8 Features Of The New Xbox 360 Fall Update

Microsoft will be releasing a new update to the Xbox 360 soon, adding support for Kinect, ESPN and introducing a revamped dashboard. But there are also a few "under the hood" features Microsoft will be including in that update.

While we've discussed the Xbox Live Fall 2010 update's most visible new features at length, there's more to the update than just Netflix search and Zune music. There are also revamped Avatars!

The following new additions, direct from Microsoft, may not be the sexiest of improvements, but "improved voice quality" sure sounds nice.

  • Improved voice quality – the audio codec is being updated to improve Xbox LIVE Party chat audio quality. So grab your friends and jump into a multiplayer game, catch a big sports event, watch a movie or do all three.
  • Improved experience for changing your Gamertag – choosing a new Gamertag? If the Gamertag you're looking for is already taken, your Avatar will spin a wheel and we will provide five other Gamertag suggestions at a time for you to choose from.
  • Streamlined in-dashboard virtual keyboard – we've taken the existing QWERTY keyboard in-dash and made it easier to use for scenarios that involve repeated text entry, for example when signing up for LIVE within the dashboard.
  • Improved Xbox LIVE Marketplace UI and browse experience – the Games Marketplace has been re-organized to provide streamlined access to the games and content you want, reducing the number of steps it takes to get to a download.
  • Avatar changes – we've made your Avatars slightly more proportional so you can better play Kinect games
  • Easier to get on a wireless network – trying to connect to a wireless network? With the next update, you'll see a list of all the wireless networks within range when you go into network settings. From there, you'll be able to select a new network or further configure the network you're connected to.
  • Ability to sign-out other controllers in the sign-in UI – we're adding the ability to sign-out profiles on other controllers in the sign-in UI within the Guide. This is especially useful when playing games like Rock Band.
  • New browse experience for 100% completed games – you spent a lot of time and effort earning those Achievements, so instead of only being able to view your first dozen completed games, we're giving you a new and better way to browse all of them.

Don't miss our hands-on video tour of the Xbox Live Fall 2010 update for a more in-depth look at what's coming before November 4.


    The new onscreen keyboard is possibly the best and worst feature of the new dash at once.

    Speed wise its a dramatic improvement, you can flip through letters a lot faster and makes messaging a lot less of a chore. UNFORTUNATELY the new sound is awful, the changing letter noise is an irritating plink noise that bugged me so much I had to turn the UI sounds off entirely

    I guess they let little kids do videos for microsoft by fiddeling around by entering and exiting menus, i was expecting to you know play a game, watch a video, or even look at pics. like actually do something.

    I like the new look of the interface.
    It's a shame there's no option to turn off the avatar altogether, if the option was there I would definitely use it.

    Man so few updates. It's all these little things that I would hardly consider worth of a "major" update. I understand the major part here is the kinect support, but I don't care much for that....

    What I would have like to have seen is improved

    Account support (sign in to multiple xboxes at once, or at least support 1 account across multiple xboxes)
    A decent web browser (or a not so decent on, just a web browser would be nice)
    Better video codec support, by default, not having to install it against a particular xbl account (this becomes annoying when you have 2 xboxes and can't sign in with the same account on each)
    External HDD support, real HDD support not just 16GB of a HDD. And use it just the same as the internal HDD can be used.

    But I'm dreaming here. These are far too ridiculous ideas. I mean it might actually add functionality that people might use.

    I know it's unimportant but I'd like the avatar items to have sounds.

    A lightsaber is not a lightsaber if it doesn't hum.

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