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Xbox Live Fall Update Drops Tomorrow 78

Posted by Zonk
from the watch-for-falling-servers dept.
Game|Life has a rundown on the Fall Update for Xbox Live. In addition to the Friend of a Friend feature we discussed last week, you'll also be seeing the first of the Xbox Originals download titles, a few Arcade games will be a bit lower cost, and a new 'family timer' option will let parents put caps on service use time. "You'll also be able to expand your bio, providing more detailed information about yourself to the Xbox Live community ... apparently I wasn't the only one going blind trying to watch those itty-bitty move previews, because now you'll be able to see them full-screen. The update also comes with "enhanced video codec support," which means that your DivX and Xvid files will play on your 360." Remember, if you don't want everyone seeing the folks on your Friends List you need to change your settings now. Plus, everybody should snag Psychonauts; make Tim Schafer a happy man for Christmas.
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Xbox Live Fall Update Drops Tomorrow

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  • by falzbro (468756) on Monday December 03, 2007 @12:19PM (#21561371) Homepage
    Just a heads up for some poeple who intend to use the Xvid support but want to stream. The 360 requires a UPnP server to do it, they prefer you use Windows Media Center or whichever version of Vista does that. However, there are several other alternatives. The one I was able to get work best on FreeBSD (actually, the only one to work on FreeBSD) was ushare [geexbox.org]. There are several other options for linux, as well as windows and OSX.
    • by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday December 03, 2007 @12:25PM (#21561471)
      TVersity (for windows boxes) is quite nice too. I've tried a couple under Ubuntu and Suse, and all are better than the crippled Windows Media Connect software and Media Player 11. Tversity is the best I've seen though, wish they had a Linux version.
      • TVersity (for windows boxes) is quite nice too. I've tried a couple under Ubuntu and Suse, and all are better than the crippled Windows Media Connect software and Media Player 11. Tversity is the best I've seen though, wish they had a Linux version.

        Just goes to show how Microsoft cuts off the nose to spite the face. There's no reason why the 360 couldn't act like a normal PC and just directly play media off my desktop hard drive. Instead, I've got my pretty 360 and a table by the TV to put a laptop so I can play vids and movies over the wireless from my damn desktop. Stupid duplication of hardware thanks to Microsoft being dicks. When free60 finds a hole so they can run unsigned code, Microsoft patches the hole. Nooo! We can't have anyone violating o

        • by radish (98371) on Monday December 03, 2007 @02:25PM (#21563027) Homepage
          I'm not really sure what you're complaining about here. The 360 will stream from any compatible upnp server. Tversity isn't a "hack", just a upnp server. I can stream videos from my desktop (or my server) just fine...no laptop required.

          And as for your "There's no reason why the 360 couldn't act like a normal PC and just directly play media off my desktop hard drive" - what protocol would you like them to support? SMB? NFS? Personally I prefer upnp (although it's far from perfect) because it gives you different browsing models (like by Artist, Album etc) rather than just a file hierarchy.

          When free60 finds a hole so they can run unsigned code, Microsoft patches the hole. Nooo! We can't have anyone violating our principle of control! Cunts.

          Yeah, imagine that, they want people to actually pay for games.
          • by Mr2001 (90979)

            And as for your "There's no reason why the 360 couldn't act like a normal PC and just directly play media off my desktop hard drive" - what protocol would you like them to support? SMB?
            Yeah, actually, SMB would be great. Xbox Media Center supports it: just make your default download folder shared and bam, you can instantly play any media file the moment it's downloaded, without even needing to un-RAR it.
          • "Yeah, imagine that, they want people to actually pay for games."

            There are many, many of us who would like more access to our hardware for legitimate, non copyright-infringing uses. Unless of course you mean "they want to force people to pay for dames and not use the 360 for anything else", which is probably the most accurate.
            • by radish (98371)
              No, the problem is that once the box is cracked for other uses it will also be used for copied games - you might not use it for that but many others will. That's their primary revenue stream so it's pretty unreasonable to expect them to risk that to allow a very small percentage of users to install their own stuff.

