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Xbox Live Fall Update Drops Tomorrow

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the watch-for-falling-servers dept.

XBox (Games) 78

Game|Life has a rundown on the Fall Update for Xbox Live. In addition to the Friend of a Friend feature we discussed last week, you'll also be seeing the first of the Xbox Originals download titles, a few Arcade games will be a bit lower cost, and a new 'family timer' option will let parents put caps on service use time. "You'll also be able to expand your bio, providing more detailed information about yourself to the Xbox Live community ... apparently I wasn't the only one going blind trying to watch those itty-bitty move previews, because now you'll be able to see them full-screen. The update also comes with "enhanced video codec support," which means that your DivX and Xvid files will play on your 360." Remember, if you don't want everyone seeing the folks on your Friends List you need to change your settings now. Plus, everybody should snag Psychonauts; make Tim Schafer a happy man for Christmas.

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78 comments

the new slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21561133)

micro$oft sucks, lol Ballmer throws chairs, blue screen of de...

oooh, shiny xbox! here mr. gates, take my money!

Re:the new slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21561465)

I know this is shocking, but Slashdot has multiple posters and editors who are perfectly capable of having different opinions!

And besides, when the alternative is Sony, the clear lesser of two evils is Microsoft. (Nintendo is, of course, not competing in the same market as Microsoft and Sony.)

Even if you hate Microsoft, having Microsoft beat Sony and, more importantly, kill Blu-Ray is far more important than just sticking it to Microsoft. Blu-Ray's DRM is far eviler than anything Microsoft has ever done.

Re:the new slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21561715)

You can deny it all you want, but its very true. Windows isn't that bad, ballmer doesn't throw a chair everyday, and the xbox isn't that good.

Re:the new slashdot (1)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562203)

Were I to believe you, it would disturb me greatly to know that Steve Ballmer had graduated to throwing around entire tables. I'm glad you're wrong.

Compatible Media Streamers (4, Informative)

falzbro (468756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561371)

Just a heads up for some poeple who intend to use the Xvid support but want to stream. The 360 requires a UPnP server to do it, they prefer you use Windows Media Center or whichever version of Vista does that. However, there are several other alternatives. The one I was able to get work best on FreeBSD (actually, the only one to work on FreeBSD) was ushare [geexbox.org]. There are several other options for linux, as well as windows and OSX.

Re:Compatible Media Streamers (3, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561471)

TVersity (for windows boxes) is quite nice too. I've tried a couple under Ubuntu and Suse, and all are better than the crippled Windows Media Connect software and Media Player 11. Tversity is the best I've seen though, wish they had a Linux version.

Re:Compatible Media Streamers (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562927)

TVersity (for windows boxes) is quite nice too. I've tried a couple under Ubuntu and Suse, and all are better than the crippled Windows Media Connect software and Media Player 11. Tversity is the best I've seen though, wish they had a Linux version.
Just goes to show how Microsoft cuts off the nose to spite the face. There's no reason why the 360 couldn't act like a normal PC and just directly play media off my desktop hard drive. Instead, I've got my pretty 360 and a table by the TV to put a laptop so I can play vids and movies over the wireless from my damn desktop. Stupid duplication of hardware thanks to Microsoft being dicks. When free60 finds a hole so they can run unsigned code, Microsoft patches the hole. Nooo! We can't have anyone violating our principle of control! Cunts.

Tversity is a really kewl hack but it still bugs me that you can't seek through vids without jumping through 20 hoops.

Re:Compatible Media Streamers (3, Insightful)

radish (98371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21563027)

I'm not really sure what you're complaining about here. The 360 will stream from any compatible upnp server. Tversity isn't a "hack", just a upnp server. I can stream videos from my desktop (or my server) just fine...no laptop required.

And as for your "There's no reason why the 360 couldn't act like a normal PC and just directly play media off my desktop hard drive" - what protocol would you like them to support? SMB? NFS? Personally I prefer upnp (although it's far from perfect) because it gives you different browsing models (like by Artist, Album etc) rather than just a file hierarchy.

When free60 finds a hole so they can run unsigned code, Microsoft patches the hole. Nooo! We can't have anyone violating our principle of control! Cunts.

Yeah, imagine that, they want people to actually pay for games.

