We're looking for new writers to join us!

Xbox 360 Fall Dashboard Update: Details Announced

by: Dan -
More On: Xbox Live
Microsoft announced today all of the details of the Fall Dashboard update for owners of a Xbox 360.  Scheduled for 2:00 a.m. PST on Tuesday, October 31st, the free dash update will bring 85 new features and enhancements, including support for native 1080p games and movies.  Other notable enhancements were made to Xbox Live Arcade, support for wireless peripheral and HD-DVD and XNA compatibility.
The video enhancements will allow for 1080p resolution for games, as well as HD-DVD movies.  Playback options will now include streaming WMV from a Media Center PC, video files from CD, DVD and storage devices such as flash memory or the Xbox 360 memory unit.  Xbox Live arcade enhancements include the ability to auto-download XBLA trial games, quick loading of your XBLA list, sort options and much more.
Due to the sheer volume of updates on the list, please see the attachment for the details.
New Features
  • HD 1080p video mode support over VGA and component cables.
  • Xbox 360™ HD DVD Player support.
  • Stream WMV video from a Windows PC running Windows Media Player 11, Zune software, or Windows Media Connect.
  • Play video from storage devices such as USB flash drives, Xbox 360 Memory Units, etc.
  • Play video from CD or DVD data discs.
  • Xbox 360 Wireless Headset support, including battery level indicator in the Xbox Guide.
  • Video support for 50 Hz HDTV modes (DVD and HD DVD only).
  • Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel support.
  • Set up automatic downloads of newly released Xbox Live Arcade trial games.
  • Support for upcoming release of XNA Game Studio Express (separate download and subscription required.)
  • Stream music, pictures and video from a Zune device.
Xbox Live Arcade
  • Lightning-fast enumeration and listing of all Xbox Live® Arcade games on the console.
  • Find games quickly with two new sort options: Recently Played and By Category.
  • Have all new Xbox Live Arcade games at the ready with auto downloads. Auto downloads optionally adds newly released trial versions of games to active downloads when you enter Xbox Live Arcade.
  • View full achievement info in Xbox Live Arcade, including icons, achievement point details, and descriptions.
  • Friends leaderboard: Compare yourself with friends and view leaderboard details right from the Xbox dashboard.
  • Tell a friend: Send a message to a friend about your newest favorite Xbox Live Arcade game.
DVD Player
  • Optionally disable notifications from Xbox Live while watching DVD movies.
  • Improved support for audio streams on incorrectly authored DVDs.
  • Better handling of unreadable discs.
  • Updated count-down timer.
  • HD DVD player support.
  • Added zoom support for non-anamorphic content.
  • Added support to Family Settings to block Unrated Content
Video Player
  • Improved support for extended all black scenes in WMV content.
  • Added support for Windows Media Video 9 Advanced profile video.
  • Screen saver now becomes active when videos are paused.
  • Now shares UI and player controls with DVD player.
  • Improved video playback while downloading from Xbox Live.
  • Added skip controls (forward approx. 30 seconds, back approx. 7 seconds).
  • Improved messaging around unplayable video content.
  • Added time elapsed and time remaining displays.
  • Improved playback of high bit-rate HD content on fragmented hard drives.
  • Improved visual quality of video playback.
  • Added selectable display modes: default and letterbox zoom.
  • New locale setting for China
  • Improved German translations in console settings.
  • Improved German translations in memory area.
  • Improved Japanese translations in Family Settings.
  • Added localized text for all supported languages in pictures area
  • Improved Spanish translations in camera effects.
  • Improved locale-specific decimal denominators.
  • Added localization support for title menu and main menu in the DVD player.
  • Added localization support for “Attempting to Read Media” system message.
November 2006 Xbox Live Update
Beginning the morning of Tuesday, October 31, you'll be able to download a free system update that provides 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 for Xbox 360™ will be distributed via Xbox Live® to all members (Xbox Live Silver and Xbox Live Gold) with no disc or hard drive required. If you don't have an Xbox Live account, you can easily sign up free by connecting your console to a broadband Internet connection. Once online, downloading the update is fast and simple, and provides instant access to many new features.
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.
Microsoft is committed to providing Xbox 360 customers with the best online experience possible and delivering added value to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Those subscribers will enjoy exclusive early access to special Xbox Live Marketplace content, such as game demos, free game ad-ons, free community videos, and free gamer pics and themes for up to one week in advance of their general release. Paid downloadable content remains available at the same time for both Silver and Gold subscribers.
Through these regular updates, the way gamers are connected to their friends and entertainment is constantly evolving and improving. With more than four million Xbox Live members to date, Xbox 360 has proven itself as the premiere gaming platform of choice.