              If you want a PC next to your TV for playing movies or whatever then get one - you can certainly get something useful for the $400 the 360 costs (and it'll have a decent size HDD!). Otherwise, und
              • In all fairness, in the PC world developers can have their software DRM and allow open garage development too... there's no reason Consoles couldn't block piracy and allow open development at the same time.

                I agree that the 360's "express" SDK is very open minded for the console world, but IMO it's not a replacement for "homebrew" unless they allow non-developers access to use the garage developed content without buying their own developer license... that and more access to the hardware, not being able to
                • by radish (98371)
                  In all fairness, in the PC world developers can have their software DRM and allow open garage development too...

                  The problem is that, as we all know, it doesn't work in the slightest. Any game released on the PC is available with a NoCD patch usually from day 1. You and I both dislike the whole closed system/"trusted" computing model, but the truth is that any kind of copy protection is defeatable in an open system. It sucks, but IMHO the commercial PC games market - already a shadow of it's former self - w
          • by olman (127310)
            I'm not really sure what you're complaining about here. The 360 will stream from any compatible upnp server. Tversity isn't a "hack", just a upnp server. I can stream videos from my desktop (or my server) just fine...no laptop required.

            One that's excruciatingly slow about core functionality such as hashing the media files. You might want to try simplecenter (www.simplecenter.org) if you simply want to serve compatible media (no transcoding) .. Transcoding is possible but you have to pay for it.
    • The biggest problem I have with using my xbox 360 for streaming video, is that its too LOUD. Once those fans in the 360 start kicking up, you're going to hear it the entire show. I've found it much nicer to load up front row on a mac mini connected to my LCD TV then stream the XviD from the server over the windows share.

      However, uPnP is still something I wish front row could do, and will definitely make using my 360 more attractive when I can use a linux movie server as opposed to a windows server (I also
      • by d0rp (888607)

        Is there anything out there which can help dampen the sound of the 360 other than storing it in a cabinet?
        Nothing that I am aware of, and from my experience, storing it in a cabinet doesn't help much either because the fans start blowing harder to try and keep it cool in a confined space (even though there is a hole in the back), hence it gets even louder and you haven't accomplished anything.
    • by Erwos (553607)
      ushare sucks, at least for 360 streaming. It's a PITA to set up, and it fails miserably when you've got a folders with multiple types of media in it (eg, photos and videos, from my digital camera). I have no idea why people keep recommending it, other than the fact that it's relatively well-known. I've heard better things about fuppes, but I haven't had the chance to try it yet.

      Twonky intrigued me, but music stuttered like crazy with it. Oh well.
    • by dabraun (626287)

      The 360 requires a UPnP server to do it, they prefer you use Windows Media Center or whichever version of Vista does that.

      Actually, Windows Media Center is not a UPnP server at all, and the support for remoting media center to the xbox has not changed one drop in this update (and still doesn't support DivX for example).

      Windows Media Player, Zune (app), Windows Home Server, and countless non-Microsoft apps are UPnP servers and can serve files to the updated dashboard media player on the xbox, including divx

  • Psychonauts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Monday December 03, 2007 @12:21PM (#21561403) Homepage Journal
    I started playing Psychonauts this weekend (on the original Xbox) and my God, is that a great game. I used to play Monkey Island and Full Throttle when I was younger so I don't know why I ignored this game for so long. Everything about it is awesome. Great graphics, great voice acting, great story, amazing level design. I put in about 12 hours this weekend and had to struggle to stop last night. I seriously have to recommend this game to just about everyone. Right now it's free on Gametap through the end of the year but you can also find it on Steam and now Xbox Live. I bought a copy from a friend for cheap and it's been worth every penny.
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      I started playing Psychonauts this weekend (on the original Xbox) and my God, is that a great game.

      I played the demo version off Steam. I can best describe it as a 3d platform game, a sort of toony -like game... But it felt too childish for my tastes (particularly because it seemed aimed for a younger audience).