Re:Compatible Media Streamers (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21566217)

And as for your "There's no reason why the 360 couldn't act like a normal PC and just directly play media off my desktop hard drive" - what protocol would you like them to support? SMB?
Yeah, actually, SMB would be great. Xbox Media Center supports it: just make your default download folder shared and bam, you can instantly play any media file the moment it's downloaded, without even needing to un-RAR it.

Cliche'd but true response (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#21570683)

"Yeah, imagine that, they want people to actually pay for games."

There are many, many of us who would like more access to our hardware for legitimate, non copyright-infringing uses. Unless of course you mean "they want to force people to pay for dames and not use the 360 for anything else", which is probably the most accurate.

Re:Cliche'd but true response (1)

radish (98371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571907)

No, the problem is that once the box is cracked for other uses it will also be used for copied games - you might not use it for that but many others will. That's their primary revenue stream so it's pretty unreasonable to expect them to risk that to allow a very small percentage of users to install their own stuff.

If you want a PC next to your TV for playing movies or whatever then get one - you can certainly get something useful for the $400 the 360 costs (and it'll have a decent size HDD!). Otherwise, understand that when you buy a console you're buying a closed system, and no manufacturer is going to make it easy for you to do anything which could possibly hurt their control of that platform. For what it's worth, the stuff they're doing allowing homebrew games on the 360 is actually pretty neat and open minded of them, IMHO.

Re:Cliche'd but true response (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21577957)

In all fairness, in the PC world developers can have their software DRM and allow open garage development too... there's no reason Consoles couldn't block piracy and allow open development at the same time.

I agree that the 360's "express" SDK is very open minded for the console world, but IMO it's not a replacement for "homebrew" unless they allow non-developers access to use the garage developed content without buying their own developer license... that and more access to the hardware, not being able to use any of the major I/O functions of the 360 makes it kind of lame for anything but XBLA game development, and even then it's limiting when you think of some of the more interesting stuff you might be able to do with the hardware if you had access to the USB ports, hard drive, disc drive, ethernet, or XBL.

Re:Cliche'd but true response (1)

radish (98371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21578913)

In all fairness, in the PC world developers can have their software DRM and allow open garage development too...

The problem is that, as we all know, it doesn't work in the slightest. Any game released on the PC is available with a NoCD patch usually from day 1. You and I both dislike the whole closed system/"trusted" computing model, but the truth is that any kind of copy protection is defeatable in an open system. It sucks, but IMHO the commercial PC games market - already a shadow of it's former self - will implode entirely in the not too distant future. Games are amazingly expensive to create these days and the revenues on the PC platform won't support it given the rampant copying. What will take it's place will likely be the low cost, low budget indy games we're seeing more and more of, which is nice, but to be honest I like big flashy games :)

You could look at the bright side - I'd rather all the DRM etc stays on the consoles with the games rather than infecting my actual computer. One of the reasons I hardly game on the PC anymore is I got fed up with all the crap they spewed onto the machine to try and prevent piracy. Didn't work - just made me move over to consoles.

Agreed 100% with everything else you said. I'm hoping that XNA will expand into something even better over time.

Re:Compatible Media Streamers (1)

olman (127310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21574639)

I'm not really sure what you're complaining about here. The 360 will stream from any compatible upnp server. Tversity isn't a "hack", just a upnp server. I can stream videos from my desktop (or my server) just fine...no laptop required.

One that's excruciatingly slow about core functionality such as hashing the media files. You might want to try simplecenter (www.simplecenter.org) if you simply want to serve compatible media (no transcoding) .. Transcoding is possible but you have to pay for it.

Re:Compatible Media Streamers (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21563805)

The biggest problem I have with using my xbox 360 for streaming video, is that its too LOUD. Once those fans in the 360 start kicking up, you're going to hear it the entire show. I've found it much nicer to load up front row on a mac mini connected to my LCD TV then stream the XviD from the server over the windows share.

However, uPnP is still something I wish front row could do, and will definitely make using my 360 more attractive when I can use a linux movie server as opposed to a windows server (I also run TVersity, but its not as necessary after this update since it can stream XviD already).

Is there anything out there which can help dampen the sound of the 360 other than storing it in a cabinet?

