The team here at Xbox is always listening to feedback from our Xbox LIVE members, and we’re working hard to make sure Xbox LIVE is fun and fair for everyone in the community. That’s why we’re excited to announce our Avatar Marketplace partners are making progress with jersey collections for female avatars. All 30 NHL jerseys and all 32 NFL jerseys are now available to female avatars for Xbox LIVE members. No matter what your team, no matter what your gender, you’ll be able to show your support on Xbox LIVE.
We know there are still many options for avatar personalization that our Xbox LIVE members would like to see, feel free to leave any ideas in the comments below.
I wanted to make sure that you saw this letter from Alex Garden that was posted today, and more importantly remind you to check your security information and update it if necessary.
This week, both Xbox LIVE and Xbox.com will receive small updates that I wanted to make you aware of.
Xbox LIVE Dashboard update:
On Wednesday, January 19th we will issue a mandatory dashboard update that (re) enables the ‘Boot to Disc’ option in the Xbox 360 dashboard. After you accept the update, you’ll be able to set the option to boot to the Xbox 360 dashboard OR directly to the game you have in the tray when you power up your console. This option can be found in the System Settings.
Additionally, on Thursday January 20th the Xbox.com team will ship an update that contains a small update to the Gamercards. We’ve updated the Gamercard look and feel a bit and removed gamerzone from the card. Other than that, the same amount of information is on the card. Here is an example:
Most people may not notice these small changes but I know many of you appreciate knowing the details when we issue updates.
Tomorrow, Xbox.com will be getting a massive facelift and I want to give you a preview of what you can expect. In addition to support for the 9 new Xbox LIVE regions that will happen next month, Xbox.com will get a brand new look as well as some new features.
Here are some highlights:
Browser based Avatar editor: Edit your avatar and preview avatar items before purchase
Combined views for messages, friend and game requests
Improved notification of your account subscription
Leverage Family Reports to understand what your family is doing and how they are using LIVE
Play web games with your Xbox LIVE friends on the web or on Windows Phone 7
Marketplace: More powerful search and more intuitive ways to browse and filter
Those are just a few of the changes, starting tomorrow you’ll be able to explore the entire thing yourself. Until then, I’ve uploaded a few screen shots to get hold you over until then.
In order to prepare for these changes, starting at 0500 ET/0200 PT/0900 GMT on October 20th (tomorrow) Xbox.com and the Xbox forums will be offline and unavailable for a short period of time. When it returns, you’ll see the new site.
The Xbox LIVE service is not affected by this upgrade and will remain available during this time.
Update: The upgrade is in progress. Until it is complete, you may see some slowness, error pages (and maybe more) on Xbox.com. Thanks for your patience while the team finishes the upgrade.
Edit: Once the update is complete, drop by the Xbox.com forums and let us know what you think
Xbox.com, My Xbox and the Xbox forums will be offline for maintenance on Tuesday, May 11th at 0900 GMT/0500 ET/0200 PT for about 60 minutes. During the maintenance Xbox.com, My Xbox and the Xbox forums will not be available.
This does NOT affect Xbox LIVE (and therefore the REACH BETA) which will remain available during this time.
Now that we’re a few days into 2010, many of you may be looking for a change in your professional scenery. Why not think about joining our team? Make the first step and take a look at our job postings. We have quite a few positions open in many areas of our business. You can work on the hardware side of Xbox 360, help make Xbox LIVE even better or work on our developer tools in XNA. Like PC Gaming? We’ve got that covered to with Games for Windows. You like games right? Maybe you have the skills to help Microsoft Games Studios make the next great games. Can’t wait to get your hands on Project Natal? We’ve got openings on that team as well. We’ve got variety of creative and technical positions open at locations around the world. Check ‘em out. You never know where it may lead.
The Holidays will no doubt bring many new Xbox 360 owners, so now is a good time for me to do a quick round up of some resources that can may help new those owners get the most of that new purchase.
Once you have your console connected it to your TV, be sure you are getting the best possible picture. This Xbox.com support article goes over the various types of connections that the Xbox 360 supports, and can help you get the best looking picture based on the cable you are using. The best tip I can offer you is if you are using a Component Cable (the one with red, green and blue video connecters) make sure the switch on the cable going into the Xbox 360 is set to HDTV. Again, read the support article and this can help you to make sure you’re getting the best picture possible based on the connection type you are using.
Once you are all set up, be sure to connect your console to your home network. This support article walks you through the options.
Now that you have the console online, you can sign up up for a free Xbox LIVE Gamertag. This will allow you free access to all the latest system updates, game demos, game add-ons, Arcade games and much more.
With your new Gamertag, you can now sign into Xbox.com and browse the Xbox LIVE Marketplace directly in your web browser. From here you can easily add items (like free demos) to your download queue. If your Xbox 360 is turned on, and signed into Xbox LIVE, your downloads will begin immediately. If not, the next time you turn it on the downloads will automatically begin. You can get more information on background downloads here.
If you need immediate Xbox 360 help, hit up my friends on the official Xbox support Twitter account. They’re just waiting for your @ replies!
For great family fun, gather everyone around the Xbox and play the special Holiday edition of 1 v 100 LIVE this Saturday, December 26th. It’s a free and fun way to see if that family know-it-all really knows all.
Here are some resources that new Xbox 360 owners may find helpful:
The Official Xbox 360 support site. Start here before going anywhere else.
The Xbox LIVE Marketplace on the web. Use your computer to browse the marketplace.
The Xbox forums. From game help and discussion to console questions, this is a good place to interact with members of the Xbox community.
If you want to hear from top game developers, as well as learn a little about what happens behind the scenes at Xbox, you should subscribe to my weekly audio podcast. (via iTunes or Zune.) It’s a fun way to learn about new games, things about the Xbox 360 you may not know and much more.
Finally, you may want to follow me on Twitter, where I often post about new demos and other items of interest for gamers.
Have fun with your Xbox 360 and I’ll see you online!
Edit: Read the comments for some good reader tips!
Currently, Xbox LIVE members may experience issues related to billing. That means difficulties with account recovery, account management, Marketplace functions and/or making purchases. Users who already have Microsoft Points in their account will be able to redeem them. Until these issues are resolved, you will also be unable to sign in to Xbox.com, which includes posting in the forums and queuing up downloads on the Marketplace. All other areas of LIVE (matchmaking, friends lists, messaging etc.) are not affected.
The engineers are actively working to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. Keep an eye on the Xbox LIVE Status page in the support section of Xbox.com which will be updated when conditions change.
Thanks for your patience.
Update: The above issues have been fixed.