      Great graphics

      The character models, levels didn't look that detailed to be honest. I think in comparison, the toony graphics from team fortress 2 were better.

      • by revlayle (964221)
        I wouldn't necessarily recommend this game for a young audience... ok, *maybe* teenagers (the humor is really too dark over the course of the game, ultimately). I still heartily recommend it myself, just finished playing this weekend and was impressed. The graphics AREN'T that detailed, but certainly has a awesomely unique style. This game, of course, IMNSHO, is not for everyone, but has a bigger potential demographic than at first seems.
        • No, the game is not directed towards kids. I would say kids could play it, but it's kinda like a darker Shrek movie where all the really funny jokes fly right over the kids' heads. About the graphics, I thought they were really good, though I don't own any next gen systems or a PC. I guess I really enjoyed the art style.
          • by Ash-Fox (726320)

            No, the game is not directed towards kids.

            Teenagers possibly, my mind does not really separate teenagers and kids too well unfortunately.

            About the graphics, I thought they were really good, though I don't own any next gen systems or a PC.

            My gaming system is not really next gen either:

            Processor: Athlon 64 1808 Mhz (single core, no SSE3)
            RAM: 1GB
            Graphic card: RADEON X600 pro 128 MB
            Sound card: NVIDIA nForce Audio
            Using resolution 1024x768 for all games.

            It's under the minimum requirements to play Call Of Duty 4,

      • TF2 is way newer. I imagine that has something to do with it.
        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          TF2 is way newer. I imagine that has something to do with it.
          After looking at the wikipedia entry, I was surprised. I thought it was a new game :)

          Even so, I don't think the models were really that limited in 2005.
      • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
        But it felt too childish for my tastes (particularly because it seemed aimed for a younger audience).

        Out of curiosity, what constitutes a "grown-up" game?

        For example, given a fan of Psychonauts and a fan of Grand Theft Auto, which would you consider to more likely be a mature, intelligent adult?
        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          Out of curiosity, what constitutes a "grown-up" game?

          I don't know really. I just know Psychonauts isn't for me, it feels too childish or teenagerish? - especially when it comes to the dialog of the characters, I really feel it is aimed for a younger audience (as opposed to younger and above).

          For example, given a fan of Psychonauts and a fan of Grand Theft Auto, which would you consider to more likely be a mature, intelligent adult?

          I have never played GTA. The idea of a game about stealing cars does not appe

          • by deek (22697)

            I don't know really. I just know Psychonauts isn't for me, it feels too childish or teenagerish? - especially when it comes to the dialog of the characters, I really feel it is aimed for a younger audience (as opposed to younger and above).

            I think you've only tried the first half of the game, in which you generally talk with the other kids in the camp. The dialog is certainly going to feel childish, because it is children that you are speaking with.

            When you start to delve into the insane asylum, the dialog

            • by Ash-Fox (726320)

              I think you've only tried the first half of the game, in which you generally talk with the other kids in the camp.

              Sorry, but that is the extent of the demo. I am not going to buy the game if I get a opinion from the demo that I do not like it.

              Don't discount it just based on your initial impressions.

              As I mentioned earlier, I played the demo. The demo is supposed to give you a feel of the game's worth, if I don't get a valid feel from the demo, they have done something wrong.

              • by deek (22697)

                Sorry, but that is the extent of the demo. I am not going to buy the game if I get a opinion from the demo that I do not like it.

                That's up to you, of course. You might want to consider looking past the demo in this instance, though. It is a truly spectacular game, with some very unique level design in the latter half. It's not without flaws; the last level (Meat Circus) is ordinary, and feels almost like an anti-climax, in the wake of the sheer brilliance of the previous psych levels. But otherw

                • by Kanon (152815)
                  I wouldn't bother trying to change his mind. Some people see cartoony graphics and situations and instantly their heads say "It's a kiddie game. I'll go back to bashing prostitutes". It happened with Wind Waker and it'll certainly happen to Psychonauts now it's gone high profile. Some people are just built that way. You'd be better off finding someone who hasn't caged his inner child ;)
      • But it felt too childish for my tastes (particularly because it seemed aimed for a younger audience)

        Trust me, it's definitely not aimed at children. And even if it were, so what? It's an awesome game. Are you not going to play Super Mario Galaxy (the second best rated game of all times on gamerankings.com) just because the graphics have too many colors?

