Microsoft offering users the chance to preview Xbox update

Larry Hyrb also known as Xbox Live’s Major Nelson posted on his blog today that Microsoft is opening up their next system update to the public. Microsoft has created an application for for Xbox 360 owners to sign up for an opportunity to preview the next update to their gaming console. According to Major Nelson they are looking at a new disc format for the Xbox 360.

Those chosen to participate in the preview will receive a copy of Halo: Reach along with other possible rewards. He says they are looking for multiple thousands of participants and the preview is only open to those living in the US. Xbox Live Gold members will be given priority but Xbox Live Silver members are welcome to sign up for a chance to be a part of the preview.

Users participating in the update will still be able to use all of the normal features of Xbox Live such as chatting with friends or joining a party.

No further details were offered about the new disc format, what it might bring to the console or when it would be released to the public. The trials are scheduled to start in the next couple of weeks which will hopefully lead Microsoft to divulge a little more information about their new discs.

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Once day there will be more countries in the world than just the United States of America. It will be a good day.

i am just wondering what this all really entails? for media to change settings that cannot be reverted back is a bit mind bumbling. maybe a service pack for xbox?? ??

belto said,
i am just wondering what this all really entails? for media to change settings that cannot be reverted back is a bit mind bumbling. maybe a service pack for xbox?? ??

It seems fairly simple to me. My understanding is that they are changing the way Xbox 360 game DVDs are written in future, primarily as an anti-piracy measure. I'm guessing the copy of Halo: Reach that each participant will receive will be a special copy encoded in the new format to test the new method.

This will be an addition to the console, not a replacement. Old format discs will still work on the new firmware, only new games going forward will be released in the new format. Thus forcing everybody to apply the firmware update to get the latest games. My only concern will be those with Xbox 360 consoles that are 100% offline, standalone devices. How will they get the update?

I signed up. Now we play the waiting game.

I am glad I saw this before going to work so that I could access my console information. Otherwise I would have been going bananas expecting it to close before going back home.

lflashl said,
"they are looking at a new disc format for the Xbox 360" could this mean they are going blu-ray?

That would require new hardware I believe. I was thinking of maybe a way to Overburn maybe and get more from the DVD's. Guess we'll see.

lflashl said,
"they are looking at a new disc format for the Xbox 360" could this mean they are going blu-ray?
I hope so. If you make a 360: Blu-ray edition, too, you can include a faster CPU and have a psudo-Xbox 720

lflashl said,
"they are looking at a new disc format for the Xbox 360" could this mean they are going blu-ray?

My guess is a new encryption scheme for 360 games. Like the above poster said, Blu-Ray would require a hardware change (replacing the DVD drive). This seems like an attack on DVD drives with hacked firmware that allow burned games to be played.

lflashl said,
"they are looking at a new disc format for the Xbox 360" could this mean they are going blu-ray?

I wish they'd release an XBox with a Bluray drive already...

lflashl said,
"they are looking at a new disc format for the Xbox 360" could this mean they are going blu-ray?

I think so, they will continue to use DVD's for games and they will test the read speed and performance in games of the DVD's on the blu-ray player. Well, I hope so.

M_Lyons10 said,

I wish they'd release an XBox with a Bluray drive already...

I so hope not...

The BluRay drive performance is still horrid in comparison, and I do not want to have to start loading every game I buy to the HD like we do on the PS3 just to get DVD like performance. (And the PS3 still has slower load times 99% of the time.)

BluRay can already be replaced by cheap Flash drives, there is no reason to be shipping games or any other content on optical media today. I hope even DVD game distribution is kill before long.

Microsoft does have other technologies using a standard DVD drive that gains storage space and they need to tighted security a bit, especially when getting ready for non-optical distribution, like on Flash.

thenetavenger said,
The BluRay drive performance is still horrid in comparison, and I do not want to have to start loading every game I buy to the HD like we do on the PS3 just to get DVD like performance. (And the PS3 still has slower load times 99% of the time.)

Got any stats to back that up? I now have a Blu-Ray drive on my PC and it copies data to and from DVDs just as fast as my previous DVD-RW drive.

thenetavenger said,
BluRay can already be replaced by cheap Flash drives, there is no reason to be shipping games or any other content on optical media today. I hope even DVD game distribution is kill before long.
DO NOT WANT!

1) You cannot resell, give away, or trade games with a downloaded game.
2) With optical media, it does not require an Internet connection to download the game.
3) Game discs, price not controlled by a single company, are more often on sale than downloads, price controlled by a single company.

"no reason"?

Edited by XP1, Mar 31 2011, 4:43pm :

Another feature restricted to the US, don't think ill renew my xbox live service again here in Australia. Being able to play online is nice and all, but the only other features here are Facebook & Twitter on live, hardly features. Oh and Foxtel through the 360, which is like cable tv, but only 11 average channels costing $20 a month and counts towards download usage (problem here).

Why can't we have netflix in Australia arrrrgh, or even Indie games.

Nevertheless it's cool that microsoft does things like this, but restricting non-US markets to just the very basic features of Xbox live and charging more doesn't please make it appealing.

Matt B said,

Nevertheless it's cool that microsoft does things like this, but restricting non-US markets to just the very basic features of Xbox live and charging more doesn't please make it appealing.

