6th August 2009 - Less than a week from today, the latest Xbox LIVE update will arrive to more than 20 million Xbox LIVE members, and with it will come the next evolution of connected entertainment on Xbox 360. Whether it's new Avatar outfits, rewards or full Xbox 360 titles downloaded straight to your console, Xbox LIVE has something for you.
Avatars are people too!
It's a brand new day for your Avatar, because now the little gal or fella has a Marketplace of his or her own. With an ever-expanding selection of stores, think of Avatar Marketplace as your Avatar's own personal shopping mall full of premium outfits and accessories from your favourite games and fashion brands. Your Avatar's one-stop-shop for threads and more will launch with a growing collection from the top names in fashion and gaming:
Top Brands: Adidas, Quiksilver, Roxy, tokidoki.
Unique Fashions: Steampunk, Recessionista
Your Favourite Games: "BioShock 2," "Halo 3," "Halo 3: ODST," "Gears of War 2," "Fable II," "The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition," "Splinter Cell Conviction," "Star Wars Clone The Wars: Republic Heroes".
Whether you're an athlete, an artist or an all-out gaming fanatic, you can express your (and your Avatar's) online personality like never before. You can also earn special Avatar clothes and items just by playing your favourite games, starting with a hot logo t-shirt from "Splosion Man," the hit Xbox LIVE Arcade title that kicked-off the 2nd annual Winter of Arcade. To keep your Avatars from getting bored, we're giving them fun new animated props to play with; everything from a basketball to pompoms, even a mobile phone.
Full Xbox 360 games at the push of a button
It's safe to say August 12th 2009 will go down in the Avatar history books (albeit teeny tiny history books), but it will also be a landmark day for gamers with the introduction of a brand new way to access and play your Xbox 360 games: Games on Demand. Launching worldwide with a library of great titles, Games on Demand marks the introduction of digitally distributed full Xbox 360 games: the titles you want, whenever you want them, straight to your Xbox 360 at the push of a button. You'll also have the option to easily purchase Games on Demand titles directly via credit card in addition to Microsoft Points.
From Platinum Hits titles like "Mass Effect," "BioShock" and "Call of Duty 2" to family favorites like "Viva Pinata" Games on Demand gives you access to a growing catalogue of full Xbox 360 titles. You can browse and download 24/7 from the comfort of your couch, and new titles will be released every week. Your purchase history is always saved, so you can delete titles if needed and re-download titles at any time.
Check out our line-up at launch:
Kameo: Elements of Power.
Perfect Dark Zero.
Call of Duty 2.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis.
Viva Piñata 2: Trouble in Paradise.
No more hide and seek
Finally, we all know that the devil's in the details, and organisation can be a pain. Now you can view, find and arrange your content on Xbox LIVE the way you like. Want to send a specific friend a message? Sort your friends list by Gamertag, status and even activity, so you can easily find the friends you are looking for. There are also new options for viewing your Achievements and progress, improved matchmaking support and more.
Best of all, you can now rate every single piece of content on Xbox LIVE Marketplace using a five star system. Support your favorite XBLA game with a five star rating, or find the top-rated titles in the newly-updated Indie Games Marketplace – it's never been easier to find the best and most beloved games on Xbox LIVE.
Just the beginning
So there you have it, the new Xbox LIVE update: fresh ways to play games and connect with friends or friendly rivals anywhere in the world. It's another step toward realising the Xbox 360 promise of entertainment for everyone, and another reason why Xbox LIVE is hands down the best entertainment value in your living room. But there's so much more to come.
This spring, we're bringing a whole new wave of partnerships and custom features straight to your Xbox 360 – instant on 1080p streaming video with 5.1 audio and the biggest forces in social networking: Facebook and Twitter.
In the meantime give your Avatar a little street cred or download that classic Xbox 360 game you've been meaning to pick up. Sit back, relax and enjoy, and stay tuned for the next evolution in connected entertainment, courtesy of Xbox LIVE.