The news Microsoft DIDN'T announce at their press conference

by: Cyril -
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So you watched the Microsoft E3 press conference yesterday (or read our live blog) and think you know every announcement the company has up their sleeves.  Well think again, buddy.  Because soon after their two hour press conference, Microsoft announced EVEN MORE stuff on their website.  Unfortunately none of this is nearly as exciting as a new game announcement or Twitter over Xbox Live, but I figure it is worth mentioning ... even if I'm doing it in the middle of the night.  Here are a few announcements regarding the upcoming Xbox 360 spring update:
  • "Games on Demand: Xbox LIVE has changed the way you play your games, and now we're changing the way you access them, with the digital distribution of full Xbox 360 games. The Games on Demand channel will launch with a library of more than 30 great games, from classic hits like Mass Effect, BioShock and Assassin's Creed, to family favorites like LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga and Sonic the Hedgehog. You'll have access to a wide variety of great games, downloadable in only a few hours and at the touch of a button. We've also added the option to purchase Games on Demand directly with your credit or debit card."
  • "Avatar Marketplace: Since the launch of NXE, millions of Avatars have been created on Xbox LIVE, giving our members a whole new way to express themselves online, in games, and in their social experiences. Starting this summer, you will see some great new ways to make your Avatar truly your own. First, we heard loud and clear from you that you wanted to get new avatar items as awards when playing games, and I'm happy to announce support for in-game Avatar Awardables. Second, you're going to see some great new options with animated Props and full costumes to add to your Avatar. Finally, we're continuing that spirit of customization and self-expression with a virtual closet full of premium clothing and interactive props to download and purchase for your Avatar. Whether its game-inspired gear or the latest fashion trends, there will be creative options for everyone to enjoy. You'll also be able to easily access the new Avatar Marketplace directly through the Avatar editor."
  • "User Ratings: We're adding a five-star rating system that lets you easily rate any content in the Games Marketplace. Now you'll be able to show your support for your favorite games and Game Add-ons on Xbox LIVE and also quickly organize by user rating to find the community's favorite content. This has been one of your most-requested features, and we're very happy to bring it to you this summer."
You can read the full list on Microsoft's website.  I'm surprised that Microsoft didn't say anything about downloading full Xbox 360 games via the marketplace at the press conference, that seems like kind of a big deal.  I also like the idea of rating games, but I hope that it requires you to actually play the game before you give it a one-star (or five-star) rating.
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