I was invited to partake in a Beta for the new Xbox 360 update ahead of its full release in November and it arrived yesterday. In a tiny nutshell, the update allows you to tweet, facebook and have movie parties all over the place!
The twitter and facebook are fine and functional, particularly using a keypad. Not as fast as using a client or the web on a PC / Mac, but for those moments where you can’t be arsed moving to a laptop or desktop its ideal!
All the music games (Guitar Hero etc.) all now have dedicated stores which is great as it saves you time floundering around looking for tracks etc.etc.
Not sure about the Irish getting Last.fm as there was no sign of it on my update.
So all good so far, but nothing that has melted my mind until I took on the Zune Video Marketplace. And then, my mind melted. 1080P Full HD video, STREAMING. Yeah, streaming. No longer do you have to wait for a movie to download, the shit was streaming. And streaming with no buffering, stuttering or stammering. After part of my brain oozed out of my ears, I decided to press fast forward, just for the laugh. And £%^$%^£%^£$ me, it FF at full speed. I’m not sure how the miracle workers at MS get this working, although I’d speculate its about variable bit rates. Either way, I couldn’t care less. I never, ever have rented a movie over Xbox Live, primarily because of download times and hard drive space ( I got the 20GB Old skool box) but with streaming, its something I would certainly, actually definitely do in the future! And it is the future. 5 – 10 years, this is the way we will all look at movies. That said, it all depends on your Broadband connection I would imagine, but the 360 adjusts accordingly. Spectacular win.