        I think in comparison, the toony graphics from team fortress 2 were better

        Perhaps that might be because one of these two games is a few years old and the other is brand new?

        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          Trust me, it's definitely not aimed at children. And even if it were, so what? It's an awesome game. Are you not going to play Super Mario Galaxy (the second best rated game of all times on gamerankings.com) just because the graphics have too many colors?

          I never said graphics was everything. But the guy said the graphics were 'great'. I didn't see them as such.

          Additionally, I am not going to play Super Mario galaxy because I don't own a Wii.

          Perhaps that might be because one of these two games is a few years

          • by LKM (227954)

            Additionally, I am not going to play Super Mario galaxy because I don't own a Wii.

            That doesn't answer the question, though.

            I didn't know that at the time I posted, however - I don't believe models were that limited in 2005 and we certainly had bump-mapping back then.

            Yeah, it was mainly a console game, though. I'm guessing lead development platform was the PS2.

            • by Ash-Fox (726320)

              That doesn't answer the question, though.

              Okay, your original question is:

              Are you not going to play Super Mario Galaxy (the second best rated game of all times on gamerankings.com) just because the graphics have too many colors?

              You brought up a negative problem where it has 'too many colors'. I'm not even sure how that is possible? I haven't even seen "too many colors" in the trailers.

              However, if what you say is true which makes playing the game annoying, then here is your answer: No, I won't play it.

              • by LKM (227954)
                Okay, since you seem hell-bent on misunderstanding the question, let my try to rephrase it:

                Would you not play a game like Mario Galaxy - which is the second-highest reviewed game of all time - just because it looks like it is suitable for children?

                The question is rhetorical, by the way, and the implication I'm trying to make is that not playing a game because it appear "childish" is extremely strange. Psychonauts has a deep story, interesting characters, good gameplay, and is amazingly written, yet you disc
                • by Ash-Fox (726320)

                  Would you not play a game like Mario Galaxy - which is the second-highest reviewed game of all time - just because it looks like it is suitable for children?

                  Being suitable for children and being targeted heavily for children is a different thing all together. I enjoy the "new Super Mario brothers [nintendo.com]" on my DS, I don't feel the dialog or characters are specifically targeted at a young certain age group.

                  The question is rhetorical, by the way, and the implication I'm trying to make is that not playing a game beca

    • by Tim Browse (9263)

      I started playing Psychonauts this weekend (on the original Xbox) and my God, is that a great game.

      LAKE MONSTER!!!

      :-)

    • by Seumas (6865)
      I've been wanting to play Psychonauts for a very long time, but I could not find a copy anywhere.
  • by Jesterboy (106813) on Monday December 03, 2007 @12:27PM (#21561493)
    Found through Xvid / DivX files link [msdn.com], there's this little gem:

    12. What size USB storage device does the Xbox 360 support?

    The Xbox 360 will support as big of a storage device as you can format using FAT32. Unfortunately when formatting a device in Windows Vista or Windows XP you will be restricted to a maximum FAT32 size of 32GB. You can work around this limitation by using a 3rd party utility or using an alternative Operating System that does not have this restriction. Please note that the maximum size of any single file on FAT32 is 4GB.
    Rather amusing. According to this article [microsoft.com], the 32GB limit was decided upon due to FAT32's linear-time algorithms; above this limit, they start taking inordinate amounts of time to just calculate free space.

    It was good for a chuckle, though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by antifoidulus (807088)
      They are telling you not to use XP as well. I decided to investigate this, and found a little nugget of typical Microsoftness from wikipedia:

      Windows 2000 and Windows XP can read and write to FAT32 file systems of any size, but the format program on Windows XP can only create FAT32 file systems up to 32 GiB. The format program with Windows 2000, however, can in fact create FAT32 file systems larger than 32 GiB.

