Xbox Live Update impressions

Monday, August 3, 2009
The latest update for Xbox Live will be making its way to your console soon, but we've been lucky enough to be given an early look at it. It's nothing next to the complete redesign the last update was but this little update contains some clever advances and long awaited features.

Most touted by Microsoft, the Avatar Marketplace allows you to purchase game themed clothes and accessories for your little digital cartoon selves. Like Halo? Buy a shirt with the game's logo on it. Be prepared to drop some dough, the prices for these items are a little high. I don't know about you but I have a problem with spending over 100 points for the Fable 2 Highwayman Boots. There is talk of rewards as well but I've yet to come across any (word is it'll be added later).

The majority of the changes are small and focus mostly on streamlining the experience. People dropped from a party unexpectedly will now automatically rejoin the party when they reconnect, things of that nature. There's the full game downloads, though I can't really understand why I'd want to take up all that hard drive space with games I can't trade in when I get tired of them.

If you're really interested in all the little changes, take a look at the full list from Crunchgear. The biggest face lift went to Netflix. You can finally update your instant queue from the console, although you can't browse the complete list of available titles for instant viewing.

Moreover, you can watch netflix movies with your friends in a party. As a longtime fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I can't really help but make fun of any movie I happen to see. Now my friends and I can watch and make fun of any number of bad films without worrying about the logistics of gas/snacks/babysitters. Hooray!

The update isn't that big a deal when it's all said and done. More ways to spend our money, more ways to get your friends together. That about sums it up.