Xbox 360 Dashboard Update Tomorrow

Yup, the new dash update is almost here. Here are some of the big changes:

Expanded HD Display and Video Playback Options

  • With 1080p resolution, you now have the ability to enjoy both game and video content in the best high-definition resolution currently available.
  • Expanded video playback options increase the ways you 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.
  • You 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 a much greater choice in how you 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.
  • With the fast enumeration of games, 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 lets you compare yourself directly against friends and view leaderboard details of your top 10 friends.
  • A new expanded Achievements View within Xbox Live Arcade lets you view your full Achievement details for your 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.

XNA Support

  • Amateur game designers will be able to test and play the games they create using XNA Game Studio Express on 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 fall update.

Check out the complete list of updates here.

There is some pretty cool stuff on that list, but I love that they added the ability to stream WMV videos. Also, the ability to play video files from data CDs and DVDs is just awesome. Now I can watch RvB episodes (among other things) on my TV without having to burn them to a disc.

I am also pretty happy that they are updating the Xbox Live arcade area of the dashboard. That section definitely needed some updating, especially when you have multiple arcade games.

The update will head your way after 0200 PT Tuesday morning. If this whole ‘update’ thing is new to you, don’t worry…it’s quick, free and painless. Next time you login into Xbox Live you’ll get prompted to receive the update…it’s that easy. There is no way to force the update (and, regardless of what you have heard, it’s not geographical based.) So sit back and relax and it get ready for the update sometime after 0200 PT Tuesday morning, October 31st.