Xbox 360 is receiving its annual dashboard update on December 6 according to Larry Hryb aka Major Nelson, this is what he had to say:
While many of you have been involved in the Xbox LIVE Preview Program and have been busy getting an early look at the next Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE features, I wanted to let you know that the official release for the update for all Xbox LIVE members will be Tuesday, December 6th. In this update, free to all console owners, you will see:
- New personal and social features including Cloud Storage for Game Saves and LIVE Profile
- Beacons and Facebook Sharing
- Enhanced Family Settings
- Integrated voice and gesture controls across the dashboard and in apps
- Bing voice search (Available this year in the US, UK and CA)
In addition to all these great dashboard features, starting on December 6th and continuing on an ongoing basis through the holiday months, a wealth of new content will be coming to Xbox 360. New, customized applications for television, movies, internet videos, sports and music will begin rolling out from world-leading providers in more than 20 countries.
Major Nelson was able to attend Halo Fest last week where 343 Industries let loose a ton of news to kick off PAX Prime. Here are the highlights:
New “Halo: Anniversary” Maps:
Announced and playable today at Halo Fest are two stunningly reimagined battlefields and a brand new Firefight map for “Halo: Anniversary”: Timberland, Prisoner and Installation 04.
· TIMBERLAND –Timberland is “Halo: Anniversary’s” beautifully reimagined multiplayer map from “Halo PC,” set in the classically alpine environment so familiar to “Halo.” Once serving as a watch point for the immense relay complex below, the monitoring outposts nestled atop this ridge became a staging ground for human forces during their time on Installation 04. Toward the end of the conflict, a Covenant assault brought the marines here to a tragic end. Timberland is a tree-covered valley, sporting undulating hills, surging rivers, and a terrain perfect for large-scale vehicle mayhem. (8 – 16 players)
· PRISONER –The return of “Halo: Combat Evolved’s” Prisoner delivers a claustrophobic and frenetic multiplayer experience now elaborately recreated for “Halo: Anniversary.” These spinning confinement platforms are a testament to the technological prowess of the Forerunners. In the event of a security breach, the facility’s suborbital location and frigid temperature were thought to be able to keep any threat at bay, but it appears those plans were… optimistic. Prisoner is a multi-level facility, with tightly-woven corridors and many bridges and ramps, perfect for the chaos of close-range combat. (2 – 8 players)
· INSTALLATION 04 – Installation 04 brings fans back to one of the most iconic environments in “Halo’s” history, the base of an enormous Forerunner spire from “Halo: Combat Evolved’s” campaign mission “Halo,” now stunningly returning in “Halo: Anniversary’s” Firefight mode. Set on one of the many cliff sides of Alpha Halo, this beacon served as a rendezvous point for survivors of the Covenant attack on the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. These survivors, including the legendary Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, were forced to stave off numerous Covenant attacks until rescue finally came. Installation 04 is a familiar precipice studded with ancient Forerunner structures which make a perfect defensive position against an invading alien enemy and marks the first Firefight experience to include ally AI players who will defend the installation alongside you. (1 – 4 players) Continue reading Kick Off To Halo Fest
You may have heard last week that Microsoft is changing the outer finish of the Xbox 360 250GB consoles from a glossy black to a matte black finish, similar to the current Xbox 360 4GB model. Some of the news outlets that covered it mentioned having a choice between matte and glossy Xbox 360s this holiday. Well Xbox’s very own Major Nelson wanted to inform everyone the truth behind the outer finish:
I wanted to set the record straight and let everyone know that, that is not the case.
We are actively transitioning all our Xbox 360 S consoles to a matte finish. The consoles will start to arrive in stores over the coming weeks, so if you really love the idea of a glossy console don’t wait much longer.
Of course, we still may offer a gloss finish on Limited Edition consoles like the upcoming Gears of War 3 Console or the Star Wars Console, but if you have your eye on a glossy black console you don’t have much time left.