Posted by: Daniel O'Brien | October 31, 2006

X360 Fall Update.


From out of nowhere, comes the fall update for the Xbox 360’s dashboard (read: interface). There is 85 “new” “upgrades” in the update so I am only going to cover major/cool ones. (Stuff in black font is ripped from Xbox.com…)

Software Info

Streaming Video – Previously, the Video area on the Media blade of the Xbox Dashboard only played back videos from your hard drive. No more! Stream video from a PC, portable device, or Memory Unit. So what does this mean to you? From day one of the box the 360 could always stream music and pictures from any computer (on your network) or any USB device connected to the 360. Previously, you could only watch videos if you had a Windows Media Center PC. Now videos work the same way as music and pictures; any computer or USB device will do the trick! The catch, only video encoded in WMV (Windows Media Video) or MPEG2 will play back. This is significant because these are the worst and least popular video formats. AVI and DivX are far more superior formats, but Microsoft says them won’t support them (for now) because they are used mainly for “piracy” (true, but still…).


1080p – The highest in Hi Def, TV’s that support 1080p are just starting to make it to the market. If you can afford one, the 360 will display your games and HD-DVD’s (see below) in all 1080p Hi Def glory.


Xbox Live Arcade – Big improvements have been made here:

  • The arcade games now load much, much faster (thank god).
  • There is now an auto download feature so you Xbox will automatically download the trial versions of any new XBLA title.
  • Now you can sort by “Recently Played” and by “Category”.
  • An achievement area just for XBLA titles, so you can look through just XBLA games.
  • Check out the top ten leaderboards from your friends on any game.
  • “Tell a Friend” send a message to a friend recommending a game… (Wins my vote for worst “feature”)

XNA ExpressFinally we come to XNA Game Studio Express, a way for all you budding game developers to create games for Xbox 360. You’ll be able to access these games through the old Demos button, which has been relabeled, surprisingly enough, to Demos and More.

Random –

  • Improved multiplayer host migration.
  • Improved Xbox Live Vision support.
  • Improved voice chat quality.
  • Expanded Family Settings for unrated movies.
  • New credit card validation (CCV) field in signup and purchase areas.

Accessories


Wireless Headset – Completely wire free, connects directly to the 360 via the same wireless protocol as the controllers. Headset has volume controls, mute, and four light to indicate what controller port you’re sync’d to. Release date: October 31st. $60

HD-DVD DriveHere’s the HD DVD (roll your mouse over the pics) Drive for the X360, no it’s not for games just for movies but hey that’s ok. And for all the ppl whining that they’re going to lose their USB port for the wireless adaptor, you won’t; see the bottom screenshot with TWO USB ports and the section up top to hold the wireless adapter. So you actually gain a USB as a “bonus” with your HD DVD Drive. Release Date: November 7th. $200

Wireless Racing Wheel – The only racing wheel made by Microsoft. Completely wireless (not counting the wire from the wheel to the pedals) and will control any 360 racing game. It does also support force feedback but, for that it does have to be plugged in… Rumble, though, is supported wirelessly. Bonus: it uses the same batteries as the wireless controllers! Package includes PGR3 with an update for use with the wheel. Release Date: November 7th $150


Zune – Microsoft’s dip into the iPod space. This is their music/photo/video player, you can wirelessly (Zune to Zune) transfer music and photo’s, although music bought through the Zune Marketplace can only be listened to 3 times or for 3 days on the receivers Zune. Bonus: All your Zune content can be played on/through your 360! (but not wireless) and you can use Microsoft Points to buy songs (Same points you use to buy thing on the 360). Look for this to make a big splash until that fabled “True Video iPod” hits… Release Date: November 14th $250

(Via: Xbox.com)

For All Your Daily Tech News Check Out: All Day I Dream About…Tech

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