more, right from the Xbox Live Arcade dashboard interface.
  • The “Play Now” launch feature has been streamlined. Selecting “Play Now” after downloading a game in Xbox Live Marketplace now bypasses Xbox Live Arcade and takes you directly to the game.
  • Xbox Live Arcade now offers a “Tell a Friend” feature. Select this option from the game info screen to send any friend on your friends list a message telling them about the Xbox Live Arcade game.

XNA Support:

  • Amateur game designers will be able to test and play the games they create using XNA Game Studio Express on their Xbox 360 systems when it launches later this year (separate download and subscription required).

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