Tag Archives: 360S
Much like last year when we heard about AirPlay Mirroring that provided some similar functionality to what we saw from the newly announced Wii U, this year it was Microsoft’s turn to offer something that could cause consumers to hesitate when it comes time to decide whether Nintendo’s new system is worth buying. The rumored SmartGlass functionality we’ve heard about in recent days was confirmed during Microsoft’s E3 press briefing this morning, making it possible to connect any number of mobile devices with the Xbox 360.
On a basic level, SmartGlass is similar to Apple’s AirPlay wireless streaming technology. Content can be sent from phones or tablets to the television screen and vice versa. For instance, you could be watching a movie on your tablet and then resume from that same point on your Xbox 360. By pushing the movie from one device to the other, the tablet still served a purpose: It began displaying supplementary information like the movie’s cast. What was more impressive was watching an episode of Game of Thrones on the 360′s HBO Go app and being able to follow along with an interactive map on the tablet that can show where the characters are located. In theory it’s a very cool idea, although one has to wonder how widespread the support for this will be.
Taking your Xbox 360 online with a pirated game, using a modded console, and cheating are all recipes for getting banned from Xbox Live. Typically these bans are handled by individuals at Microsoft. Recently, a number of bans were handed out by a piece of software and it appears that mistakes were made.
Stephen Toulouse, the head of Xbox Live’s Policy and Enforcement team, has written a blog post today explaining that a number of suspensions were mistakenly made by this software that is sometimes used. It occurred between August 29 and September 9, and those who were impacted will find that their console has been unbanned. To make it up to those affected users, Microsoft will soon grant them a free three-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold and 1,600 Microsoft Points ($ 20).
“Recently, it was brought to our attention that a number of customers had concerns about the validity of a recent ban of their individual consoles, which they feel had been triggered inaccurately,” he wrote. “In this case, the bans were related specifically to modded consoles. I take these claims very seriously, and after an initial investigation we have confirmed that a handful of banned consoles did in-fact appear to not have been modified or tampered with. We’re still conducting our review but the cause appears to be a software issue, not an error on the part of the enforcement team’s normal actions. It’s very specific and occurred between August 29 and September 9, affecting a very small percentage of users.”
Following up on the original Blades dashboard and the New Xbox Experience, Microsoft is calling the latest iteration of the Xbox 360 dashboard “Twist Control.”
Expected to be out before the end of the year, it features heavier Kinect integration and many of the features announced at E3. Those include voice search (along with Bing), live TV, and YouTube, as well as cloud storage of game saves and profiles, Beacons, and additional Facebook connectivity (so you can ‘Like’ games and make note of your Achievements).
Beacons sound particularly cool, as they allow you to broadcast what you’d like to play while doing something else. It other words, it lets you tell friends you’re interested in playing a certain game while keeping yourself occupied by playing something else or watching a movie on Netflix.
A statement Microsoft gave to Eurogamer reveals that the soon-to-be released Xbox 360 firmware update, announced by Major Neslon a little over a month ago, will not be compatible with every console. According to the statement, a “very small number” of 360s will lose the ability to play retail disc games upon updating the system.
Microsoft says, “This issue manifests itself as a unique ‘disc unreadable’ or ‘disc unsupported’ error on the screen. We are also able to detect this issue over Xbox Live and are proactively reaching out to customers that may be impacted to replace their console.”
Plenty of guessing took place yesterday as to what the new Xbox 360 disc format would actually change. According to reports, it will still be a DVD, but it will allow for an additional gigabyte of storage to be used by developers, as well as enhancing anti-piracy measures.
Just 6.8GB of a standard, dual-layer DVD (with a maximum storage capacity of 7.95GB) is able to be used for Xbox 360 games due to more than 1GB being dedicated to an anti-piracy partition, according to Digital Foundry. While it’s unclear what exactly is being changed from a technical standpoint, the new disc format will provide developers with an allotment of almost 15% more space for storing games.
Corroborating the suggestion that the storage capacity will increase is noteworthy Xbox hacker commodore4eva. Ripten reports c4eva stated that the new format will also bring new safeguards against piracy: “MS will introduce xgd3 – this will add more ap checks, cvi (content integerity) checks, increase the disc size and adds a new layer for protection issues – all in the 20500 sdk! bring it on”