Xbox Live Update available August 11

Xbox Live Update available August 11

At E3 2009 Microsoft announced a variety of features to soon be available on Xbox Live, and in less than three weeks the first batch of those new features will be available to the network’s more than 20 million registered accounts.  Users who take advantage of the current XBL capabilities such as Netflix streaming and avatar customization will be particularly pleased with the new update.


In addition to streaming Netflix movies, XBL Gold subscribers will now be able to login and edit their Netflix movie queues.  Additionally users can take their avatars over to a virtual theatre to watch movies and provide their own commentary.  Unfortunately, the delivery of 1080p video playback and Zune video downloads still remains unseen, but Microsoft still says these are upgrades to come “later this fall.”


The Xbox Originals will be replaced with the Games on Demand service; an online video game superstore that will allow both Silver and Gold subscribers to not only purchase and download the same original Xbox titles, but also do the same for digital copies from a selection of Xbox 360 titles.  Manuals of the games can be downloaded and printed from  Some of the already announced 360 titles include Assassin’s Creed, Bio Shock, Mass Effect, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.


The final feature coming to Xbox Live with the August 11 update will be the Avatar Marketplace.  Users will be allowed to further makeover their avatars by purchasing clothing items with Microsoft Points.  For sale will be items from popular real-world brands, and game-centric designs such as Halo gear.  The price of the avatar items remains tentative, but Microsoft presented at last month’s E3 that simple clothing items will cost about 80 Microsoft Points and more interactive props about 320 Microsoft Points.


Other features to help players network on Xbox Live, such as the integration of Facebook, Twitter, and will not be available with the next update.  However, like the other features Microsoft promised later this fall, these are said to be available at a later date.

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