Re:Compatible Media Streamers (1)

d0rp (888607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564277)

Is there anything out there which can help dampen the sound of the 360 other than storing it in a cabinet?
Nothing that I am aware of, and from my experience, storing it in a cabinet doesn't help much either because the fans start blowing harder to try and keep it cool in a confined space (even though there is a hole in the back), hence it gets even louder and you haven't accomplished anything.

Re:Compatible Media Streamers (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564855)

ushare sucks, at least for 360 streaming. It's a PITA to set up, and it fails miserably when you've got a folders with multiple types of media in it (eg, photos and videos, from my digital camera). I have no idea why people keep recommending it, other than the fact that it's relatively well-known. I've heard better things about fuppes, but I haven't had the chance to try it yet.

Twonky intrigued me, but music stuttered like crazy with it. Oh well.

Re:Compatible Media Streamers (1)

dabraun (626287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21569643)

The 360 requires a UPnP server to do it, they prefer you use Windows Media Center or whichever version of Vista does that.


Actually, Windows Media Center is not a UPnP server at all, and the support for remoting media center to the xbox has not changed one drop in this update (and still doesn't support DivX for example).

Windows Media Player, Zune (app), Windows Home Server, and countless non-Microsoft apps are UPnP servers and can serve files to the updated dashboard media player on the xbox, including divx and xvid files.

Psychonauts (3, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561403)

I started playing Psychonauts this weekend (on the original Xbox) and my God, is that a great game. I used to play Monkey Island and Full Throttle when I was younger so I don't know why I ignored this game for so long. Everything about it is awesome. Great graphics, great voice acting, great story, amazing level design. I put in about 12 hours this weekend and had to struggle to stop last night. I seriously have to recommend this game to just about everyone. Right now it's free on Gametap through the end of the year but you can also find it on Steam and now Xbox Live. I bought a copy from a friend for cheap and it's been worth every penny.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562017)

I started playing Psychonauts this weekend (on the original Xbox) and my God, is that a great game.
I played the demo version off Steam. I can best describe it as a 3d platform game, a sort of toony -like game... But it felt too childish for my tastes (particularly because it seemed aimed for a younger audience).

Great graphics
The character models, levels didn't look that detailed to be honest. I think in comparison, the toony graphics from team fortress 2 were better.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562221)

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this game for a young audience... ok, *maybe* teenagers (the humor is really too dark over the course of the game, ultimately). I still heartily recommend it myself, just finished playing this weekend and was impressed. The graphics AREN'T that detailed, but certainly has a awesomely unique style. This game, of course, IMNSHO, is not for everyone, but has a bigger potential demographic than at first seems.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562651)

No, the game is not directed towards kids. I would say kids could play it, but it's kinda like a darker Shrek movie where all the really funny jokes fly right over the kids' heads. About the graphics, I thought they were really good, though I don't own any next gen systems or a PC. I guess I really enjoyed the art style.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21566015)

No, the game is not directed towards kids.
Teenagers possibly, my mind does not really separate teenagers and kids too well unfortunately.

About the graphics, I thought they were really good, though I don't own any next gen systems or a PC.
My gaming system is not really next gen either:

Processor: Athlon 64 1808 Mhz (single core, no SSE3)
RAM: 1GB
Graphic card: RADEON X600 pro 128 MB
Sound card: NVIDIA nForce Audio
Using resolution 1024x768 for all games.

It's under the minimum requirements to play Call Of Duty 4, but it runs that game really well.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562481)

TF2 is way newer. I imagine that has something to do with it.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565945)

TF2 is way newer. I imagine that has something to do with it.
After looking at the wikipedia entry, I was surprised. I thought it was a new game :)

Even so, I don't think the models were really that limited in 2005.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21563391)

But it felt too childish for my tastes (particularly because it seemed aimed for a younger audience).

Out of curiosity, what constitutes a "grown-up" game?

For example, given a fan of Psychonauts and a fan of Grand Theft Auto, which would you consider to more likely be a mature, intelligent adult?

Re:Psychonauts (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21566105)

Out of curiosity, what constitutes a "grown-up" game?
I don't know really. I just know Psychonauts isn't for me, it feels too childish or teenagerish? - especially when it comes to the dialog of the characters, I really feel it is aimed for a younger audience (as opposed to younger and above).