Microsoft is a US-based company, you know..

DigitalE said,

Microsoft is a US-based company, you know..

No, Microsoft is a multinational company.

Ugh. Stupid comment system posted this in the wrong thread

Matt B said,
Another feature restricted to the US, don't think ill renew my xbox live service again here in Australia. Being able to play online is nice and all, but the only other features here are Facebook & Twitter on live, hardly features. Oh and Foxtel through the 360, which is like cable tv, but only 11 average channels costing $20 a month and counts towards download usage (problem here).

Why can't we have netflix in Australia arrrrgh, or even Indie games.

Nevertheless it's cool that microsoft does things like this, but restricting non-US markets to just the very basic features of Xbox live and charging more doesn't please make it appealing.


The "feature" will likely be rolled out to all. This is a Beta and those are very often restricted to one region. It cuts down on unnecesary duplication. It's only smart to do this.

x9_ said,

No, Microsoft is a multinational company.

Ugh. Stupid comment system posted this in the wrong thread

You're wrong just because it's a multinational company doesn't mean it isn't based in the United States. It's a multinational company based in the US.

Matt B said,
Another feature restricted to the US, don't think ill renew my xbox live service again here in Australia. Being able to play online is nice and all, but the only other features here are Facebook & Twitter on live, hardly features. Oh and Foxtel through the 360, which is like cable tv, but only 11 average channels costing $20 a month and counts towards download usage (problem here).

Why can't we have netflix in Australia arrrrgh, or even Indie games.

Nevertheless it's cool that microsoft does things like this, but restricting non-US markets to just the very basic features of Xbox live and charging more doesn't please make it appealing.

Hulu, Netflix etc are US only and that's not Microsofts problem. Microsoft is working with BT here (UK) to bring IPTV, but BT channels/products won't be available any where else in the world. A lot of features for the Xbox are restricted to the regions of the world because the products they are offer are restricted to them.

I'm sure as soon as Netflix/Hulu come to Australia or the UK etc we'll get them, but until them, we have to stick with our own specific services, and nothing Microsoft can really do unless they release a competitive product against those surfaces - which they can't - since stuff like 'Movies' and 'Television Programs', have to be licenced outside of a country before they can go international. And just because you can go out and 'buy' a movie doesn't mean Microsoft has a licence to stream it to you.

Blame Hollywood!

Matt B said,
Another feature restricted to the US, don't think ill renew my xbox live service again here in Australia. Being able to play online is nice and all, but the only other features here are Facebook & Twitter on live, hardly features. Oh and Foxtel through the 360, which is like cable tv, but only 11 average channels costing $20 a month and counts towards download usage (problem here).

Why can't we have netflix in Australia arrrrgh, or even Indie games.

Nevertheless it's cool that microsoft does things like this, but restricting non-US markets to just the very basic features of Xbox live and charging more doesn't please make it appealing.

Well, I can't say I really sympathize with you, cause this ISN'T a feature. This is a test for a new disc format and dashboard update. If they're providing physical test samples to people, it makes sense to provide it within the home country.

As for Netflix... all I can say is, they probably have some choice in whether their subscriptions go out of country or not, so if you really want a business like that in Australia, I guess you'll just have to go start one yourself =\

Sraf said,

A disc format change that adds Hulu?


I missed the part where Microsoft said the update ONLY contained a disc format update.

IMPORTANT: You must meet the following criteria in order to proceed with registration to participate in the Xbox LIVE Update program:

1. Live in the continental USA
2. Be a Registered Xbox LIVE Member

Well there goes my chance

_DP said,

FFS, Big surprise!


It would cost more to ship to outside US, and they get plenty of participants in the continental USA -- no reason for them to offer it to other countries or alaska/hawaii.

Ruran said,

It would cost more to ship to outside US, and they get plenty of participants in the continental USA -- no reason for them to offer it to other countries or alaska/hawaii.

Cost more to "ship" electronic 1s and 0s through the internet to people outside the US?

Lamest apologist excuse ever. Being outside of the US hasn't stopped my being on the last two dashboard previews.

Joker. said,
I don't understand why MS would be doing this other than to combat piracy

maybe because ever since vista they seem to be taking peoples feedback more seriously.. I have noticed they seem to be wanting the general publics feelings of their new releases such as Xbox, IE9, Windows 7 and I think this is also why we have seen so many leaks of windows 8.. Its a sneaky way to get feedback of what they are upto..

Joker. said,
I don't understand why MS would be doing this other than to combat piracy
Because Piraced xboxes are virtually undetectable... It jumps every protection and challenges the AP 2.5 which has been recently activated.
Even the Slim, which had inside checks and a plethora of protection more has been defeated. (Took almost a year, though) The Firmware of the First 360s Slim will be out in no time, and MS has no way to detect them (until now)

Lachlan said,

maybe because ever since vista they seem to be taking peoples feedback more seriously...

Well they definately ignored the peoples feedback with Windows Home Server 2011… (Considering that WHS is a niche it's really risky to ignore the feedback you're given!)

MFH said,

Well they definately ignored the peoples feedback with Windows Home Server 2011… (Considering that WHS is a niche it's really risky to ignore the feedback you're given!)

WTH has WHS goes to do with the Xbox 360?