The much-hyped Xbox Live update that Microsoft presented at the E3 Expo in June is now available for download across the world. Users need just to connect to Xbox Live to receive a message asking them to update to the new version.
Xbox head honcho J Allerd and his little minions have come up with some eye-candy for the new look, but in terms of actual usability, it’s typical Microsoft – the consumer is the last person they thought of.
Here are the major features in the Xbox Live update and our feelings about the same:
1)Games on Demand: The new Xbox Live update lets you download full games through a digital e-store on to your hard disk, using Microsoft Points (which we fondly refer to as “Allard Bucks”) or a credit card. The pricing, though, is horrid. There is absolutely no benefit over packaged game pricing, so the notion to download and store a game on a small hard disk does not seem enticing.
2)Avatar Marketplace: Microsoft has introduced the ability to customise your avatar to the hilt with a new marketplace where you can buy clothes and accessories. But with prices ranging up to 400 Allard Bucks, it is a total rip-off. We wanted to pick up a storm trooper costume but the greedy bastards at Lucas sell the armour and the helmet separately. And then you buy the light-saber! So that's a lot of Allard Bucks for looking like everyone else. Ubisoft, though, is selling its Splinter Cell: Conviction stuff for decent prices, so be sure to check that out.
3)NetFlix: The new Xbox Live update brings with it access to the popular NetFlix service for movies on demand. However, we do not think this is available in India yet. We could not access it through the console, probably because of an IP check. We hope that perhaps someone like BigFlix could be roped in for the Indian audience.
4)Content Rating: The most useless new feature is that you can also rate content. Here’s the idiotic part – you can rate games that you have not played, and even those that have not yet been released. Wow, just wow.
Overall, we think the Xbox Live update is a step in the right direction, but still needs a lot of work before it can be of actual use.
To see more images of what the update looks like, check out Engadget’s gallery of pics.