For example, given a fan of Psychonauts and a fan of Grand Theft Auto, which would you consider to more likely be a mature, intelligent adult?
I have never played GTA. The idea of a game about stealing cars does not appeal to me.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

deek (22697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21566813)

I don't know really. I just know Psychonauts isn't for me, it feels too childish or teenagerish? - especially when it comes to the dialog of the characters, I really feel it is aimed for a younger audience (as opposed to younger and above).


I think you've only tried the first half of the game, in which you generally talk with the other kids in the camp. The dialog is certainly going to feel childish, because it is children that you are speaking with.

When you start to delve into the insane asylum, the dialog has some very mature nuances. Especially within Gloria's mind. That was a very dark and sad situation she was in. Plus all the theatrical references ... they'd go _way_ over the head of most teenagers. Boyd's mind was also quite interesting and dark (ironically set in a bright sunny environment). It wasn't on the same intellectual level as the Gloria stage.

Still, even the first half is peppered with some mature material. Take the two cheerleader kids. I won't spoil it for people, but they seem fun loving at first, although inside hides some darker motives. In fact, all the kids have a story to tell, in one way or another. Some more innocent, some less so. That was one of the real strengths, and weaknesses, of Psychonauts. Each person felt real and unique, but because of that, it was hard to keep track of them all. There were just too many characters, and too little time getting to know them.

Anyway, I'm starting to meander off the topic now, but I'm sure you get the picture. Dialog in Psychonauts. It is good. It is for all ages. Don't discount it just based on your initial impressions.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21567365)

I think you've only tried the first half of the game, in which you generally talk with the other kids in the camp.
Sorry, but that is the extent of the demo. I am not going to buy the game if I get a opinion from the demo that I do not like it.

Don't discount it just based on your initial impressions.
As I mentioned earlier, I played the demo. The demo is supposed to give you a feel of the game's worth, if I don't get a valid feel from the demo, they have done something wrong.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

deek (22697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21568273)

Sorry, but that is the extent of the demo. I am not going to buy the game if I get a opinion from the demo that I do not like it.


  That's up to you, of course. You might want to consider looking past the demo in this instance, though. It is a truly spectacular game, with some very unique level design in the latter half. It's not without flaws; the last level (Meat Circus) is ordinary, and feels almost like an anti-climax, in the wake of the sheer brilliance of the previous psych levels. But otherwise, this is a game that will stay permanently in my collection. Where it is good, it is sublime.

  Plus, according to the article, you can soon download it onto your xbox 360, for a price that's pocket change. Personally, I prefer regular media, because I like having a game library there on the shelf, within sight and with tactile feel.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

Kanon (152815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21568987)

I wouldn't bother trying to change his mind. Some people see cartoony graphics and situations and instantly their heads say "It's a kiddie game. I'll go back to bashing prostitutes". It happened with Wind Waker and it'll certainly happen to Psychonauts now it's gone high profile. Some people are just built that way. You'd be better off finding someone who hasn't caged his inner child ;)

Childish... (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21570273)

But it felt too childish for my tastes (particularly because it seemed aimed for a younger audience)

Trust me, it's definitely not aimed at children. And even if it were, so what? It's an awesome game. Are you not going to play Super Mario Galaxy (the second best rated game of all times on gamerankings.com) just because the graphics have too many colors?

I think in comparison, the toony graphics from team fortress 2 were better

Perhaps that might be because one of these two games is a few years old and the other is brand new?

Re:Childish... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21570579)

Trust me, it's definitely not aimed at children. And even if it were, so what? It's an awesome game. Are you not going to play Super Mario Galaxy (the second best rated game of all times on gamerankings.com) just because the graphics have too many colors?
I never said graphics was everything. But the guy said the graphics were 'great'. I didn't see them as such.

Additionally, I am not going to play Super Mario galaxy because I don't own a Wii.

Perhaps that might be because one of these two games is a few years old and the other is brand new?
I didn't know that at the time I posted, however - I don't believe models were that limited in 2005 and we certainly had bump-mapping back then.

Re:Childish... (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21570871)

Additionally, I am not going to play Super Mario galaxy because I don't own a Wii.

That doesn't answer the question, though.

I didn't know that at the time I posted, however - I don't believe models were that limited in 2005 and we certainly had bump-mapping back then.

Yeah, it was mainly a console game, though. I'm guessing lead development platform was the PS2.

