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Print 35 comment(s) - last by SiliconJon.. on Aug 13 at 1:23 PM

Xbox 360 will be the only game console to stream Netflix content

Microsoft frequently rolls out updates for the Xbox LIVE service that adds new features for Xbox owners. The latest update for Xbox Live is coming soon with some features set to roll out this week. Starting on August 13, Xbox owners will be available to browse and purchase Games on Demand on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

The update also adds a new Avatar Marketplace that will offer props for Avatars and the ability to download and purchase premium items like clothing for the player's avatar. The slick Netflix streaming service is also getting an update that adds new features like Party Watch that lets users watch a show with friends at the same time if the movie is supported. Content search is improved in the update and the playback experience is reportedly improved as well.

One key announcement that Microsoft has made in conjunction with details on the new Live Update is to reveal that the Xbox 360 will be the only game console that is able to stream Netflix content. Microsoft has announced that it has an exclusive partnership with Netflix. That means owners of the Wii and PS3 waiting to join the Netflix streaming service are out of luck.

Account management features will be updated to prompt subscribers to renew their Windows Live IDs and subscriptions when they expire. Gold member Veterans will also get a special card and may get other unnamed perks as well.

The update adds various fixes to the console's video display options to make viewing content in the highest supported resolution easier to do. User ratings are being tightly integrated into XBOX Live allowing users to rate content on the Marketplace with a 5-star system and games and other content will be sortable by these ratings.

Various improvements are being made with the UI with the dashboard being reorganized to make finding things easier. Xbox Live Community Games has been renamed Xbox Live Indie Games, and achievement tracking and an achievement browser is available as well. Microsoft says that ore features are coming this fall with integration of Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, and Zune Video in the Xbox Live features.



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RE: BLU-RAY Supported?
By StevoLincolnite on 8/11/2009 10:37:07 AM , Rating: 3
If such a thing did show up, they will probably release a second media update to support it, rather than wasting bandwidth to update 20 million+ Xbox Live! subscribers.

Or it will detect the Blue-ray drive automatically and download the required files, much like what happens when you launch a game and a new update comes available.

Regarding this update, I was in the Beta Preview program and was using it for several weeks.

The Games on demand feature was awesome in theory but in my opinion Microsoft dropped the ball on it, the pricing structure is NOT competitive at all, if anything it works out more expensive than going out and buying the disc.

For instance here in Australia Mass Effect costs 6000 Microsoft points or $99.95 on Xbox Live - when being a fairly old game now.
I can pick it up brand-new for $49.95 - $59.95 AU, plus I get the Disc, artwork, booklet etc, plus Unlimited download limits don't really exist in Australia, and downloading a 5-6gb game is a large hit on a Telstra 25gb limit. (I'm on Westnet, with free Xbox Live! downloads.)

The older games are just as bad as well like Call of Duty 2 (They want 50 bucks for an early Xbox game? PLEASE!), plus you cannot resell the downloaded games either. (Not that I have ever sold a single one of my games anyway ~ 35 games and counting).

Then you have the Avatar market place, I bought the Warthog for 360/380? Microsoft Points because it stated it was "Interactive" - yet you just watch it drive around your avatar, hardly interactive. (They probably meant interactive for the avatar not the user, and the animations feature no randomization at all either).

Then you have the ratings. ~ A very welcomed feature, unfortunately it hasn't been useful yet because not enough people have rated games, and the ones that are rated are rated with 4-5 stars.

All in all it's a step in the right direction, Netflix is still USA only which is a bummer, Netflix should be taking advantage of the world-wide Xbox platform and get more penetration into more countries across the globe.


RE: BLU-RAY Supported?
By Parhel on 8/11/2009 10:53:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
For instance here in Australia Mass Effect costs 6000 Microsoft points or $99.95 on Xbox Live - when being a fairly old game now. . . . I can pick it up brand-new for $49.95 - $59.95 AU


Even $49.95 AU is pricey. Here in the US, they just released a special edition for around $20 USD which includes a bonus disc with the Bring Down the Sky DLC and some other stuff.


RE: BLU-RAY Supported?
By epsilonparadox on 8/11/2009 10:57:07 AM , Rating: 2
I highly doubt MS would support Bluray since they've already announced instant 1080p movies w/ the fall update and they wouldn't play a licensing fee to Sony.

The pricing must be really bad overseas because I'm also on the beta and none of the prices are above $30 in the states which is in line w/ what MS said. I still think it should be lower but I understand that while this may be convenient for some users, most of MS's money comes from the retail chain and MS can't anger them by pricing the games below the retail pricing.

I don't see a problem w/ the inability to resell the games since none of the games available are new games. They're mostly platinum hits. Also this is the same as on the PC if you were to get a game from Steam or Direct2Drive. It's a convenience feature and not one you're forced into. Since I haven't bought a game on it, I don't know if you're allowed to download the game on different consoles or if the purchased is signed to the original console.

I think Netflix has the same barriers of entry in other marketplaces as the movie download service on the 360. Every country has different rules and regs for movies/tv shows and Netflix and MS will have to get the service cleared w/ the governing bodies before the service can go live and it may not be a priority for either if the cost is too high.


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