xbox360addoncontroller.jpgMicrosoft have announced that on the week commencing May 7th 2007, a massive free software update to the Xbox 360 will be delivered over Xbox Live. Main highlights include support for MSN (or Windows Live Messenger as it is now known), extended video support, better achievement notification and much more…

Also announced is a new controller add on (no not a new controller, but an add on!), so for those like me who require the use of a proper keyboard and not some nasty virtual alternative, you can now invest in this new addition in the near future.

Main Features:

  • A richer Achievement notification pop-up will showcase the name of the unlocked
    Achievement and the gamerscore value without needing to leave the game to check
    the Achievements list.
  • Enhanced family settings features for Xbox Live communications enable different
    defaults for video chat and voice chat.
  • A new Xbox Live Marketplace blade lets Xbox Live members access
    the content they seek—whether it is game content or TV shows and movies (available
    in the United States)—from one place on Xbox Live.
  • Updates to Xbox Live Arcade allow owners to quickly see which Xbox Live
    Arcade 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. Expanded "Tell a Friend" capabilities make
    it easier than ever to boast about Achievements and high scores.
  • Expanded "Tell a Friend" capabilities make it easier than ever to boast
    about Achievements and high scores.
  • A new option in Auto Downloads provides faster access to the entire collection
    of free, trial-version Xbox Live Arcade games.
  • New progressive download controls provide easy access to optimal viewing
    options by letting people fast-forward, rewind, pause and resume as their video
    is downloaded from Xbox Live Marketplace.
  • Extension of the background download functionality will allow owners to
    set their Xbox 360 console to turn off automatically after downloads are complete.

Additional Features:

  • The name of game in tray is now displayed in the dashboard. 
  • When the tray icon is highlighted, a list of achievements, game icon and
    gamerscore for that game is displayed.
  • Video trick modes are enabled for content that is being progressively downloaded
    from Video Marketplace.
  • Playback progress bar indicates download completion.
  • Improved skip forward, skip back functionality during video playback.
  • Switchable aspect ratio now available during video playback (Auto to Letterbox,
    Zoom, Stretch, Native).
  • Player and friends lists now quickly show session presence information for
    quick identification of users that are joinable.
  • Support for streaming WM-DRM protected content from a PC
  • Folder view for video content on connected devices
  • H.264 video support: Up to 15 Mbps, Baseline, Main, and High (up
    to level 4.1) Profiles with 2 channel AAC LC and Main Profiles.
  • Added MPEG-4 Part 2 video support: Up to 8 Mbps, Simple Profile
    with 2 channel AAC LC and Main Profiles.
  • Show folder hierarchy for video content played from all devices.
  • Bookmarks are stored for each video that the user plays remembering the
    users last location in the file as well as the aspect ratio that the user choose
    for that file.
  • Video trick modes (fast forward, rewind, chapter skip) can now be used while
    downloading Video Marketplace content.
  • Skip forward and backward functionality has been improved to skip to the
    next or previous chapter. Each video is divided into 10 “chapters” allowing
    you to quickly skip around video content.
  • The information bar that is turned on via the On Screen Display (OSD) now
    shows you exactly where you are in the playback of the video file.  In
    addition it will also show for Video Marketplace content how much of the file
    has been downloaded and where the “chapters” exist in the file.
  • Windows Media protected content (WM-DRM) can now be streamed from the PC
    to the console. If the WM-DRM license is missing or corrupted then a specific
    error message is displayed to the user. Bookmarking is also stored for protected
  • When the user is in the dashboard and an Xbox 360 game is in the
    console then the name of the game is displayed in the tray icon of the dashboard.
    If the user highlights the tray icon then achievements and gamer score are displayed
    for that game based on the signed in user. Xbox1 games show the name and image
    of the game.
  • Bookmarks are stored for each video that the user plays. The user can delete
    all bookmarks but this will reset all bookmark information for every video that
    the user has played. The bookmark database is exposed in the system/memory/system
  • When a user selects an item for download from Marketplace then the system
    will determine if there is sufficient disk space for the item and, if not, will
    ask the user to delete content on the HDD. The system provides a sorted by size
    list of videos, game trailers, demos and arcade content to aid the user in the
    deletion process. The same list of items are also available from within memory
    so that users can quickly see which items are consuming the most disk space.
  • The console will block the user who attempts to download content onto a
    storage device that will never have the capacity to store the item without deducting
    any points associated with the content item.
  • The screensaver is disabled when playing photos from any source

Source = Into the Mind of Gerlach

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James Woodcock

James is a Freelance Journalist, Copywriter, Author, Blogger & Podcaster specialising in gaming, gadgets and technology, both retro and modern. Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles, including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, whilst also interviewing well-known industry figures for popular online publications. Creator of the ScummVM Music Enhancement Project and host of the Game & Gadget Podcast. View his portfolio for more information.

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