Re:Childish... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571025)

That doesn't answer the question, though.
Okay, your original question is:

Are you not going to play Super Mario Galaxy (the second best rated game of all times on gamerankings.com) just because the graphics have too many colors?
You brought up a negative problem where it has 'too many colors'. I'm not even sure how that is possible? I haven't even seen "too many colors" in the trailers.

However, if what you say is true which makes playing the game annoying, then here is your answer: No, I won't play it.

Re:Childish... (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571645)

Okay, since you seem hell-bent on misunderstanding the question, let my try to rephrase it:

Would you not play a game like Mario Galaxy - which is the second-highest reviewed game of all time - just because it looks like it is suitable for children?

The question is rhetorical, by the way, and the implication I'm trying to make is that not playing a game because it appear "childish" is extremely strange. Psychonauts has a deep story, interesting characters, good gameplay, and is amazingly written, yet you disclaim it because it seems childish to you. "Childish" is not even a negative qualifier; it doesn't look "bad" or "boring" to you, just "childish," as if things which are suitable for children were automatically not suitable for adults.

I was trying to express that I just do not understand your decision not to play a game because it seems suitable for children. This is the kind of decision a teenager would make, who feels it necessary to dissociate himself from children. We adults, however, are free from such burdens :-)

Re:Childish... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21572325)

Would you not play a game like Mario Galaxy - which is the second-highest reviewed game of all time - just because it looks like it is suitable for children?
Being suitable for children and being targeted heavily for children is a different thing all together. I enjoy the "new Super Mario brothers [nintendo.com]" on my DS, I don't feel the dialog or characters are specifically targeted at a young certain age group.

The question is rhetorical, by the way, and the implication I'm trying to make is that not playing a game because it appear "childish" is extremely strange.
I don't think older women enjoy playing Barbie's whatever adventure somehow. I am talking about games are specifically targeted at a younger age, being suitable for younger ages does not mean that the game hasn't been targeted for higher ages also.

Psychonauts has a deep story, interesting characters, good gameplay, and is amazingly written, yet you disclaim it because it seems childish to you.
As others have pointed out in response to me, the game has a deeper story and so on and apparently 'gets better'. All I have played is the demo (which I mentioned in my first post) and the demo did not leave a good impression on me. The game felt targeted for a younger audience and I lost interest because I got bored.

I was trying to express that I just do not understand your decision not to play a game because it seems suitable for children.
Suitable is not the problem, targeted specifically at that age group is, much like the reason why woman wouldn't play Barbie's something adventure... It's boring.

This is the kind of decision a teenager would make, who feels it necessary to dissociate himself from children.
True, but I am really not embarrassed to do anything I want, to give a example, I'm a furry [wikipedia.org] and find lots of things entertaining. I just don't find a game which feels it's targeted for only a younger age group, much fun. That was the impression I got from the demo of that game.

Re:Psychonauts (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562461)

I've been wanting to play Psychonauts for a very long time, but I could not find a copy anywhere.

List of features to be added / fixed: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21561419)

Dear Microsoft,
 
    I sincerely hope you will correct this list of errors [tinyurl.com].
 
  Thanks,
    Xbox owner.

Re:List of features to be added / fixed: (2, Informative)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561497)

Just as a heads up, don't click on that link. It causes your computer to scream "Hey, I'm looking at gay porn," among other things.

Re:List of features to be added / fixed: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21561647)

Actually, it just brings up a note from TinyURL.

Notice from TinyURL admin: This URL opens a lot of windows with reportedly "distasteful" pictures and has audio saying "Hey everybody, I'm looking at gay porno." It may also crash your browser/computer.

Proceed to this site.

Now if you actually click the link there, you'll get Last Measure, but they've forced an extra step in there just to make trolls like this fail miserably.

Re:List of features to be added / fixed: (3, Informative)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562065)

Actually, it just brings up a note from TinyURL.

Notice from TinyURL admin: This URL opens a lot of windows with reportedly "distasteful" pictures and has audio saying "Hey everybody, I'm looking at gay porno." It may also crash your browser/computer.

Proceed to this site.

Now if you actually click the link there, you'll get Last Measure, but they've forced an extra step in there just to make trolls like this fail miserably.
This AC speaks the truth.

Re:List of features to be added / fixed: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21561687)

You must be new here. You can enable link previewing with tinyurl, so you know what it is that the link redirects to.

