HomeHardwareXbox 360 Spring Update with goodies galore revealed by Microsoft

Xbox 360 Spring Update with goodies galore revealed by Microsoft

Xbox 360 QWERT Keyboard accessory, Xbox and Windows Messenger Logo

Once again we bring all you Xbox 360 owners some great news. Today, Microsoft unveiled the details of this spring’s Xbox 360 update due on May 7, which comprises a plethora of new features and one very special hardware add-on for your controller. Read on to find out what plans Microsoft has been hiding up its sleeve for spring which incidentally also represents abundance!

Firstly, as part of the spring update, Microsoft will be launching Windows Live Messenger on the Xbox 360. Soon, you will be able to chat with friends across Xbox 360 consoles, Windows-based PCs and Windows Mobile-powered devices all from your television screen. This feature will be free of cost for Gold and Silver users.

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According to Jerry Johnson, product unit manager of Xbox Live at Microsoft, “Bringing the largest IM community in the world, Windows Live Messenger, to Xbox 360 makes sense, as Xbox LIVE has really become the largest social network on television. For our growing community of 6 million on Xbox LIVE, using Xbox 360 is a very social, connected experience. They are using Xbo0x 360 to play games, music and movies while simultaneously communicating with one another through video, voice and text chat. With this announcement we are simultaneously expanding the access of Xbox LIVE users to existing friends and family while introducing Windows Live Messenger users to the benefits of Xbox 360.”

Windows Live Messenger users on Xbox 360 will be able to text chat using the virtual keyboard that is accessible on Xbox 360, or even by connecting a USB keyboard to the console. However, if you are a real 360 fan, you could go in for the QWERTY text-input device that connects directly into the “horns” of the Xbox 360 controller. This accessory will be launched by Microsoft in summer this year.

Apart from the introduction of Windows Live Messenger and the rather cool looking QWERT keyboard, the Spring update for Xbox 360 will also include a host of new features and enhancements:

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  • A richer Achievement notification pop-up will showcase the name of the unlocked Achievement and the gamer score value without having the leave the game to check the Achievement list.
  • Enhanced family settings features for Xbox LIVE communications, which will enable different defaults for video and voice chat.
  • Look out for a new Xbox LIVE Marketplace blade, that allows Xbox LIVE members access to content they are looking out for, including game content, or TV shows and movies all from one place on Xbox LIVE. However, this feature will be available only to users in the United States.
  • Updates to Xbox LIVE Arcade will allow owners to quickly see which Xbox LIVE Arcade games their friends are currently playing. Besides, Xbox LIVE members can also compare progress of leaderboard scores and Achievements directly with friends on their friends list. And that is not all! Expanded Tell a Friend capabilities will make it easier for gamers to “brag” about their Achievements and high scores.
  • Auto Downloads will include a new option that provides faster access to the entire collection of free, trial version Xbox LIVE Arcade games
  • New progressive download controls provide easy access to optimal viewing options by enabling people to fast-forward, rewind, pause and resume as their video is downloaded from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
  • Extension of the background download functionality will allow Xbox 360 owners to set their console to turn off automatically after downloads are completed.
  • To all you Xbox 360 owners: Don’t forget that you have a date with your Xbox 360 on Xbox LIVE beginning May 7, 2007!

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