unveiled a number of significant upgrades to its Xbox 360
platform with the latest Xbox LIVE Update. While the update is available today,
a few of the new features won’t be available until tomorrow, August 13th.
Here’s a quick look at what you can look forward to with the update.
Games on Demand
Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to browse and purchase
games through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. New game titles will be added every
Tuesday, and your game licenses will be linked to your Xbox LIVE account, so
you’ll be able to download your purchased games to any console you’re logged
into. No disc will be required to play these games and Microsoft has also said
that you can delete and re-download games if you run out of space. You’ll also
be able to view, download, and print game manuals.
The new Avatar Marketplace will let you browse and purchase
Avatar apparel through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace starting tomorrow. Avatar
Props (animated items your avatar can interact with and carry around) as well
as branded apparel from various fashion labels will be available.
Microsoft has tweaked its Netflix
feature and has improved the user interface to help you find content faster and
add titles to your queue directly from the Xbox 360 instead of logging on from
your PC. Other features include an improved playback experience and richer
information in the Friends channel to show what you and your friends are watching.
There’s also a new Party Watch feature that lets you catch a show with your
Microsoft also pointed out that it has an exclusive partnership
with Netflix to allow you to stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to the
TV via the Xbox 360. According to Microsoft, Xbox 360 will be the only console
that will offer this movie-watching experience, which will be available to Xbox
LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix unlimited plan subscribers.
The Xbox LIVE update comes with a number of other service
changes such as improved party invites, user ratings, account management and
recovery options, video display options, user ratings, user interface improvements,
and a reorganized Console Settings menu. Microsoft provides a full list of the
new features here
Finally, Microsoft gave us a peek at some upcoming features,
with integration for Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, and Zune Video coming this