Xbox 360 owners can download a free update that enhances their video game, online, and movie experience for Microsoft’s console. The enhancements are quite steep, some of which includes an upgrade to the overall operating system that heightens the 360's movie playback features, and adds 1080p support for higher resolution in gaming.
The entire list of enhancements is darn big. And the good part about it, for Xbox 360 owners, is that you don’t need a hard-drive or disc storage unit to receive the upgrade. Crazy huh? Anyway, the entire upgrade – for just about every aspect of the Xbox 360's system – can be downloaded for free, just so long as owners have an Xbox Live account. I guess that’s not much of a catch, considering that M$ could have pulled a scam where 360 owners would have to purchase a hard-drive or spend M$ points to download the upgrade. But I’m sure no one really cares about what I’m writing here, and everyone would probably just want to see the list of features. So without further ado, here’s some of the features that will be available in the download.
Expanded HD Display and Video Playback Options
• With 1080p resolution, gamers now have the ability to enjoy both game and video content in the best HD resolution currently available.
• Expanded video playback options increase the ways gamers can enjoy video content on Xbox 360. It is now possible to stream WMV video from a Windows PC running Windows Media Player 11 or Windows Media Connect.
• Gamers can now play video files from data CDs and DVDs, as well as from storage devices like USB 2.0 flash drives and Xbox 360 Memory Units.
• Xbox 360 will support 50hz HDTV display modes, providing viewers greater choice in how they watch DVD and HD DVD content.
Xbox Live Arcade Enhancements
• Keeping up to date on Xbox Live Arcade games is now even more convenient with the ability to automatically download newly released Xbox Live Arcade trial games. This eliminates the need to manually search for new downloads on Xbox Live Marketplace each time a new game trial is released.
• Fast enumeration of games: you’ll see the games in your Xbox Live Arcade collection appear almost instantly. Get in and play right away.
• With so many games to choose from, Xbox Live Arcade added new sorting options such as Recently Played and By Category. These enhancements make managing Xbox Live Arcade collections faster and easier than ever.
• A new expanded Friends Leaderboard within Xbox Live Arcade allows gamers to compare themselves directly against their friends and view leaderboard details of their top 10 friends.
• A new expanded Achievements View within Xbox Live Arcade lets gamers view their full Achievement details for their Xbox Live Arcade games including descriptions, icons, allotted Gamerscore and more, right from the Xbox Live Arcade dashboard interface.
• The Play Now launch feature has been streamlined. Selecting Play Now after downloading a game in Xbox Live Marketplace now bypasses Xbox Live Arcade and takes you directly to the game.
• Xbox Live Arcade now offers a Tell a Friend feature. Select this option from the game info screen to send any friend on your friends list a message telling them about the Xbox Live Arcade game.
• Amateur game designers will be able to test and play the games they create using XNA Game Studio Express on their Xbox 360 systems when it launches later this year (separate download and subscription required).
For a complete list of all 85 enhancements being featured in the exclusive free download, you can visit Xbox Live for more details.