There are so many slick new features in the latest Xbox 360 update that it’s easy to miss some of them when you’re focused on all the great new entertainment and games released for the Xbox 360 this holiday season. So to get you started, here are five of our favorite additions in the update for you to explore.
1. Just Bing It!
Whether you want to quickly find an Xbox LIVE Arcade game that you’ve purchased, just Bing it. You can head over to the Bing hub on the dashboard using your controller to search.
2. Set a Beacon
Looking for someone to play with or against in your favorite game? You can set a beacon to alert your friends that you’re looking for opponents, and to let you know when a friend is online playing the game. Just press the Guide button on your controller, navigate down to “Beacons & Activity” and press the A button, then navigate over to “My Beacons” and choose “Set Beacon.”
You can also set a beacon right here on Xbox.com. Just go to the Social page, click Activity, and click the “Set Beacon” link next to a recently played game.
3. Reach for the Cloud Storage
If you play games on more than one console, the new Cloud Storage feature will let you store your game saves online, so you can access them on any console you’ve signed in to. Just choose the “Cloud Storage” device next time you save a game, and you’ll be prompted to set the feature up. You’ll have 512MB of storage available, and you won’t have to haul along your saves on a USB stick when playing in another room or at a friend’s house.
4. Travel with a Roaming Profile
Along with storing your saves in the cloud, you can also download your profile on additional consoles, so you truly can leave that USB drive at home. At a friend’s house or on another console at home, go the “Social” hub on the dashboard, select “Sign In or Out,” and then scroll all the way to the right and choose “Download Profile.” Enter the Windows LIVE ID and password associated with your Gamertag and sign in! (You probably don’t want to choose “Remember Password” if you’re on a friend’s console, though.)
Using the old technique of “recovering” your gamertag, you’d have to re-download your profile once you got back to your home console. But not with the new roaming profile feature—now your profile can live on more than one Xbox 360.
5. Explore the Apps Marketplace
Head over to the new Apps hub and select “Apps Marketplace” to check out the new applications that were released for Xbox LIVE Gold members along with the latest Xbox 360 update and the much-anticipated YouTube and Dailymotion app.
There are plenty of additional new features in the Xbox 360 update, not the least of which is full Kinect navigation of the interface. Head over to the Video hub and choose “Inside Xbox” to see video tours of some of the new features. One tip as you’re exploring the update: You can use the left and right bumpers on the controllers to jump quickly from hub-to-hub. It’s a much quicker way to move between categories than using the thumbstick.
-- Denny Atkin [Gamertag: Editer]