Autumn has arrived and with it has come, for a few years now, the classic autumnal update that Microsoft performs to software Xbox 360. As you know, last Monday, Xbox Live It was down for a whole day for maintenance. The reason was none other than to carry out routine maintenance and the pertinent tests in view of the imminent update that is coming.
and as in each autumn update, once again the news is important, very important. We are facing what is, by far, the most important update of the year for the console, something that goes far beyond a mere interface change.
So, and with the intention of being prepared for this update, which will probably take place in November, it is time to review the main new features that it will bring:
The most notable change at first glance is the complete remodeling of the console’s interface, which will try, on the one hand, to get rid of the childish appearance that the multicolored tabs gave it, and on the other hand, it will try to improve its usability.
And it is that with the passage of time and the growth of the catalog of the Xbox Live bazaar, browsing the available titles has become a rather tedious task, a task that it is hoped that the redesign of the interface will solve to a large extent. Until the update arrives, you can test the new Dashboard on the web that Microsoft has prepared for this purpose.
Support for PC resolutions
For all those players who use the Xbox 360 console connected to a PC monitor, games on the console will finally support the standard 16×10 monitor resolutions: 1440×900 and 1680×1050 pixels, via VGA or HDMI cable.
This, which may seem banal, will finally avoid the headaches caused by seeing the image stretched or distorted, on those monitors that did not automatically correct the aspect ratio.
Access to Xbox Live also from the web
An interesting option: now we can buy content on Xbox Live accessing directly through the web, in addition to the traditional way through the Xbox Live bazaar accessible from our Xbox 360 console.
Installing games on the hard drive
Another of the great novelties is the option to install the games on the hard drive of the console, which will help reduce loading times and, what is more important, the noise from the console, by not having to constantly read the disk. And it is that the Xbox 360 DVD player is one of the noisiest parts of the machine, so reducing its operation will help to play in a quieter environment.
However, to make really useful use of this feature, it is necessary to have a console that includes a hard drive of at least 60 Gb. 10 Gb of free space (enough for a game and little else) so we don’t even talk about the possibility of also storing Xbox Live Arcade games or music…
Download content in high definition
Through a service similar to iTunes and paid for with the everlasting Microsoft Points, US users will be able to download series and movies in High Definition, directly to their Xbox 360 console.
It’s one of the most talked about features of the update: the inclusion of “avatars” of the players, an idea taken directly from the mys from the Nintendo console (although honestly, it is not that this is an invention of Nintendo itself).
Of course, no one is unaware that this is an attempt by Microsoft to steal the public from Nintendo, giving its console a more familiar image and denying the hardcore label that was hung in its beginnings. Sales rule, and when it comes to sales, no one can argue with the Wii.
A few weeks ago we published a video by Major Nelson about how Avatars work, which I recommend you watch to get a rough idea of their versatility.
Live Party System
It is the option to create a kind of “virtual party” with our friends, through Xbox Live. We’ve created a “party” that up to eight players can join, staying together while we switch between games, watch a movie (only available in the US) or share photos.
Xbox Live Primetime
The concept of this new category of games is to participate in question and answer contests that will be broadcast in real time, as if it were a television contest, in which we will participate with our Avatar and we will be able to invite friends and family to witness our performance.
Of course, they will have the corresponding achievements and it will be possible, as many players demanded, win real prizes.
In short, we are facing a rather interesting autumn update. It is to be hoped that it will not take us long to know the final date of it. Until then, we can only wait and get your teeth long with posts like these.