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Xbox 360 Spring Update Ships

Microsoft delivered the Spring 2007 update for the Xbox 360 Dashboard software yesterday, as promised. The centerpiece of the update are the new Windows Live Messenger features, which let you chat through your 360 with anyone on your Live Messenger contact list. You can pick up the Text Input Device to attach to your 360 controller and quickly type out messages to buddies.

Other changes include a new popup when you get an Achievement that describes the Achievement and lists the Gamerscore you’ve earned, enhanced family settings for voice and video chat, and the Xbox Live Marketplace getting its own blade. Xbox Live Arcade now lets you see what your friends are playing, compare leaderboards and Achievements of your friends, and better Tell A Friend features for boasting about your skills.

Also new is an option to auto-download Xbox Live Arcade demos so you can check them out at any time, new progressive downloading so you can watch and move around a video while it is in middle of downloading, a new mode that goes into a low-power state but finishes your download, then shuts off completely, the display shows the name of the game currently in the tray.

You can also now switch aspect ratios (auto, letterbox, zoom, stretch and native), it shows folder hierarchy for connected devices, bookmarks remember where you left off when last watching every video, better navigation in Marketplace downloads, new skippable chapters in videos, information bar now contains progress bar, you can now stream Windows Media DRM files from a PC, remaining disk space warnings, and screensaver is disabled when viewing photos.

And, finally, they’ve added new video codec support, adding H.264 up to 10 Mbps peak, Baseline, Main, and High profiles with 2 channel AAC LC, and MPEG-4 Part 2 up to 5 Mbps peak, Simple Profile with 2 channel AAC LC. Engadget notes this makes the 360 better than the Apple TV in every way, and they have an image gallery of all the changes.
(via Digg)

Two other things worth noting:

You can now go into your settings and set the 360 to always boot into Media Center.

Also, Microsoft is working on a way to change the email address associated with your Xbox Live account. The reason: If you can’t change it, how will you connect it to your Live Messenger account, if you haven’t already?

May 10th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Live, Xbox Live, Xbox 360, Messenger, Xbox, Windows | no comments

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