Microsoft officials have confirmed that the previously announced
Spring Update will go live on May 9th, listing the full set of features, which include the arrival of Windows Live Messenger on Xbox 360, and a plethora of other upgrades.
The firm is particularly highlighting Windows Live Messenger, which will connect people across Xbox 360 consoles, Windows PCs and Windows Mobile devices - Xbox Live members will be able to socialize with people on their unified friends list. However, a concatenated list of other major features in the newly implemented Windows Live Messenger include the following:
- Chat via instant messenger with up to 20 contacts in a single conversation, and have up to six different conversations at the same time with people on PCs, mobile phones and other Xbox 360 consoles.
- Instant message while playing games, listening to music or watching movies or TV shows downloaded from Xbox Live Marketplace.
- View at a glance if friends on Windows Live Messenger have gamertags and add them to a unified friends list.
- Utilize the virtual keyboard on the Xbox 360 to text chat or connect a USB keyboard to the console. Launching later this summer, the Xbox 360 text-input device accessory will connect directly to the controller to support instant messaging.
In addition to the availability of Instant Messenger on Xbox Live, the Xbox 360 Spring Update has also added "hundred" of extra upgrades, according to an official statement from the company, including the following highlights:
- On-screen pop-ups that immediately display the name and gamerscore value of a just accomplished Achievement, allowing gamers to see their progress without leaving or pausing the game.
- Enhanced family settings that enable different default settings for video chat and voice chat across Xbox Live.
- A new, standalone Xbox Live Marketplace operating system blade houses all Xbox Live Marketplace content in one easy to navigate space.
- Xbox Live Arcade enhancements that showcase what games friends are playing directly from the friends list. Boasting about high scores, comparing progress and checking out leaderboards are all easier now as well.
- Faster access to free, trial version of Xbox Live Arcade games through an improved Auto Downloads feature.
- The ability to fast-forward, pause and rewind video as it is being downloaded on Xbox Live Marketplace.
- Owners can now set their consoles to turn off after downloading content from Xbox Live Marketplace to help save energy, and download speeds have been increased.
The Xbox 360 Spring Update is free to all Xbox Live members, and a more complete list, spelling out further major features, is available as part of an official Xbox.com press release