Microsoft and its Xbox Live Gold membership are currently under lots of pressure due to their November 2010 price-hike of $60 a year for Xbox Live Gold, but Microsoft has been very good to us over the years and following are the 5 best updates that transformed the Xbox 360 due to Xbox Live.
Video Streaming via Windows Media Player
The Xbox 360 launched with Windows Media Center support which was more than chaotic and buggy to say the least. Windows Media Center on the Xbox 360 found playing multiple video formats difficult, crashed often, and took eons to run and load movie files. Fortunately for Xbox 360 fans, Microsoft updated the Xbox 360 to support streaming content from a multiple computers via Windows Media Player. The new WMP streaming capabilities allowed a wider range of video format playback, provided an easier way to navigate video libraries, and fixed the crappy user interface and loading times that Xbox users had to suffer through with the Xbox 360’s Windows Media Center program.
Social networking on the Xbox 360
One of the coolest updates that Microsoft added to Xbox Live that helped gamers stay connected to friends both in-game and in the real world was the implementation of Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm in November 2009. Due to the Xbox 360’s social network integration, Xbox 360 users are now able to update their statuses, comment on friend’s statuses, and view pictures on their favorite social networks.
Media Streaming via Last.fm, Zune, and Netflix
Microsoft added video and music streaming support as an added bonus to Xbox 360 users in November 2009, and these features were perfect for Xbox 360 users that didn’t have lots of music and video files loaded on their computers and USB flash drives. Media streaming transformed the Xbox 360 from just a gaming system into a media center made the Xbox 360 a device that the entire family could enjoy.
Microsoft launched an all new campaign called the “New Xbox Experience” and one of its features was the addition of in-game Avatars that could be dressed up and tweaked to represent how the gamer looked in real life. Avatars are fun to dress up and style and viewing your friends’ avatars can really give you a feel for how they are in real life.
USB flash drive support and the death of the MU stick
There was once a time when storing data could only been done with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Memory Units that were both bulky and didn’t supply lots of storage. In 2010 Microsoft changed the way the Xbox 360 could handle data which included being able to save game data, full games, and download DLC content to USB flash drives as large as 16GB – with a maximum of 2 USB flash drives and 32GB of storage. The new storage solution of the Xbox 360 provided a much more universal way to store and transfer data on the Xbox 360 and the 2010 Xbox 360 storage update worked to make gaming on the Xbox 360 more convenient.
For more, read The Five Best Types of Game to Play on the Xbox Kinect , Cool Xbox 360 Features that Have Nothing to Do with Gaming , and Can the New Xbox 360 Hardware Make Up for a Shaky 360 Past?
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