So you just got an Xbox 360….now what?


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 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 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!



  • yamayamayaamaa

    How could you forget to mention Aegis Wing, Dash of Destruction, and Totemball!

    Thanks for everything Major. Happy Holidays!


  • trickybuz93

    Yep. Any new players, grab Aegis Wing off of XBLA for a free arcade game. Get Dash of Deestruction for a pretty fun, and easy gamerscore game from XBLA.


  • Shinji257

    Oh if you are using HDMI and you have problems with audio dropouts try setting the digital audio to Digital Stereo. My current sony TV only seems to support PCM audio and that resolved it. In particular it is model KDL-40S5100 in case you (a) have the same issue and want to fix it or (b) wan to avoid this TV. It is great otherwise. The change in settings may resolve it otherwise as well.


  • yolarrydabomb

    Be sure not to forget to pick up xbox live card (12 months will do) for more fun!!!


  • mchiefvs360

    And if you’re really stuck, post on the forums. Don’t worry, as long as you keep your question civil and polite and gramatically correct, we’ll help out.


  • KiloOscarZulu

    You can download Aegis Wing only in the US, that’s why Major probably didn’t mention it.


  • A Place for Us

    Don’t forget to pick up the first Gears of War and the two free map packs. 😀


  • Interceptor Lee

    If you have a Mac, and would like to stream all your itunes library, plus any Movies, Videos or photos that you have onto your Xbox 360, then I recommend you check out a $20 program called Connect360 by Nullriver.

    There’s a limited demo for free – check it out, it’s spot on!


  • BHZ anakinjmt

    Don’t forget to check out the Xbox 101 videos. They have videos on different things that new users may not know about their console, including proper hookup to your TV, online connection, adding friends, and starting parties. If you’re a 360 rookie, these are the videos for you!


  • ColdMolasses

    @KiloOscarZulu – no, you can download it in Canada as well. Don’t post “tips” if they aren’t correct.


  • Tjoeb123

    @BHZ amnakinjmt
    Or just listen to the audio version of Xbox 101 – aka that segment (which is done by…e) of Major’s podcast.

    New players, his podcast is on iTunes, Zune, (search for Major Nelson if you’re using either of those) or look for “Show ###: …” posts here on the blog.



    Ill tell you what; you enjoy the annual server crash brought to you by Xbox LIVE!!


  • soul position

    If you didn’t get all the games you wanted be sure to check out the games on demand tab. There are some incredible games in there that you can download right now. Also, every Xbox Live arcade title has a free demo, so try out lots of stuff to find what you like! Welcome to Xbox Live!


  • Louie

    Don’t forget to get a extended warranty for your 360.



  • slambert15

    Don’t forget to stock up on Microsoft Points!



    CONGRATS to Jackhole #1 CAPP3SIXTY followed up by Jackhole #2 Louie who isn’t smart enough to come up with a better gamertag.


  • Perixon

    Of course, 1 vs 100 isn’t free if you live in most EU states. In fact, it isn’t even available there (just like, the online comics and Major’s Minute).


  • Anonymous

    I remember when I got my 360 on Christmas. Oh good times!


  • Logic Squirrel

    So you just got an Xbox 360….now what?… wait till tomorrow and take it back to the store for something else or money back, lol. My wife works at a popular store (not saying the name) and that apparently does happen a whole lot.



    It’s nice to see that even though things were looking a little shaky there for a while (esp. with all the “Server busy” errors on, the XBL team has had the service ready and running smoothly for the Christmas slam. Well done guys!


  • Radical R

    once youve added some frieds why not get them to send u an invite to download the COOL and RADICAL free game that is called YARIS!


  • cavsrock08

    My advice is get off and go play xbox. Yes I love the site too but the best way to learn about your xbox is to play it. Not read about it. Happy Holidays


  • LeX DiRtY

    check facebook to see who of your friends is also a Xbox 360 user. The best thing to get into gaming, especially into the online multiplayer is a coop experience with a guy you actually know. So I would recommend to get games that support coop and play them with your friends. Halo 3, Left 4 Dead (2), Borderlands, Gears of War 2 or Resident Evil 5 have a great coop mode. Get those games and finish them. You won’t regret it.


  • Computerdude103



  • AMT


    How about a 360 we can use our own HDDs with. I would love to install a SSD in my 360. You even mentioned that the team let you try one out. Now with more games allowing for download as well as installation to the HDD it seems like a feature that Microsoft would allow its gamers to have. Death to load screens with SDDs. I know it is not feasible to release due to cost, but the feature to use our own HDDs ala the PS3 would be very welcome in my world!!! And the company could charge a premium for the 360s that allow for this feature.


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