Microsoft will roll out the 2007 Fall Dashboard Update for the Xbox 360 console on December 4. This update will add DivX support and support for paid downloads of original Xbox games.
In perhaps the biggest news for tech-minded gamers, codec support for video files will be widened, with Joystiq reporting that this will include MPEG-4 Part 2 video codec support. "What that basically means is that our users should find that most of their DivX and Xvid files will work because they're under that umbrella of the MPEG-4 Part 2 codec," Microsoft's Aaron Greenburg told the site. DivX and Xvid support has long been a requested feature from people who would like to use their Xbox 360 as a media hub, making this very welcome news.
Microsoft seems to be taking cues both from Sony and Nintendo for other additions, and they are moving Xbox Live into a service not unlike some of the more popular social networking sites. Instead of the tiny amount of information gamers were able to share about themselves, they will soon have the opportunity to create a larger profile page, sharing more than just their gamertag and the brief statement that is available currently. This is in addition to the ability to look at the friends of people on your friends list, a way to meet new people through the gamers you're already playing with.
These features are optional, and all your settings can be turned to private in the options, but Microsoft is clearly looking to make Xbox Live a more social experience, a landing pad for gamers instead of just a place to play Halo 3.