Re:List of features to be added / fixed: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21561519)

How mature.

From MS: Vista can't do it, use something else (4, Informative)

Jesterboy (106813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561493)

Found through Xvid / DivX files link [msdn.com], there's this little gem:

12. What size USB storage device does the Xbox 360 support?

The Xbox 360 will support as big of a storage device as you can format using FAT32. Unfortunately when formatting a device in Windows Vista or Windows XP you will be restricted to a maximum FAT32 size of 32GB. You can work around this limitation by using a 3rd party utility or using an alternative Operating System that does not have this restriction. Please note that the maximum size of any single file on FAT32 is 4GB.
Rather amusing. According to this article [microsoft.com], the 32GB limit was decided upon due to FAT32's linear-time algorithms; above this limit, they start taking inordinate amounts of time to just calculate free space.

It was good for a chuckle, though.

Re:From MS: Vista can't do it, use something else (2, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561771)

They are telling you not to use XP as well. I decided to investigate this, and found a little nugget of typical Microsoftness from wikipedia:

Windows 2000 and Windows XP can read and write to FAT32 file systems of any size, but the format program on Windows XP can only create FAT32 file systems up to 32 GiB. The format program with Windows 2000, however, can in fact create FAT32 file systems larger than 32 GiB.

So they could do something in an older version of the OS that they cannot do in the newer?! Thats....Microsoft :P

As an aside, why are they even using FAT32 at all? There are better alternatives out there, and does Microsoft even use FAT32 for XP/Vista partitions anyway? I thought they used NTFS or some variant.

Re:From MS: Vista can't do it, use something else (2, Informative)

fotbr (855184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561853)

By default XP and Vista both use NTFS, but they retain the ability to do (some) FAT32 formatting to keep the users happy.

If they dropped FAT32, there'd be bitching and moaning here about how MS is "forcing" users to use something else.

Re:From MS: Vista can't do it, use something else (2, Insightful)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21563523)

As an aside, why are they even using FAT32 at all?
Because almost all external hard drives are pre-formatted in FAT32 for compatability. You can reformat these drives later to another alternative but it sounds like the XBox 360 only sees FAT32 formatted drives. I could be wrong.

Re:From MS: Vista can't do it, use something else (1)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 6 years ago | (#21567247)

Correct. The xbox360 only sees FAT32 drives. I tried hooking up my USB drive formatted with NTFS to the 360, no luck.

The 360 does work with FAT32. Just keep in mind that you have a limit of 4GB per file. This forces you to split movie files into multiple chunks if you're looking to play movies from the drive.

Re:From MS: Vista can't do it, use something else (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562813)

Thats funny.. I just used my OSX Tiger to format a 160GB hard drive for MSDOS (FAT). I was pretty amused when I found out I couldn't format to FAT in win XP. Those wily Redmonders!

Really weird limitation (2, Informative)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561555)

For some reason I haven't quite got my head around yet, when you come to try out the Divx streaming, be sure to do it via the WMP sharing and the "videos" option of the media tab. Not through Media Centre Extender. According to the docs, it doesn't work there.

Which is a bit strange, but the same goes for .mp4 files already, so there you go. I'm looking forward to not using Transcode360, as it's a bit flaky on my network, and my ageing PC isn't up to doing HD in realtime.

Re:Really weird limitation (1)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561939)

I'm pretty sure Media Center Extender is a separate application on the Xbox 360, delivered by a separate team. So the Xbox team has added the DivX support to the Xbox media player, but hasn't received an updated MCE with DivX support. My guess is that MCE was designed to be used on dedicated hardware, so they didn't plan for codecs to be installed outside of their app.

Re:Really weird limitation (1)

dabraun (626287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21569665)

I'm pretty sure Media Center Extender is a separate application on the Xbox 360, delivered by a separate team. So the Xbox team has added the DivX support to the Xbox media player, but hasn't received an updated MCE with DivX support. My guess is that MCE was designed to be used on dedicated hardware, so they didn't plan for codecs to be installed outside of their app.


Correct on the first part. It's not really about 'dedicated hardware' or 'not planning for codec updates'. The software that runs media center extender is delivered via windows update on the host PC. It isn't actually part of the flash so it really can't be part of the xbox fall update - it could be delivered 'soon' and could take advantage of the new codec support, but I have no idea if this will happen.

