Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Mole: Put some spring in your step

Xbox Live Update - Tomorrow Microsoft will offer up its Spring update for Xbox Live. While game updates are frequent occurrences for Xbox 360 games (and 3 day waits after you've turned on a PS3 for its console update), Live updates don't happen all that often. So what will it mean for 360 gamers? A weekly Bill Gates video chat? A cool, new Cyberall theme? No, a few minor changes of course, but what Microsoft is touting most is its new (yawn!) instant messaging feature as the big new. Forgive me if I'm underwhelmed. Maybe its due to my age or the fact that I just don't text that much but I don't see this as that big a deal. I am looking forward to a few of the other changes this update will bring.
- Chat via instant messenger 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.
- Instant message while playing games, listening to music or watching movies or TV shows downloaded from Xbox LIVE Marketplace (If anybody did this while I'm watching a movie with them, I'd kick 'em)
- View at a glance if friends on Windows Live Messenger have gamertags and add them to a unified friends list. (Sounds interesting)
- Utilize the virtual keyboard on the Xbox 360 to text chat or connect a USB keyboard to the console. Launching later this summer, the Xbox 360 text-input device accessory will connect directly to the controller to support instant messaging. (What about using the keyboard for games?)
- On-screen pop-ups that immediately display the name and gamerscore value of a just accomplished Achievement, allowing gamers to see their progress without leaving or pausing the game. (Finally!)
- An even safer way to communicate through Xbox LIVE with enhanced family settings that enable different default settings for video chat and voice chat. (Lets get rid of those cursing punks on Halo2!)
- A new, standalone Xbox LIVE Marketplace blade houses all Xbox LIVE Marketplace content in one easy to navigate space.
- Xbox LIVE Arcade enhancements that showcase what games friends are playing directly from the friends list. Boasting about high scores, comparing progress and checking out leaderboards are all easier now as well. (Yes! I love arcade games.)
- Faster access to free, trial version of Xbox LIVE Arcade games through an improved Auto Downloads feature.
- The ability to fast-forward, pause and rewind video as it is being downloaded on Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
- Owners can now set their consoles to turn off after downloading content from Xbox LIVE Marketplace to help save energy, and download speeds have been increased. (I'll use this.)
- A date with Jessica Biel for the 1 millionth download starting at 12am EST tonight.
Okay, so maybe I made that last one up but you get the point. The best online service just keeps getting better. If only Cyberball was available on Xbox Live Arcade, then it would be almost as perfect as Jessica Biel.

1 comment:

Ub3rn00b said...

Yeah we know you made that last one up. It's actually Jordana Brewster...sweet.
The update did not make my system useless. So it's fine with me. I'm not excited...but I still think it's nice there is always someone working on it and doing upgrades 'n whatnot.