      So they could do something in an older version of the OS that they cannot do in the newer?!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fotbr (855184)
        By default XP and Vista both use NTFS, but they retain the ability to do (some) FAT32 formatting to keep the users happy.

        If they dropped FAT32, there'd be bitching and moaning here about how MS is "forcing" users to use something else.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bryansix (761547)

        As an aside, why are they even using FAT32 at all?
        Because almost all external hard drives are pre-formatted in FAT32 for compatability. You can reformat these drives later to another alternative but it sounds like the XBox 360 only sees FAT32 formatted drives. I could be wrong.
        • Correct. The xbox360 only sees FAT32 drives. I tried hooking up my USB drive formatted with NTFS to the 360, no luck.

          The 360 does work with FAT32. Just keep in mind that you have a limit of 4GB per file. This forces you to split movie files into multiple chunks if you're looking to play movies from the drive.

    • Thats funny.. I just used my OSX Tiger to format a 160GB hard drive for MSDOS (FAT). I was pretty amused when I found out I couldn't format to FAT in win XP. Those wily Redmonders!
  • by iainl (136759)
    For some reason I haven't quite got my head around yet, when you come to try out the Divx streaming, be sure to do it via the WMP sharing and the "videos" option of the media tab. Not through Media Centre Extender. According to the docs, it doesn't work there.

    Which is a bit strange, but the same goes for .mp4 files already, so there you go. I'm looking forward to not using Transcode360, as it's a bit flaky on my network, and my ageing PC isn't up to doing HD in realtime.
    • I'm pretty sure Media Center Extender is a separate application on the Xbox 360, delivered by a separate team. So the Xbox team has added the DivX support to the Xbox media player, but hasn't received an updated MCE with DivX support. My guess is that MCE was designed to be used on dedicated hardware, so they didn't plan for codecs to be installed outside of their app.
      • by dabraun (626287)

        I'm pretty sure Media Center Extender is a separate application on the Xbox 360, delivered by a separate team. So the Xbox team has added the DivX support to the Xbox media player, but hasn't received an updated MCE with DivX support. My guess is that MCE was designed to be used on dedicated hardware, so they didn't plan for codecs to be installed outside of their app.

        Correct on the first part. It's not really about 'dedicated hardware' or 'not planning for codec updates'. The software that runs media cen

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Out of curiosity, how have you gotten your copy of WMP to play MP4 files? I have a crapload of movies on MP4 from Handbrake on my old Mac G5, and I'd like to stream them to my Xbox 360 to play, but WMP doesn't seem to be able to play them, unless there's some obvious thing I'm missing. (I'm on Vista Ultimate, if that helps.)

      Windows Media Center/Extender didn't recognize my MP4s either.
      • by iainl (136759)
        It's a registry update, if I remember correctly, though I might have just associated the filetype. Google should know.

        Certainly, my usual route of dropping the .mp4s on a DVD and putting that straight in the 360 works perfectly. As at least 90% of my files in that format are big HD ones taken from the Apple or Yahoo sites with a bit of help from Dave's Trailer Page, streaming them over my wireless network isn't that reliable for me, in any case. Also, you can sneakily rename the extension to .wmv (or .mov,
  • I remember reading this story about a guy finding out his wife was cheating on him using the wii usage thing on it. I guess it would kinda hurt those that struggle with infidelity.
  • "Drops tomorrow"? Give me a break.

    You can tell gaming is now mainstream because it has so much bullshit...I mean, marketing buzzwords surrounding it.
    • "Drops tomorrow"? Give me a break.