Re:Really weird limitation (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564265)

Out of curiosity, how have you gotten your copy of WMP to play MP4 files? I have a crapload of movies on MP4 from Handbrake on my old Mac G5, and I'd like to stream them to my Xbox 360 to play, but WMP doesn't seem to be able to play them, unless there's some obvious thing I'm missing. (I'm on Vista Ultimate, if that helps.)

Windows Media Center/Extender didn't recognize my MP4s either.

Re:Really weird limitation (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21569525)

It's a registry update, if I remember correctly, though I might have just associated the filetype. Google should know.

Certainly, my usual route of dropping the .mp4s on a DVD and putting that straight in the 360 works perfectly. As at least 90% of my files in that format are big HD ones taken from the Apple or Yahoo sites with a bit of help from Dave's Trailer Page, streaming them over my wireless network isn't that reliable for me, in any case. Also, you can sneakily rename the extension to .wmv (or .mov, possibly) and fool the 360 into noticing it's on the PC if all else fails.

Beware when doing it that you've also got to get Quicktime (or whatever) to re-encode the audio to stereo AAC, as the codec in the 360 won't handle 5.1 AAC streams - it only exists at all for the iPod support, and they couldn't be bothered (or spend the money, possibly) to get a 5.1-capable version.

drops? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21561559)

Drops? Drops what? Drops backward compatibility?

I guess they learned from the Wii (1)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561601)

I remember reading this story about a guy finding out his wife was cheating on him using the wii usage thing on it. I guess it would kinda hurt those that struggle with infidelity.

Will it be deployed to all SKUs simultaneously?! (0, Offtopic)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562699)

"Drops tomorrow"? Give me a break.

You can tell gaming is now mainstream because it has so much bullshit...I mean, marketing buzzwords surrounding it.

Re:Will it be deployed to all SKUs simultaneously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21563799)

By "drops tomorrow" I think they mean it doesn't know about tomorrow's date. This is a Microsoft product, so such bugs are to be expected.

Re:Will it be deployed to all SKUs simultaneously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21564543)

Oh! Now I get it....

Here I thought "drops tomorrow" meant that until then it had no testicles.

Re:Will it be deployed to all SKUs simultaneously? (1)

Rebelgecko (893016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21566785)

"Drops tomorrow"? Give me a break.

You can tell gaming is now mainstream because it has so much bullshit...I mean, marketing buzzwords surrounding it.
"Drops tomorrow" is a lot simpler than "Will be available for download to members of Xbox live that are connected to the internet, own an Xbox360, and choose to accept the update on Tuesday." So, yes, it will be deployed to all SKUs simultaneously.

Re:Will it be deployed to all SKUs simultaneously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21568651)

If you don't understand what it means when something "drops", then you clearly aren't watching enough hockey. ;)

Shit and a WTF (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562783)

From section 10 of the blog entry

You can stream or play Divx files from everything BUT Windows Media Center. Why the hell would they prevent that? Either a) they continue to not understand what users want or b) they don't want dvix/xvid competing with WMV for people who use Microsoft's preferred setup of WMC and an Xbox extender. Thank god for Transcode 360 but I was looking forward to ditching that and having native support.

Re:Shit and a WTF (1)

d0rp (888607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21563167)

As VertigoAce posted in another comment:

I'm pretty sure Media Center Extender is a separate application on the Xbox 360, delivered by a separate team. So the Xbox team has added the DivX support to the Xbox media player, but hasn't received an updated MCE with DivX support. My guess is that MCE was designed to be used on dedicated hardware, so they didn't plan for codecs to be installed outside of their app.
It looks like you'll be able to stream/play Divx files on the 360 directly, via the media share (uPnP) on your Windows (or other!) computer. The MCE extender software is its own thing, separate from the rest of the xbox 360 software. This means, you'll be able to open and play the videos directly on the 360, without having to load up the MCE extender.

I'm actually excited about this, because it means I won't have to switch the aspect ratio on my video projector to watch the videos stored on my computer. In order to get the 360 to display correctly with the projector, I had to set it to 1280x1024 widescreen (which distorts the picture) and then have the projector set to 16:9 aspect ratio (which distorts it back to look normal), because my projector can't take a 720p input for some reason (it was either 1280x1024 or 480p). This works well for games, DVDs, HD-DVDs, anything on the 360, but when I connect it to MCE, it only sees 1280x1024 and ignores the "widescreen" setting, so all the TV and everything is horribly distorted, so I have to switch the aspect ratio back anytime I want to use MCE. This means the picture is taller than my projection screen, but most of the stuff I watch is in widescreen anyway, so it doesn't really matter, its just annoying.

