Microsoft Tests New Xbox 360 Disc Format In Latest Update Preview

Microsoft Tests New Xbox 360 Disc Format In Latest Update Preview

Microsoft is seeking US-based Xbox 360 owners to test out the next Xbox 360 system update, paving the way for an “updated Xbox 360 disc format”, whatever the hell that means.

There’s a new Xbox 360 system update in the works, and as always, Microsoft is looking for stateside Xbox owners in the thousands to put the new update through its paces. Fans interested in participating need only head over to the Microsoft Connect site, sign in with their Windows Live ID, and fill out a short survey in order to be eligible. It bears mentioning that while Xbox Live Silver subscribers can sign up, Gold subscribers will be given preference over the unwashed, unpaying masses.

What do gamers get in return? Participating players will receive a copy of Halo: Reach for their troubles, along with other possible rewards that have yet to be named.

Plus they’ll get to test out this updated Xbox 360 disc format.

What is it? Microsoft’s Major Nelson doesn’t mention specifics in his post. I’m speculating that it’s either a new way to compress data on the disc, allowing for greater storage, or perhaps it’s a new way of encoding said data to keep Microsoft from having problems similar to those Sony encountered, when a hacker discovered and published the PlayStation 3 root key, a bit of code that tells the console that software is legitimate and not a pirated copy.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft for more information on this updated disc format, and will update this post when we have more information.

In the meantime, spaces are limited, so you’d best go sign up for the preview, before it’s too late.

Xbox 360 System Update Preview [Major Nelson]


  • It’s probably intended to create incompatibilities for the current generation of CFW for 360 DVD drives.

  • I don’t understand why they don’t go towards Solid State SATA Based Cartridges for a game media format.

      • I’m more suggesting for their next system, which could be in a couple of years. In that time the price of the technology needed for SSD could come down considerably.

      • And this was stated when, and by who? All I’ve heard from various Microsoft reps is that they believe disc-based formats are still quite viable, and removing said functionality in their next console would be shooting themselves in the foot.

    • Now that would be something! Ive truly been getting sick of load times lately. Even if Microsoft released a 250GB SSD I’d be happy. Least then we could install, and do away with long loads (except for decompression loads) but they’d probably charge us $300+…

  • They have already made many changes to the disk formats. Just about each update has been relating to these changes. The changes are called waves i think the last wave was 7. But these are easily patched so I doubt it has anything to do with it. Must be something new.

    People have been pirating games since day dot, you can tell how bably this has effected the industry, they are really stuggling to sell games arent they. My earliest memory of games was pirating Commodore 64 games onto tapes. Piracy has little to no effect at all on the industry.

  • Can’t it increase capacity… and curb piracy?

    And isn’t xbox’s online check system pretty effective at detecting modded consoles?

  • A dual layer Xbox 360 DVD is still only about 6.5GB. Theres a good couple of GB ‘missing’ from the discs.
    By ‘missing’ I mean for security purposes and what not.
    It would be quite easy for MS to ‘add’ an extra GB and refer to it as implementing a ‘new’ DVD format.

    And I can guarantee that developers of big release titles like Gears 3, ME3, GTA5 and Forza 4 are putting a lot of pressure on MS to do something about increased capacity.
    All the big title games towards the end of the year will be on this ‘new format’.

    • HDDVD would require a hardware upgrade, not just a firmware upgrade.

      That said, I think the next Xbox will support both HDDVD and Blu-Ray, and use a variant of HD-DVD for games.

      Many places in the world simply don’t have the required download speeds to download AAA blockbuster games. Much of the next generation will still be disc-based, or at least they’ll provide alternative modes of purchase.

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