Tag Archives: New Xbox Experience

Testing Facebook, Twitter and Zune Video store on Xbox 360

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I assigned to the Xbox Live preview update for Xbox 360 and got into the first wave on October 22. Updated the Xbox with this falls big updates, which gives you Facebook, Twitter, Zune Video store and Last.FM (but only in US & UK) right on your Xbox 360. The update will go live for everyone sometimes in November. This is a preview release, so functions can changed or added I guess.

In the YouTube-video bellow, you can watch my recordings done with my Hauppauge HD-PVR. It was recorded at 1080i and downconverted to 720p before uploading it to YouTube.

Zune Video Store

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Zune Video store is the greatest news for me. Up until now only US and 5-6 selected countries in Europe had the option to rent movies on Xbox 360. With this update, 18 countries (including Norway) have the advantage to rent online. And best of all, you can stream movies in 1080p (not every movie, but some).

As of now, 89 movies are available for streaming/downloading in Norway. Not a lot, but we had zero, so it’s a start. When this is update goes public, I guess we will have more movies. Of the 89 movies, 19 are in HD. SD movies are priced at 350 Microsoft points, and HD are 470. But this price will probably vary at bit if the movies are new or old. The 19 HD movies are: Absolute Power, Constantine, Eyes Wide Shut, The Fugitive, Full Metal Jacket, Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisnoer of Azkaban, The Last Samurai, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Ocean’s Twelve, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Three Kings, Training Day, Troy – Director’s Cut, V for Vandetta.

I have a 12Mbit connection had watched Three Kings in HD. The quality was very good. When started, it buffered for a few seconds and played fine without any hickups for the whole movie. It was a great experience. I will definitivly rent more movies. Very easy, and the price is OK too.

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Facebook

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You can do almost everything with Facebook on the 360 as on the PC, almost. You can read news feeds, update your status, watch your pictures and your friends pictures. You can check whick of your Facebook friends who are on Xbox Live and vica versa. But there is no inbox. So you can read messages sendt to you.

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Twitter

With Twitter you can see the 50 last tweets from the people you’re following. You can write your own tweets, do search and see trending topics. I works well, but it will take ages to type in those tweets with your controller, even if it’s only 140 letters. Now is the time to get that Messanger kit/chatpad (check Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Play-Asia.com), it makes it much easier to type.

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Last.FM

I haven’t tested Last.FM since that service is only available in US and UK. But it lets you stream music on the Xbox 360. I used my US account the get the picture.

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Conclusion

I’ve only been testing it for a couple of days, and it looks promising. It’s cool to have Facebook and Twitter on Xbox 360, but I can’t see that I will use it on a regualar basis. Both Facebook, Twitter and Last.FM can be used when you’re in the Dashboard. It cannot be used ingame. And for now, Last.FM is for the US and UK only.

The feature I will be using most is the Zune video store. For the first time, people in Norway and 11 other countries (18 in total) can enjoy movie rental on Xbox 360. Streaming movies at 1080p work very well. I have a 12Mbit connection and would like to hear from you with lower bandwidth and how it worked for you.

All in all, a good upgrade to the Dashboard.


If you use the screenshots, please link back to this post. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0.

Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm and Zune soon on Xbox 360

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It’s getting closer to the next Xbox 360 Dashboard update. The new firmware will bring you four new services to the Xbox. It will let you use Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm and Zune from the Xbox 360 Dashboard. According to Xbox UK the update will come on November 17. Also there will be a public beta end of this month. If you live in UK, you will also get the Sky Player sometime this fall, which will let you watch TV on the Xbox.

If you are a heavy user of Facebook and/or Twitter, now is the time to invest in Xbox 360 Messenger Kit for text typing. I’ve been using it close to a couple of years now and it’s way better to type text than useing the controller.

For an indepth preview of the new services, you can check out Joystiq.com or watch the video from Engadget.com below.

Xbox 360: Free Your Avatar

If you go to Xbox.co.uk, you can free your avatar. You can  use your avatar and place it on backgrounds and export as profile pictures for MySpace or Facebook. Or you can send it to a friend.

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Type in your gamertag name or your friends name.

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Choose a nice background. They could have added some more.

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If you want, you can add some text too.

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The next thing is too choose the size of your final picture and hit Ready! which will export your picture.

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You can also add more than one avatar to the picture. Here’s one with Major Nelsonmy self and e.

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If you think this application is a bit limited, you can get your (or everyone elses) avatar with this method:

http://avatar.xboxlive.com/avatar/GAMERTAG/avatar-body.png

…where you GAMERTAG is your Xbox gamertag. You can then use the picture in whatever software you like.  Major Nelson, e and me (technofranki) will look like this:

  

Xbox 360: A Kingdom for Keflings on XBLA with avatars

On November 19 the long waited NXE update is hitting your Xbox. Along side with the firmware update, UNO!, Bomberman Live, Hardwood Hearts and Hardwood Spades will also be updated to support avatars (Gamerscoreblog.com).

Also, A Kingdom for Keflings will be released with avatar support at 800 points.

Full quote from GamerscoreBlog.com:

You play a giant. Not just any giant, either. The giant will take on the form of the Avatar you created. With this giant, you supervise the building of a metropolis that starts as a simple village. Order your Keflings around making them chop wood, build, etc. You can even paint your buildings to make them even more “yours”.

Oh, and if you get bored and need to get out some aggression, you can kick them around a little. Not that I would ever do such a thing. Ever…

Other features of the game (ripped from the media blast) are:

  • The ability to build cities online cooperatively with up to 3 friends
  • Stylized animated graphics that change with the seasons and season-based gameplay
A dynamic-music soundtrack (which adapts to the season and the state of the village)
 

Xbox 360: NXE – Gamerscore Blog: Party And Photo Sharing

This week at GamerscoreBlog, they talk about Party And Photo Sharing in the New Xbox Experience. November 19 is coming closes every day now.

Xbox LIVE Party will let you and up to seven friends jump from experience to experience while staying connected at all times. If you have a weekly Gears match and one friend is always late – no worries. The rest of you can join a Party and either voice chat or play a quick game of Castle Crashers while you wait. Once your no good, lazy a** friend shows up (you know who you are), one person will be able to bring your group into the lobby of Gears with just the click of a button. Really – it’s that easy.