Xbox Live Update - 5 December 2007 Print E-mail
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Written by Thomas "CigDangle" Balistreri   
Thursday, 06 December 2007

[News] [X360]

If you are a regular reader you will notice two things with this week's update:

  1. It's late
  2. The word "Arcade" has been removed from the title

Addressing the first point, Xbox was a little elusive with their information this week.  Well, actually, I was looking in the usual place, and it wasn't there.  As far as arcade being removed, Microsoft has expanded the focus of Xbox Live DLC to now include Classic titles.

This will undoubtedly be the biggest Xbox Live Update I ever publish.  A huge dashboard update, and three classic titles released this week.  Enjoy!


Dashboard Update

As promised, Microsoft is bringing some early gifts to your Xbox 360 just prior to the holiday season. Beginning at 0200 A.M. PST on December 4, 2007, the Xbox 360 Fall Dashboard Update will be available for all connected Xbox 360 consoles free of charge, bringing an array of new features and enhancements to the leading gaming and entertainment system.

Among the key new enhancements are the previously announced Xbox Originals game download service, Family Timer parental control feature, and expanded social networking experiences. Xbox 360 owners can also look forward to enhanced navigation, profile, and video features and Xbox Live Arcade Hits.

This free update will be digitally distributed over Xbox Live to the more than eight million Xbox Live members worldwide (Xbox Live Silver and Gold) with no disc or hard drive required. If you don't have an Xbox Live account, you can easily sign up for the free network by connecting your console to a broadband Internet connection. New features and enhancements include:

More Download Options

  • Xbox Originals: With this new service, announced on November 13, you can download-to-own full original Xbox games that were previously only available at retail. The digital shelves will always be stocked with classic titles, such as Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, Halo, Fable, Fuzion Frenzy, Psychonauts, and more as the catalogue grows over time, at 1200 Microsoft Points per game.
  • Xbox Live Arcade Hits: On Xbox Live Arcade, the Arcade Hits program kicks off as some of the best-selling Xbox Live Arcade games become available at permanently reduced prices, making it easier than ever for everyone to build a library of downloadable games! The first games to become Arcade Hits will be Bankshot Billiards 2 and Lumines Live!, which will be available for 800 Microsoft Points each, and Marble Blast Ultra, Small Arms, and Zuma Deluxe, which will be available for 400 Microsoft Points each. With free trial downloads for every game and over 100 games to choose from, Xbox LIVE Arcade offers something for every member of the family.


New Ways to Keep Up to Date and Connected

  • Inside Xbox: A new direct feed brings current news straight from Xbox.com into the Xbox LIVE Dashboard providing an easy, predictable entry point where you can discover what's new in game releases, events, Xbox LIVE Marketplace offers, and lots more. Inside Xbox is currently available only in the U.S., U.K., and Japan. It will be available in more regions in coming months.
  • Enhanced online profile: If you're interested in sharing a few more details about yourself you can go beyond your motto and further personalize your profile with an expanded bio. The extended bios will be visible to "Friends Only" or the entire Xbox LIVE community.
  • Expanded Friends List access: A quick and easy way for gamers to expand their personal community on Xbox LIVE, members will be able to see the Friends Lists of other Xbox LIVE members, boosting their social networking experience on the service.


Enhanced Overall Experience and Control

  • Enhanced Parental Controls: Family Timer, a strong and flexible new addition to the Xbox 360 Family Settings, enables parents to set the amount of time their Xbox 360 can be used on a per-day or per-week basis by their children or other members of the household.
  • New video features: The convenience of full-screen movie previews and enhanced video codec support further expand the options when it comes to the Xbox 360 entertainment experience.
  • Easy-to-use navigation features: With several noteworthy changes in the Xbox LIVE Dashboard, from the new Game Store button to the Video Store button to enhanced visuals and descriptions in the video library, Xbox LIVE members can find what they want, when they want it.

 

Tech Girl Elle
Elle tells you everything you need to know about the big Fall Update, from Parental Controls to the new Video Marketplace.

Major Nelson
Major Nelson discusses two great new features of the update: child account graduation and changing Windows Live ID association.


Psychonauts
1 Player - Rated T - 1200 Points - Double Fine Productions - 2005

Delve into people’s minds as Raz, a powerful young cadet at psychic summer camp who discovers that someone is kidnapping psychic children and stealing their brains. To foil this evil plot and earn the title of a superhero Psychonaut, you must enter the minds of one bizarre character after another and battle their nightmares and mental demons.

In this wildly surreal action-adventure game, you'll unlock personal paranormal powers, journey deep into crazy worlds of infinite possibility, and thwart the secret plans of an evil madman.

