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Rhaigun's picture
Joined: 2007-05-03

Ok, the 360 Spring Update was released yesterday, and I must say, I'm pleased. I'm not sure if the update specs have been talked about here, but this is by far the most comprehensive one. (I'm doing this from memory, so bear with me.)

Let's start with the video section. Now, the 360 offers the ability upload video files in MPEG4 format instead of the regular WMV format. Also, when downloading new videos from Marketplace, you are now able to play, pause and skip scenes while it is still downloading. Not to mention, the download speed has supposedly been increased 3x it's previous setting.

Speaking of Marketplace, it now has it's own blade. No more is it embedded in the XBL blade. The speed in which it takes to find new content has been increased due to each section now having a direct new content section. TV shows are also listed in studio format, so you don't have to search through everything to find all your favorite Adult Swim (Or,your favorite) shows. Now, you can simply choose Adult Swim from the list, and it will only give you that particular programming.

Gameplay hasn't had any major improvements, but there are a few worth mentioning. For all those Achievement lovers out there, it has been changed to accomadate you more. Now, instead of the normal Achievement que that would normally pop up on screen upon completion, it will also say onscreen what achievement it was and how much it was worth. XBLA has received one improvement, in which it will tell you what friends are playing what XBLA games in the XBLA section.

Console settings received two mentionable updates. The display section now has a few more options besides resolution. You can now set it to Standard, Intermediate or Enhanced. And let me tell you, it makes a difference. Also, in the memory section, it lists content individually and shows how much space each is taking up.

The most important and exciting feature though, is the new MS messenger feature. (There is also video chat now.) With this new MS messenger account sign up, 360 owners will now be able to communicate with PC users from their 360. This is vital to the Live Anywhere program. With Live Anywhere, MS is hoping to unite PC, 360 and Windows based mobile users into one community. This is surely bound to be important with future games such as Shadowrun, which will be cross-platform between PC and 360. Those PC users who decide to sign up for Live Anywhere (Vista only), will be able to compile friend's lists that feature not only other PC users, but also 360 and mobile users as well. The same goes for 360 and mobile users as well.

Things are looking interesting for MS, and I'm excited to see where this goes. If this works the way MS and I are hoping, this could be the largest online gaming community ever.


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