Beginning the morning of Tuesday 31st October, owners of the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft around the world will be able to download a free system update that will provide more than 85 new features and enhancements, including support for native 1080p games and movies, faster Arcade game list display times and even more choices when it comes to video playback options.
This free update will be distributed via the Xbox Live® online gaming and entertainment network to all members (Xbox Live Silver and Xbox Live Gold) with no disc or hard drive required. Gamers without an Xbox Live account can easily sign up for free by connecting their console to a broadband Internet connection. Once online, downloading the update is fast and simple, and provides instant access to features such as:
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 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 Arcade and takes you directly to the game.
· Xbox Live Arcade now offers a "Tell a Friend" feature. Select this from the game info screen to send any friend on your friends list a message telling them about the 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).
These features are just some of the enhancements gamers and developers can expect as part of the Autumn update. For a complete list of updates, visit http://www.xbox.com/live.
Microsoft is committed to providing Xbox 360 customers with the best online experience possible and delivering added value to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Those subscribers will enjoy exclusive early access to special Xbox Live Marketplace content, such as game demos, free game ad-ons, free community videos, and free Gamer pics and themes for up to one week in advance of their general release. Paid downloadable content remains available at the same time for both Silver and gold subscribers.
Through these regular updates, the way gamers are connected to their friends and entertainment is constantly evolving and improving. With more than 4-million Xbox Live members to date, Xbox 360 has proven itself as the premiere gaming platform of choice.
About Xbox and Xbox 360
Microsoft revolutionized the gaming industry with the November 2001 launch of Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com), its first-generation video game and entertainment system, now sold in 26 countries. Microsoft introduced its next-generation system, Xbox 360, in the 2005 holiday season in Europe, Japan and North America, and launched the system in Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan in 2006. Xbox 360 ( http://www.xbox.com/xbox360) is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers.
About Xbox Live
Xbox Live is the first and only unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox Live connects more than 4 million members across 24 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox Live Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, and movie trailers, as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favourite retail games.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
For more information (press only) , please contact:
UK PR Manager - Xbox & Games For Windows
Tel: +44 (0) 118 909 4599