Today Microsoft gave us a look at the upcoming Xbox One friends list, which lets you add up to 1,000 friends (10 times more than the original Xbox and Xbox 360 limit of 100) and also lets you follow other users similar to what you'd do on Twitter. Microsoft is letting you decide what your Xbox Live friends and followers are able to see and how each can interact with you through privacy controls.
Microsoft's Larry Hryb (Xbox Live's Major Nelson) walks us through the interface--achievements, video uploads, followers and friends, recent activity, and the live feed--in the Friends App on Xbox One walkthrough, which we'd included for you after the jump.
Microsoft has announced that it will reveal the next Xbox on May 21st at an event to take place at the Xbox campus in Redmond. Gamers have been patiently waiting for an announcement from Microsoft on the next Xbox (codenamed Durango,) especially after Sony announced the Playstation 4 at an event in February. The company says that the event will "mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV, and entertainment." Aside from inviting select press to be on hand, the event will also be broadcast as it happens on Xbox LIVE for all to see. It'll also be broadcast on SPike TV for those who are in the US or Canada.
Don't expect all the info on the next Xbox to be revealed on the 21st, though. Microsoft says that they'll wait about three weeks before announcing the full line-up of games, which it'll do at E3. There's a lot riding on the next Xbox, which follows up the current generations most successful console, the Xbox 360.
Read More | Major Nelson
If Major Nelson's calculations are correct, the Xbox 360, a seven year-old console, has outsold the Wii U and Wii combined during the week of November 18th. The Wii U sold 400,000 units during its launch week, and the old Wii managed to still sell 300,000. The Xbox 360 sold 750,000. This is a remarkably high number for a console so late in it's life cycle, and it begs the question, do we need new hardware anytime soon?
The number of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions also increased more than 50 percent compared to last year's Black Friday week, with over 14 million people logged into Xbox Live on Sunday alone.
Sony hasn't revealed its numbers yet, but it looks like the Xbox 360 will end up being the best selling console in the US for November. You can pick one up on Amazon.
Today Microsoft has announced a permanent Kinect price cut, bringing the motion controller peripheral down to $109. The change in price is immediate, as you can buy it right now on Amazon for the newly-reduced price tag, which still includes Kinect Adventures, by the way. Kinect also sees price drops in Latin America and the Asia Pacific area, with the exception of Japan.
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Xbox 360 users in the U.S. will have access to Hulu Plus starting Friday, Microsoft announced today.
Hulu Plus members will be able to stream the site's content over the Xbox 360 console, and those with the Kinect can control their Hulu queue with their voice or gestures.
As a promotion, Microsoft is teaming up with Jack Link's Beef Jerky, which will offer all Xbox Live users free access to Hulu Plus from April 29 to May 6.
"Through this sponsorship, all Xbox Live members (Free or Gold) will be able to enjoy Hulu Plus on Xbox Live, no Hulu Plus subscription or Xbox Live Gold membership required for an entire week," Larry Hryb, the director of programming for Xbox Live, wrote in a blog post.
For $7.99 per month, Hulu Plus provides users with access to full seasons of the TV shows it has available, as well as movies.
Microsoft is looking for "multiple thousands" of Xbox Live members to test a new Xbox 360 disc format; in exchange, Microsoft will send you a free copy of the best-selling Halo: Reach and other branded freebies.
"We are conducting an open call for US based participants for a public preview to help us prepare for an updated Xbox 360 disc format," Major Nelson, the gamertag for Microsoft Xbox Live's programming director Larry Hryb, announced on his blog.
"We're looking for multiple thousands of participants, so your chances of making it in are good," he wrote.
Our friends over at Gamertag Radio just posted a video promoting their Community Vibes 5 event (which takes place this Saturday) with Major Nelson, and we couldn’t help but notice what appears to be a yet-to-be-announced Final Fantasy XIII Xbox 360 faceplate on Major’s desk! We haven’t seen or heard about this anywhere, so this may, in fact, be the first time it’s been seen in public. Even more interesting, though, is the fact that Microsoft has kind of forgotten about the whole faceplate-only thing, which leads us to believe that we may see a Final Fantasy XIII Xbox 360 bundle. If you wanna peep the video, we’ve got it for you after the break.
Read More | Gamertag Radio
Just like last year, you have the opportunity to apply to receive preview access to the Fall 2009 Xbox 360 Dashboard Update. Major Nelson made the announcement over on his blog, and made sure to mention a few points of interest:
- We’re looking for multiple thousands of participants, so your chances of making it in are good
- This opportunity is open to all Xbox LIVE Members in regions where Xbox LIVE is available.
- Just completing the survey does not automatically get you access to the Preview Program. We’ll be making final selections from the completed surveys and send you an email if you are selected.
- While both box LIVE Gold and Silver members can sign up, Priority will be given to Gold members in the selection process.
You know you want it, so go ahead and try and secure yourself a spot.
Read More | Xbox LIVE Update Preview Program
So, we hit you with a 20-minute video tour of the New Xbox Experience, but we’ve received a bunch of feedback where you guys were asking about the installation process of the new dashboard. Thing is, since we had already updated our two Xbox 360 units, we couldn’t go back and show how installation worked, since you can’t go back to the old interface once you’ve upgraded. Luckily, Major Nelson just put up a video showing how installation of the NXE works. Check it out above - as you’ll see, it’s all painless. November 19th is just five days away.
If your hopes at getting into the New Xbox Experience preview program were dashed on the two previous opportunites for you to get in, you may still be in luck. Major Nelson just announced on his blog that a third (and final) wave of acceptances will be sent out tonight - and they’ll be adding over 10,000 more Xbox Live members this time around. Of course, you had to have signed up for the NXE Preview Program a few weeks ago, as they aren’t accepting anyone who didn’t throw their name into the hat. The email notifying you of your acceptance will be coming from firstname.lastname@example.org, so be sure to let your spam filter know that it might be arriving. Good luck, and if you don’t make it, the official release is only six days away anyway.
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