      You can tell gaming is now mainstream because it has so much bullshit...I mean, marketing buzzwords surrounding it.
      "Drops tomorrow" is a lot simpler than "Will be available for download to members of Xbox live that are connected to the internet, own an Xbox360, and choose to accept the update on Tuesday." So, yes, it will be deployed to all SKUs simultaneously.
  • From section 10 of the blog entry

    You can stream or play Divx files from everything BUT Windows Media Center. Why the hell would they prevent that? Either a) they continue to not understand what users want or b) they don't want dvix/xvid competing with WMV for people who use Microsoft's preferred setup of WMC and an Xbox extender. Thank god for Transcode 360 but I was looking forward to ditching that and having native support.
    • by d0rp (888607)
      As VertigoAce posted in another comment:

      I'm pretty sure Media Center Extender is a separate application on the Xbox 360, delivered by a separate team. So the Xbox team has added the DivX support to the Xbox media player, but hasn't received an updated MCE with DivX support. My guess is that MCE was designed to be used on dedicated hardware, so they didn't plan for codecs to be installed outside of their app.

      It looks like you'll be able to stream/play Divx files on the 360 directly, via the media share (uPnP) on your Windows (or other!) computer. The MCE extender software is its own thing, separate from the rest of the xbox 360 software. This means, you'll be able to open and play the videos directly on the 360, without having to load up the MCE extender.

      I'm actually excited about this, because it means I won't have to switch the aspect ratio on my video projector to w

    • To see just how screwed up Microsoft is regarding codec support. http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archive/2007/09/24/1212782.aspx [msmvps.com] Each piece of hardware they sell can play only certain file formats. Zune goes outside of WMP 11 to purchase music. Previous Plays for Sure users got screwed when the Zune and the new music store came out. Xbox 360 has an all together different store for buying movies and TV. Zune has retarded restrictions on how it interacts with Windows Media Center. Regular XP and Vista users ca
      • Your argument might make more sense if the thousands of P2P sites, protocols, apps, formats, codecs, containers & hidden alt.binary.newsgroups weren't far more diverse and fragmented than even the MS conglomeration.

        I think the reasons are simply

        • price
        • freedom (no DRM or ads)
        • availability (for the more technically-minded at least)
    • by dabraun (626287)

      You can stream or play Divx files from everything BUT Windows Media Center. Why the hell would they prevent that? Either a) they continue to not understand what users want or b) they don't want dvix/xvid competing with WMV for people who use Microsoft's preferred setup of WMC and an Xbox extender. Thank god for Transcode 360 but I was looking forward to ditching that and having native support.

      They are not 'preventing' anything - the media center app is not part of the xbox flash, it is downloaded from the P

  • hey there

    I can not see xvid support on that list.... DivX yes but not XVID

    also Windows Media Center (not player) under vista how would you get XVID support ?
    (I can install the direct show filters but I think this only supports the media player not Media Center )

    strange

    john jones

    • by dabraun (626287)

      also Windows Media Center (not player) under vista how would you get XVID support ?
      (I can install the direct show filters but I think this only supports the media player not Media Center )

      The dshow codecs for DivX/XVid work in both media center and media player (and any other DShow app for that matter). They do not work on extender. For the extender scenario the media is streamed in still-encoded form (otherwise the bandwidth would be impossible to manage) and are decoded on the standalone box or 360 - th

  • by balthan (130165) on Monday December 03, 2007 @08:53PM (#21566951)
    Seriously. Is it to difficult to type "to be released?"
  • You can format the drive using HFS (Mac file system) and the 360 will read files from it perfectly. I use a program called Mac Drive http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive/ [mediafour.com] to transfer data from my Windows PC to my USB "Mac" hard drive. I then plug the USB HD into my 360 and play media off of there. It's a bit of a pain in the ass but for me it's the best option.
  • by Atario (673917) on Tuesday December 04, 2007 @03:09AM (#21569293) Homepage
    That we all institute a moratorium on saying that such-and-such drops, with the intent to mean debuts?
    • by CaseM (746707)
      Good idea! I can even supply the headline:

      "Moratorium on using the word drops drops on Slashdot"
  • ...is "Talisman" on XBL coming out?

    Everything else is secondary for us board game geeks.

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