Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Microsofts Pre-E3 Conference

Microsoft has announced in its Pre-E3 conference a slew of updates coming to the xbox 360 this year. below is list of the ones im looking forward to the most

New Xbox 360 UI
The Xbox 360 user interface is getting a face lift. The New Xbox Experience 2.0 will closely resemble the interface of their Windows Phone 7 Mobile. Instead of the blades or windows, it'll have updating tiles, or widgets, that will show you everything on one screen or tab, as opposed to having everything segregated into different categories. With the new interface, will come new notifications. Details haven't been made clear on the change of the notifications though, other than that they will be called "beacons".

YouTube App
Also with the update will come a new Youtube app. Finally. Granted, I don't need YouTube very often, and I think it would be easier to use on the computer, I welcome this new update just for convenience sake. It'll be nice not having to boot up a computer just to check a 30 second clip on YouTube. The Kinect will also get a functionality ugrade and will finally be able to recognize and obey voice commands for searches. Also with all that, the voice will work seamlessly with the new, tweaked Bing search engine, which will be able to search your music, movies, apps and games.  

MineCraft For Xbox 360
To mixed reviews, Microsoft announced that they will be releasing "MineCraft" for the Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Arcade download. In that same announcement they also talked of how the game will not be a direct port of Minecraft for the PC, and it will not be developed by Mojang. There is also talk of some Kinect integration, but it wasn't clear what was meant by that. Its hard to say what features will be lacking, or added, for the Xbox 360 client. Either way, I'm sure this will be a hit. This is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2011

UFC Streaming
UFC is a good money grabber, and Microsoft plans on capitalizing on that by offering streaming of the UFC fights. I can't say im the biggest fan, and I dont see a reason to eat up my bandwidth when I can watch it in high def on my reciever. Unless they offer a large discount to offset the bandwidth, or they upload a library of all prior UFC fights, I'll leave this as being hopefully optimistic about this service.

Cloud Storage for Saves and Profiles
In saving the best for last, Microsoft announced that they will offering a cloud based storage service for Xbox Live profiles and game saves. That's right, no more waiting 70 minutes to recover your profile, no more forgetting your saves and profile on your memory stick at your house on the other side of town, and no more dropping your memory card and running it over on your way out to play Modern Warfare 2 at your friends house and losing every save. Ever. There weren't too many details on whether this is going to be an Xbox Live Gold membership exclusive (and im sure this going to be the case) or the whether they'll offer it to silver members as well. In my perfect vision of it, the cloud based storage will allow you to have two congruent saves, one physical, and one on the cloud, in case there is ever an internet outage. 


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