Next Xbox 360 update to enhance downloads, messaging

Posted by Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - An update to the Xbox 360 firmware next month will include integration with MSN Messenger and a handful of new Xbox Live features, according to Microsoft blogger Larry Hryb.

In his latest blog post, Hryb mentions that for the first time, users will be able to join in any online Xbox Live Arcade games their friends are currently playing. In addition, Xbox 360 users will be able to chat with MSN Messenger users through a new universal messaging applet.

The other main updates apply to Xbox Live Marketplace downloads.  Users will be able to watch videos progressively while they're still downloading, and a new download option will automatically queue all free Xbox Live Arcade demos to the download manager.  Also, a new option will turn the console off after all pending downloads are finished.

One other update will add the name of the achievement and the associated gamerscore value whenever the "achievement unlocked" notice pops up on the screen. There will also be several other minor performance tweaks. 

The update is scheduled to be available some time next month.