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Xbox 360 Dashboard Update Details

Starting June 6, Xbox 360 gamers will be able to access a vigorous system-wide update creating a new pinnacle for next-generation gaming and entertainment. The Xbox 360 spring update introduces more than 125 new features and enhancements.

Since the launch of Xbox 360 in November 2005, Microsoft has continuously focused on gamer and community feedback to determine further improvements and enhancements for the evolving next-generation experience, resulting in this inaugural mass update. With more than half of all Xbox 360 gamers connected online, Xbox is further catering to its fans by delivering the spring update in the way they want it. This free update will be digitally distributed over Xbox Live to all members (Xbox Live Silver and Gold) with no disc or hard drive required to take advantage of the plethora of new features. Gamers without an Xbox Live account can easily sign up for the free network by connecting their console to a broadband internet connection. Once online, downloading the update takes less than a minute and provides instant access to features including:

Xbox Live Marketplace Enhancements

- New background download manager gives gamers the ability to queue up and download six high definition items at a time including playable game demos, Xbox Live Arcade games, music videos and movie trailers while actively playing games or browsing the dashboard. As an added benefit, if gamers engage in multiplayer gameplay while downloads are in process, the new background download manager will automatically pause the download queue until the multiplayer session is complete ensuring a continuously optimal gameplay experience.

- Updated Xbox Live Marketplace menus makes it easier for players to find and store all of their gaming and entertainment content. This includes the addition of new menus for media and entertainment content as well as enhanced menus making it easier for gamers to find what’s new in each section as well as a quick view at all downloads by category.

- Full remote control features for Xbox Live Marketplace videos allow gamers to fast forward and rewind at various speeds (2X-16X) during all videos downloaded from Marketplace.

Music Player Improvements

- Custom background music now continues to play without interruption during game loads and when transitioning from game to game or disc content.

- During music play, the music playback screen now showcase the artist, song title and time remaining on the song along with a visualizer showing which song on the playlist or album is currently playing.

- DVD Movie Playback Upgrades

- DVD movie bookmarking now allows gamers to pause a movie at any point, put in a game for gameplay and return to the movie at the exact point it left off.

- Improved DVD movie playback for a smoother, higher quality viewing experience, including additional VGA support.




Full List of New Features

“Download manager” - Marketplace items now download in the background, queue up to six pieces of content

DVD bookmark support will remember the film’s timing and location when resuming viewing

Fast-forward and rewind now offered at 2x -16x for any videos saved to hard drive

“Boot to Dashboard” setting will bypass the loading of any disc in the drive and open directly to Dashboard during power-on

Begin slideshows from any photo

Music player saves “shuffle” setting

Much player save “repeat” setting

Music player now displays which file is currently playing in the playlist

Music volume level persists between game / reboots

8 new locales added (Chile, Brazil, India, South Africa, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia)

Separate settings now offered for Game and User volume controls

Themes can now be set from the “System” blade on the Dashboard

User-selected music continues play when switching from Dashboard to game or game to Dashboard

“All Arcade Games” added as a selection in the Xbox Live Arcade area

Personal gamer pictures allowed as Gamertiles – displayed only to those on your Friends List

Added support to disable sound effects when navigating Dashboard

Instantaneous “Change Theme” option added upon downloading new Dashboard themes

Preserve folder structure of source when viewing photos

A / B labels now provided to identify memory units in Dashboard

Online status set to “Away” when screensaver becomes active


SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS
DVD Player


Improved audio/video sync after extended pauses

Improved visual quality

DVD player outputs at native resolution over VGA connection

Improved playback smoothness

Improved fast-forward and rewind smoothness

DVD play continues to attempt to read a disc after “disc read” error

DVD play à Pause à Play jitter / out of synch issues improved
 
DVD play à Slow Play à Play jitter / out of synch issues improved

Repaired issues with missing menu selection icon from DVD disc menu for certain films

Improved Xbox 360 Guide efficiency during certain films

Repaired playback stutter during certain films


Music Player

Player now populates music data (Title, Artist, etc.) when no track information is available

User music is now pauses, instead of stopping, when games override user-selected background music

Selecting an artist’s album no longer displays albums for all artists

Improved performance when retrieving playlists from a Windows Media connection

List music tracks in track-order when viewing albums by specific artist

Unified music controls for music player in Dashboard and pop-up Guide

Improved playback for Mono AAC-encoded files

Improved connection timing between console and CD database over Internet

Player no longer allows hard-drive selection when no hard-drive is connected

Removed handling of MTP/USB devices when playing music from them more robust

Improved error codes / messaging associated with unplayable content


Localization Improvements

Fixed partially truncated strings in Portuguese, Spanish and Italian

Korean clock / date format corrected after initial set-up

Fixed system hang when changing the language of the console immediately after signing out

Korean virtual keyboard “down” navigation now works for lower-right button

Korean virtual keyboard caps disabled for input mode

Fixed overlapping characters for pre-paid Gold membership card (Japanese localization)

Removed extra spaces in several translated words (French localization)

PC name displayed properly when containing Japanese characters

Support single apostrophe character for Japanese virtual keyboard


Memory Area Improvements

Streamlined selection – no profile selection required

Improved overall performance, allowing quicker access to content

Improved content views including name, file type, size, profile owner and location

Faster identification of file types and fewer steps for actions such as copy, move, delete, etc.