  • Blast, think, dodge: Use cunning wit, paranormal powers, and logic to solve twisted puzzled inside other people’s minds. Run, float, climb, swing, sneak, and scoot through a psychic journey of the minds. Defeat monsters, lunatics, and demons with the Psi-Blast, a mental burst of energy that banishes nightmares.
  • Go out of your mind: This is the only game ever to take place in the minds of the insane and the world in which they live. Face the fears, neurosis, and bizarre thoughts of villains and lunatics. See yourself in a new light as you progress through a twisted and imaginative journey.
  • Master psychic powers: Training unleashes new powers of teleportation, telekinesis, levitation, fire-starting, prophecy, and invisibility. Use these powers in Raz's lifelong quest to join the elite force of the Psychonauts.
  • Enjoy film-quality graphics: Hand-crafted animations breathe life into every character. From the sound of sneaking footsteps to the crash of a Psi-Blast, the rich sound effects make the worlds come alive. The original soundtrack was recorded to match the action and mood throughout this twisted journey.

 

Fable
1 Player - Rated M - 1200 Points - Lionhead Studios - 2004

Fable is a groundbreaking roleplaying-adventure game from Peter Molyneux, in which your every action determines your skills, appearance, and reputation.

Create your life story from childhood to death.Grow from an inexperienced adolescent into the most powerful being in the world.Choose the path of righteousness or dedicate your life to evil.

Muscles expand with each feat of strength. Force of will increases with each work of wit.Obesity follows gluttony, andskin tans with exposure to sunlight and bleaches bone-white by moonlight.

Earn scars in battle and lines of experience with age.Each person you aid, each flower you crush, and each creature you slay will change this world forever.

  • Forge a hero based on your actions: Age and evolve a hero or villain through the actions you choose and the path you follow—be it for good, evil, or in-between.Ply the way of the sword, and see your muscles bulge.Weave the dark arts and witness power crackling at your fingertips.Skulk in the shadows and watch your skin bleach.
  • Engage in intense real-time combat: Collect battle scars as you battle a world of cunning foes and deadly creatures.Master an array of weaponry as you hone the art of blade-craft.Hunt your quarry using subterfuge and stealth.Weave death from the elements, as you harness the dark arts of the arcane.
  • Build your living legend: Through deeds and actions, build a name for yourself across the land.Recruit allies and followers.Gain glory or notoriety.Make friends and enemies.Interact with a living world of people, places, and event all reactive to you.Hero or butcher?Who will you be?
  • Explore and shape a living, evolving world:Champion or manipulate an ever-changing land with competitive and cooperative heroes, dynamic weather systems, and deformable environments. Interact with teeming cultures, creatures, and citizens from various towns and cities.
  • Hone your character with scores of unique skills and extras: Master new abilities and add possessions as you develop.
  • Never play the same game twice: Once you finish your adventure, go back and try the experience again, forging your character and thereby a new tale with unexpected twists and turns, new skills, powers, influences, allies and enemies.

 

Halo
1-4 Players - Rated M - 1200 Points - Bungie Studios - 2001

Halo is a sci-fi shooter that takes place on a mysterious alien ring-world. Packed with combat, Halo will have you battling on foot, in vehicles, inside and outdoors with Alien and Human weaponry. Your objective: to uncover Halo's horrible secrets and destroy mankind's sworn enemy, the Covenant.

  • Huge weapon variety: Vanquish your enemies with a vast array of Human or Covenant weaponry ranging from the stealthy (semi-automatic pistols, Alien Needler guns) to the fierce (rocket launchers and assault rifles).
  • Vehicle and foot-based action: Tackle missions any way you choose, be it storming an enemy base or taking the wheel or gunnery position of a variety of powerful vehicles. Vehicles range from stolen Covenant flyers and hovercraft to Human buggies, tanks and more.
  • Indoor and outdoor combat: Fight seamlessly in Halo's ultra-realistic indoor and outdoor environments as you hunt the Covenant in dozens of single player missions and multiplayer battles.
  • Intense multiplayer shootouts: Form a team, choose a role, and fight cooperatively with your friends, battle it out Deathmatch style via intense split screen combat or fight co-op with a friend through the single player missions.
  • Incredible mission variety: Fight the Covenant in dozens of missions as you uncover the dark secrets of Halo. Attack enemy outposts, raid underground labs for advanced technology, rescue fallen comrades, steal alien vehicles and weaponry, and snipe enemy forces.
  • Reality-bending special effects: Halo features the most advanced graphic system on the most advanced gaming platform in the world. Gunfire rips off the screen, explosions light up a living room, and environments blur the line between your couch and fantasy.
  • Rich sci-fi experience: Halo transports gamers into a science fiction universe fresh out of a Hollywood movie. With a detailed twisting storyline, complex characters and cunning enemies, Halo fulfills every sci-fi enthusiast's dream.

Psychonauts is a classic title I've been meaning to play for a long time.  Fifteen dollars is a little steep, but these are only a generation old.  After all, Nintendo is selling two generations back for $10, and if I can find a deal on a Microsoft Points card, it way be worth it.

 

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 December 2007 )

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