New XBOX Interface Update is LIVE

New Xbox Experience goes LIVE

You think your little soccer shirt and mop-top hair cut is cool?  Yeah, it’s ok, that is of course if you don’t have a lightsaber and full Jedi Commando robes.  No, I’m just saying, if you’re not into cool new features and props I’m sure you’d just be fine with sunglasses and a watch.

Today Xbox Live launched an update that is sure to result in a flood of avatar creations.  When you log on today, the update will automatically download and install – free of charge.  The update officially consists of new avatar apparel and props, Netflix updates (including Party and Instant Browsing), instant download of numerous recent full games, and a slew of fixes and patches to make your dashboard feel more like a part of the system and less like a waiting period to launch your game.

At first you may not notice the update making much difference but the speed of the Xbox menus seems to be faster.  The update doesn’t take much time and installs rather quickly.

As most of you surely guessed, however, some props and costumes do cost MS Points, but can you really put a price on what your digital version of you wears?  You can?  Oh yeah, me too.  Never the less, the new features allow for some cool new customization from apparel to UNSC costumes and toys.

The update is sure to solve the original problem of Netflix browsing and watching.  Being able to watch a show that someone else is watching at the same time gives hope to those out there who are stuck in their houses on a Friday night.  We haven't tested how seamless this Party system with watching shows will be yet, but have seen live demos that showed the feature working seamlessly. If you can play a multiplayer game online, you can watch a movie or TV show together. Netflix still requires an Xbox Live Gold membership, and one of the unlimited memberships from Netflix to work. In addition to the new Party mode, you can also browse top selections of Netflix from your Xbox 360 and watch them without having to add via the computer first. It's still not the entire catalog, but it's better than the nothing there was before.

All in all, the update really added a lot of features that should have rolled out months ago, if not with the original update.  The Party system was in place for Netflix, just never activated and props and toys for your avatar was something we thought we were getting months ago. There are in fact still-missing announced features, like the ability to access Facebook and Twitter, but those are still coming this fall. This update, though, is great.  It really showed that Microsoft is willing to spend some time listening to the public and figuring out how to make the Xbox Live experience consistently better and keep its spot as the #1 console online interface.

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