Capacity (or percentage-full) of storage device now consistent between select-a-device and storage scenes

Device selection now shown on each screen to improve usability


Miscellaneous System Improvements

Time elapsed now displayed when playing music files

Enhanced categorization of media library

Accelerated scrolling of large music lists

New “shuffle” icon

Repeat / Shuffle icon now operates as toggle button

Default button for manual IP address is now “A” instead of “Done”

Hidden and system folders are no longer displayed from
MTP / mass storage devices

Difficulty levels for gamer profiles ordered correctly

Added additional line and word-wrap to “Publisher” in video area

Shuffle / Random no longer skips last image in list when viewing photos

Improved handling of Friend Requests between Gamertags that have changed names

No longer asked “Exist to Dash?” when switching between areas in the Dashboard

New error messages for when Windows Live ID requires password change

Unlocked Achievements now displayed first in Game Summary page

Selecting an Achievement now shows the specific Achievement details

Full date now displayed for “Member Since” and “Next Bill Date” tabs on Membership scene

Updated messaging for deleting arcade games purchased by different profiles

No longer launch music CD in disc-tray when moving from Live sign-up to Dashboard or Network Troubleshooter

Improved voice quality when connected through wired gamepad

Show “Last Played Game” selection in Xbox Live Arcade first before enumerating all games (when Arcade game was last game played)

Improved performance of picture enumeration from iPods formatted for Mac

Adopt latest updates to Cero-based ratings for Family Settings

Show videos downloaded from Marketplace in the Video area of the Media blade

Improved usability around “Play Now” when downloading demos, trailers and videos

Added support for South Africa-specific Family Settings

Updated support for Japanese game ratings

Video area changed to include game trailers and entertainment videos

Improved robustness of Gamerscore when doing account recoveries

Improved messaging around handling corrupt or non-fully recovered profiles

Improved download performance for popular content being downloaded through Marketplace

Total USB keyboard support

Testing Live connection while streaming music from PC works correctly

Next item / Focus sound not played when scrolling past the bottom of the video list

Handle profiles on memory units inserted into system while enumerating profiles from other storage locations

Warning / Alert icons now show as part of deleting items in Memory area

Repeat rate for remote control matches game controller repeat rate
“A” button disabled when in a list with no items available

Wireless battery level added to mini-pop-up guide over backward-compatible games

Pop-up guide / Dashboard now supports USB keyboard

Console no longer enters “charge” mode when shutdown and the battery has been removed from wireless controller

System no longer waits indefinitely when attempting to contact Windows Media Connect service on XP PC

Improved Marketplace storage device selector

Correctly set focus on selected item when back button pressed on “select a game” scene

Notify users when multiple wireless SSIDS with identical names are within reach

Provide Gold membership information when trying to join a session or accepting game invites with Silver accounts

New text to highlight the ability to clear the passcode for Live account signing

Photo slideshow no longer resumes when pressing “previous” or “next” from paused state

Improved handling of corrupt profiles when deleting them

No longer turn off wireless gamepads after system update reboot

More robust handling of initial setup experience for memory unit users

Improved handling of backward-compatible update experience, reboot back into Xbox v1 environment instead of Dashboard

Improved handling for "block communications" from other players

Improved keypress sounds when using USB keyboard

Improved usability and performance of content enumeration for storage devices

Show visual location for where Xbox Live Arcade games reside

Improved user messaging when overwriting content while copying

Improved consistency of messaging between "sign out" and "switch profile"

Updated troubleshooter text for connection to Windows PC's joined to domain

Better support for Xbox 360 game disc recognition

Improved initial setup text messaging

Improved overall error message terminology

Game updates downloaded to memory unit no longer show "please reinsert" notification when memory unit removed

More robust support for handling game deletes from memory unit and simultaneously removing memory unit

Improved system performance between console and affiliated Windows Media Connect PC

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TheMART3770d ago

06-06-2006 it arrived, the great update for the 360 dashboard. PS3 dashboard if you'll ever get evolved like this baby, you thank MS for that way to go.

I guess the Christians won't download this update today :)

RealDoubleJ3770d ago

No longer is my picture constantly stuttering on DVDs! I had to check with my copy of 'The Omen' but that's to be expected ;)

Joe3770d ago

Took only a few minutes to download. Didn't real test all the features, but it seems that switching, entering and exiting between blades seem to be a lot faster. Can someone validate that?

F1Senna3770d ago

Thank good they have done somthing about the DVD playback! That was the most annoying thing about the 360, and now it is gone forever!....i hope! :)

nuclearnipple3770d ago

aaaargh im at work!!! ive been waiting for this for ages stutter free DVD cant wait, background downloading sweet, roll on 5.30!!

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