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Xbox update brings Netflix browser, games on demand

updated 10:45 pm EDT, Thu July 16, 2009

Xbox 360 July Update

Microsoft today updated the Xbox 360 to add several of the updates mentioned at E3. The console's Netflix player now includes a browser to let users pick and manage their Netflix queue, saving the trouble of using a computer's web browser. Those viewers with Gold accounts also get the often delayed party system for movies that lets them watch titles in Netflix with others at the same, including with live chat.

Hooks have also been put in place for the upcoming Games on Demand system that will let users buy and download full Xbox 360 games, typically slightly older titles, directly from the system. Owners also get virtual copies of game manuals and, unlike with Arcade titles, can pay directly with credit or debit cards instead of Live points. The feature itself will go live in August.

Other smaller additions include a section to buy clothes for user avatars, user ratings for downloadable games and automatic detection of the ideal display resolution.

The update doesn't yet include some of the largest features, such as the near-instant 1080p video playback or the social networking components for Facebook and Twitter. These are more likely to ship in Microsoft's next major update towards the fall.

by MacNN Staff



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