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The new features are available today via XBOX Live

The official Microsoft XBOX web site has details on over 125 new features and enhancements that should please XBOX 360 owners.  The "vigorous system-wide update creates a new pinnacle for next-generation gaming and entertainment."  The XBOX 360's dashboard navigation has been slightly modified.  A download manager for Marketplace items will allow users to have six different items queued up for download.  Another noteworthy update includes DVD movie playback which will allow users to pause a movie, play a video game for a while and then later return to the movie in the spot previously left off. Some features from the list:
  • “Download manager” - Marketplace items now download in the background, queue up to six pieces of content
  • DVD bookmark support will remember the film’s timing and location when resuming viewing
  • Fast-forward and rewind now offered at 2x -16x for any videos saved to hard drive
  • “Boot to Dashboard” setting will bypass the loading of any disc in the drive and open directly to Dashboard during power-on
  • Begin slideshows from any photo
  • Music player saves “shuffle” setting
  • Much player save “repeat” setting
  • Music player now displays which file is currently playing in the playlist
  • Music volume level persists between game / reboots
  • 8 new locales added (Chile, Brazil, India, South Africa, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia)
  • Separate settings now offered for Game and User volume controls
  • Themes can now be set from the “System” blade on the Dashboard
  • User-selected music continues play when switching from Dashboard to game or game to Dashboard
  • “All Arcade Games” added as a selection in the Xbox Live Arcade area
Since the launch of the console, Microsoft has tried to be supportive in listening to the demands and requests of gamers.  XBOX Live will digitally distribute the free update to all XBOX Live Silver and Gold members.  Microsoft says the entire download should take under a minute.  However, not all news from the Microsoft camp is good.  It has been reported that Microsoft may abandon the console's backwards compatibility.




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