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Official Word on the Xbox 360 Fall Dashboard Update

Thumbnail image for Xbox 360 controller with Messenger keyboardMicrosoft has finally spilled the beans on the system update that's coming on December 4th. Here's a quick lowdown on the important parts:

  • As we have been told before, new "Xbox Originals" will be available for download via the XBLA. That means you can get old Xbox games such as Halo and Psychonauts, optimized for your 360. 1200 MS points each. That works to 15 bucks, plus tax.
  • Also on the XBLA, some of the older games that are already available will now become "Arcade Hits" which means they'll have a permanent price drop. Two important ones are Lumines going to 800 points while Zuma drops to 400.
  • There will be an expanded bio option for your Gamertag, letting you do more than just have a picture and a motto. You can limit this bios to friends only, if you want. This may be where they implement the ability to change your Live ID, as I heard about last week.
  • Also, the previously known "friends of friends" will become available, if your settings allow. You can let your friends or anyone see your own friends list.
  • New controls will let parents set a timer on their kids' Xbox access. Per-day or per-week time limits can be set.
  • New full-screen movie previews will be available.

There will be more details that will be officially announced at the Xbox Live website upon the release of the update.

Click the jump for the full current press release.

Xbox 360 Introduces New Features and Console Enhancements with the 2007 Fall Dashboard Update

Free system update hits connected consoles worldwide on Dec. 4; Xbox Originals, Family Timer and more available through download

As promised, Microsoft is bringing some early gifts to your Xbox 360 just prior to the holiday season. Beginning at 0200 a.m. PST on Dec. 4, the Xbox 360 Fall Dashboard Update will be available for all connected Xbox 360 consoles free of charge, bringing an array of new features and enhancements to the leading gaming and entertainment system.

Among the key new enhancements are the previously announced Xbox Originals game download service, Family Timer parental control feature, and expanded social networking experiences. Xbox 360 owners can also look forward to enhanced navigation, profile and video features and Xbox LIVE Arcade Hits.

This free update will be digitally distributed over Xbox LIVE to the more than 8 million Xbox LIVE members worldwide (Xbox LIVE Silver and Gold) with no disc or hard drive required. Gamers without an Xbox LIVE account can easily sign up for the free network by connecting their console to a broadband internet connection. New features and enhancements include:

MORE DOWNLOAD OPTIONS:

Xbox Originals – With this new service, announced on Nov. 13, consumers can download-to-own full original Xbox games that were previously only available at retail. The digital shelves will always be stocked with classic titles, such as "Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex" "Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge," "Halo," "Fable," "Fuzion Frenzy," "Psychonauts," and more as the catalogue grows over time, at 1200 Microsoft Points per game.


Xbox LIVE Arcade Hits – On Xbox LIVE Arcade, the Arcade Hits program kicks off where some of the best selling Xbox LIVE Arcade games will become available at permanently reduced prices, making it easier than ever for everyone to build a library of downloadable games! The first games to become Arcade Hits will be "Bankshot Billiards 2" and "Lumines LIVE," which will be available for 800 Microsoft Points each, and "Marble Blast Ultra," "Small Arms" and "Zuma Deluxe," which will be available for 400 Microsoft Points each. With free trial downloads for every game and over 100 games to choose from, Xbox LIVE Arcade offers something for every member of the family.

NEW WAYS TO KEEP UP TO DATE AND CONNECTED:

Inside Xbox – A new direct feed brings current news straight from Xbox.com into the Xbox LIVE Dashboard providing members an easy, predictable entry point where they can discover what's new in: game releases, events, and Xbox LIVE Marketplace offers.



Enhanced online profile
– Members interested in sharing a few more details about themselves will have the option to go beyond their motto and further personalize their profile with an expanded bio. The extended bios will be visible to "Friends Only" or the entire Xbox LIVE community.

Expanded Friends List access – A quick and easy way for gamers to expand their personal community on Xbox LIVE, members will be able to see the Friends Lists of other Xbox LIVE members, boosting their social networking experience on the service.

ENHANCED OVERALL EXPERIENCE AND CONTROL:

Enhanced Parental Controls
– Family Timer, a strong and flexible new addition to the Xbox 360 Family Settings, enables parents to set the amount of time their Xbox 360 can be used on a per-day or per-week basis by their children or other members of the household.

New video features – The convenience of full-screen movie previews and enhanced video codec support further expand the options when it comes to the Xbox 360 entertainment experience.

Easy-to-use navigation features – With several noteworthy changes in the Xbox LIVE Dashboard, from the new Game Store button to the Video Store button to enhanced visuals and descriptions in the video library, Xbox LIVE members can find what they want, when they want it.

These features are just some of the new enhancements Xbox 360 owners can expect as part of the Fall Dashboard Update. On December 4th a list of all the new features and improvements will be posted at: http://www.xbox.com/live.

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