Xbox 360 Fall Update – Available 31/10/06

Hey Milieu Pals,
 
It is official! The long awaited Xbox 360 Fall Dashboard update is almost here. Most gamers have been waiting for ages for this update to hit. Especially since Microsoft revealed that it would enable native 1080p support for all games and media on the console.
 
 
Microsoft announced today that "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" (Xbox.com, 2006).
 
The update is instant and will occur globally from 02:00 (am) Seattle Time. For South African Gamers this equates to 12:00 (pm – as in 12 in the afternoon). To see the time in which the update will become available in your location, please click here.
 
There are apparently over 85 enhancements for the system, via the Fall Update, including:
 
  • Support for the HD-DVD add on drive
  • Support for the Wireless Headset
  • Support for the Wireless Force Feedback Racing Wheel
  • Support for XNA developer studio (allowing ‘backyard’ developers to create and develop games for the Xbox Live arcade – A major reason why I like Microsoft because they are so community driven)
  • Complete native 1080p HDTV support for games, DVD’s (upscale only via VGA cable, due to DVD Forum regulations), HD-DVD’s and the ability to upscale all native 720p content to 1080p resolutions (including games and other content)
  • Improved Xbox Live Arcade performance and new streamlined interface
  • 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 (this will make a lot of people very happy) 
  • 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

For a full list of features and enhancements included in the Xbox 360 Fall Update please click here. For a succint overview of all the main features please click here.

I am honestly incredibly proud and happy to be an owner of a Microsoft Xbox 360. The system simply gets better by moving from strength to strength. One of the main reasons for this is that (as far as memory serves – no pun intended  ) it has an additional 128MB of internal flash memory used specifically for the operating system and all updates. This memory is separate to the 512MB of internal shared memory used by the system for games. Honestly, if you put it all into perspective, what is Sony really offering over the 360 with the PS3? Granted both PS3’s have Blu-Ray and the ‘premium’ PS3 will have built in Wi-Fi and a media card reader, but will you really use those additional accessories that Sony is essentially forcing you to purchase? Granted they may be useful, especially if you want your console to be your media hub… but honestly… I have a Media Centre for that and besides, my 360 can access everything from my Media Centre anyway (including Live and Recorded Television, kind of like DSTV PVR or TiVo).

Well, the heat is definitely on between Microsoft and Sony! The future certainly is bright for consumers!

Ciao for now!

Hans Haupt
wirtten by: Hans Haupt

1 Comment

  • From Louisa, received via e-mail:
     
    My comment:
    I think it’s official – you know more about playing games than anyone else I am aware of! Hope it’s not interfering too much with your studying? Good luck for your exams. J
    Louisa

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