Xbox Live update brings major new features, with new video services also inbound
Due to hit your Xbox any moment now is a new update that promises to add some pretty exciting new features to the Xbox Live service.
Particularly welcome is the facility to store game saves on a cloud, so that you can access your game progress and achievements no matter who’s Xbox you’re playing on.
There’s also a new Beacon feature that lets you find friends to play with by alerting all your friends at once to the fact that you’re playing a particular game, in case any of them want to join you.
Next there’s ‘deeper Facebook integration’, which will allow you to quickly publish achievements and in-game experiences to your Facebook wall. Personally this sounds like a recipe for derision from the vast majority of our friends, and we’re not entirely sure our other halves will be particularly chuffed to read on Facebook that we’ve just got married again in Skyrim… But hey. Maybe we’ve just got the wrong kind of friends.
Another feature Microsoft seems very proud of is voice control. If you’ve got a Kinect, you can actually use Bing Search to control aspects of your performance just by telling it what you want it to find. Again we’re not remotely sure we can imagine ourselves barking instructions at our Xbox. But then we don’t have a Kinect anyway, so we guess this one doesn’t apply to us anyway.
These features come hot on the heels of lots of much more exciting recent news concerning new video services coming to the Xbox Live platform. Arriving with the imminent update is LoveFilm; rolling out later this month are 4OD, Screenrush, BlinkBox, Crackle, Daily Motion, Demand 5, MSN, MUZU.tv, and VEVO; and arriving at some point in early 2012 are mlb.tv and, at long, long last, services from the BBC. Hallelujah.