Have a look at the link below (2, Insightful)

bogie (31020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21563315)

To see just how screwed up Microsoft is regarding codec support. http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archive/2007/09/24/1212782.aspx [msmvps.com] Each piece of hardware they sell can play only certain file formats. Zune goes outside of WMP 11 to purchase music. Previous Plays for Sure users got screwed when the Zune and the new music store came out. Xbox 360 has an all together different store for buying movies and TV. Zune has retarded restrictions on how it interacts with Windows Media Center. Regular XP and Vista users can't access the Xbox 360 store. Talk about a fucked up and disjointed ecosystem.

To make matters worse the rest of the industry still thinks it is a good idea to fragment things even more. You have an ever increasing number of companies that want to sell things directly and bypass both Apple and Microsoft. Within a few years we will have 50 different place to buy movies and music from all with their own software interfaces and supported hardware.

Is there really still any wonder at all why consumers stick to downloading movies and music from P2P and Newsgroups?

Except... (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 6 years ago | (#21565685)

Your argument might make more sense if the thousands of P2P sites, protocols, apps, formats, codecs, containers & hidden alt.binary.newsgroups weren't far more diverse and fragmented than even the MS conglomeration.

I think the reasons are simply

  • price
  • freedom (no DRM or ads)
  • availability (for the more technically-minded at least)

Re:Shit and a WTF (1)

dabraun (626287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21569693)

You can stream or play Divx files from everything BUT Windows Media Center. Why the hell would they prevent that? Either a) they continue to not understand what users want or b) they don't want dvix/xvid competing with WMV for people who use Microsoft's preferred setup of WMC and an Xbox extender. Thank god for Transcode 360 but I was looking forward to ditching that and having native support.


They are not 'preventing' anything - the media center app is not part of the xbox flash, it is downloaded from the PC. Updates to it go through windows update on the host PC and are done by a different team (not the xbox team) on a different schedule. That same team just shipped new standalone extenders that DO support divx, so they aren't trying to stop you from getting your divx on. Hopefully having the codec support in the xbox flash will make it easier for them to update the xbox mce software to add this support. We'll see.

ummm is it just me but i DO NOT see Xvid support (1)

johnjones (14274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21566543)

hey there

I can not see xvid support on that list.... DivX yes but not XVID

also Windows Media Center (not player) under vista how would you get XVID support ?
(I can install the direct show filters but I think this only supports the media player not Media Center )

strange

john jones

Re:ummm is it just me but i DO NOT see Xvid suppor (1)

dabraun (626287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21569707)

also Windows Media Center (not player) under vista how would you get XVID support ?
(I can install the direct show filters but I think this only supports the media player not Media Center )


The dshow codecs for DivX/XVid work in both media center and media player (and any other DShow app for that matter). They do not work on extender. For the extender scenario the media is streamed in still-encoded form (otherwise the bandwidth would be impossible to manage) and are decoded on the standalone box or 360 - that remote device needs to have software to decode whatever formats it needs.

If you really want to use an external drive (1)

Trindle (967054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21568735)

You can format the drive using HFS (Mac file system) and the 360 will read files from it perfectly. I use a program called Mac Drive http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive/ [mediafour.com] to transfer data from my Windows PC to my USB "Mac" hard drive. I then plug the USB HD into my 360 and play media off of there. It's a bit of a pain in the ass but for me it's the best option.

Can I make a request? (2, Insightful)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21569293)

That we all institute a moratorium on saying that such-and-such drops, with the intent to mean debuts?

Re:Can I make a request? (1)

CaseM (746707) | more than 6 years ago | (#21597849)

Good idea! I can even supply the headline:

"Moratorium on using the word drops drops on Slashdot"

New update "drops" tomorrow huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21575307)

I drop one every day. Almost. In fact, I just dropped a nice one about an hour ago. Felt good.

But when... (1)

popo (107611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21593039)

...is "Talisman" on XBL coming out?

Everything else is secondary for us board game geeks.
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