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The new Xbox Live Marketplace blade

More information in the game on the main blade

Arcade classic Double Dragon hits XBLA

Enabling background downloading in low-power mode

Achievement pop-ups now tell you more

Chatting using Messenger on Xbox Live
New Xbox 360 Dashboard adds a plethora of new features

The biannual Xbox 360 dashboard update is finally upon us, and new in this Spring edition are a plethora of new features. The one that Microsoft seems to be most proud to advertise is the integration of Windows Live Messenger into the Xbox 360 Dashboard, allowing gamers to text chat while gaming, listening to music, or watching videos.

Xbox 360 users can chat with up to 20 contacts in a single conversation, and have up to six different conversations at the same time with people on PCs, mobile phones and other Xbox 360 consoles. Current relationships on Windows Live Messenger and Xbox Live are now unified on Xbox 360 and users can see at a glance if their existing friends on Windows Live Messenger have gamertags.

“Bringing the largest IM community in the world, Windows Live Messenger, to Xbox 360 makes sense, as Xbox Live has really become the largest social network on television," said Jerry Johnson, product unit manager of Xbox Live at Microsoft. "For our growing community of 6 million on Xbox Live, using Xbox 360 is a very social, connected experience. They are using Xbox 360 to play games, music and movies while simultaneously communicating with one another through video, voice and text chat. With this announcement we are simultaneously expanding the access of Xbox Live users to existing friends and family while introducing Windows Live Messenger users to the benefits of Xbox 360."

To further facilitate easier text entry on the Xbox 360, Microsoft will release sometime in the summer a QWERTY keypad attachment for the Xbox 360 controller. Perhaps the most effective solution is to plug a USB keyboard into the console, which is now an officially supported feature of the Xbox 360. Those without USB keyboards or the keypad attachment will have to enter text using a virtual on-screen keyboard.

Chatty features aside, gamers will be happy to know that the Achievement system is now more informative. Achievements will now pop-up, notifying the gamer of the name of the achievement and the value, without the need to manually check the list. Also, now the Dashboard will identify which game is in the DVD-ROM drive, rather than simply displaying the “Play Game” text it previously did.

A new Xbox Live Marketplace “blade” has been added to better focus on downloadable game content, TV shows and movies. Great news for those who frequent the Xbox Live Video Marketplace is progressive download control letting people fast-forward, rewind, pause and resume as their video is downloaded. Furthermore, extension of the background download functionality will allow owners to set their Xbox 360 console to turn off automatically after downloads are complete.

Updates to Xbox Live Arcade allow owners to quickly see which games their friends are playing and join in the fun. Xbox Live members can also compare progress of leaderboard scores and Achievements directly with all friends on their friends list. A new option in Auto Downloads will provide faster access to the entire collection of free, trial-version Xbox Live Arcade games.

New on the side of Xbox 360’s video playback is support for H.264 and MPEG-4 codecs, though unfortunately for DivX downloaders, the Xbox 360 will only natively support the WMV and MP4 containers—not AVI or MKV.

The Spring Update is now available to every Xbox 360 owner through Xbox Live or on Xbox.com.



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OMG. Bricked Console
By DaveDee on 5/9/2007 8:20:33 AM , Rating: 5
Don't know if Microsoft are rolling out the updates to everyone, but mine just updated, and I was looking around the new dashboard options, it suddently locked up. I rebooted it, and now all I get is the 3 red rings...

I have phoned Microsoft, as the console is only 2 month old :-(

360 owners beware...




RE: OMG. Bricked Console
By Eurasianman on 5/9/2007 9:19:37 AM , Rating: 2
This still doesn't make much sense. Thought the 3 red lights on the ring meant hardware failure (as in overheating or something). I don't see how an update could really cause the console to mess up, unless it messes up the firmware *shudders*

Yea... I got my console right when it came out and had it replace 3 months later. If I update it and craps out... at least I'll have an excuse to get a PS3 or Elite (black would match my 32" LCD TV a lot better than the white =P)

Anyways... hope the update doesn't kill my box =X


By therealnickdanger on 5/9/2007 9:28:35 AM , Rating: 2
I've been reading a lot of threads on different forums this morning and yours is the first reported problem I've seen. In addition to calling MS, you might want to drop a post into the AVS Forum insider thread, telling Amir about your model of TV and such. He can send your post directly to the GUI team to get an answer that could potentially help lots more people (assuming it is not an isolated incident).


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