For those Xbox 360 gamers looking to game the night away, think again. Starting tonight at 12:01 AM PDT (3:01 AM EDT) the Xbox LIVE service will be down for a scheduled maintenance for up to 24 hours. Why? If you recall, during E3 2009 many new Xbox LIVE features were announced and will be hitting LIVE over the next couple of months. This means downtime for you thanks to Microsoft prepping themselves for the upgrade. Will you see an noticeable changes after the upgrade? No.
Some of the changes you’ll see coming to LIVE this fall include:
- Games on Demand: Xbox LIVE has changed the way you play your games, and now we’re changing the way you access them, with the digital distribution of full Xbox 360 games. The Games on Demand channel will launch with a library of more than 30 great games, from classic hits like Mass Effect, BioShock and Assassin’s Creed, to family favorites like LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga and Sonic the Hedgehog. You’ll have access to a wide variety of great games, downloadable in only a few hours and at the touch of a button. We’ve also added the option to purchase Games on Demand directly with your credit or debit card.
- Great games on Xbox LIVE and Xbox LIVE Arcade: Xbox LIVE Arcade is keeping the fun rolling all summer long. We are continuing our commitment to quality and innovation by delivering five weeks of downloadable blockbusters with the second annual Summer of Arcade—bringing you the biggest and best smash hits of the season including Shadow Complex, Trials HD, Splosion Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled, and MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 2. And of course I’m excited to see the launch of our beta season of 1 vs 100 Live today. I’m also already playing a ton of our newly announced game, Joy Ride, and I can’t wait for you to experience it this holiday.
- Avatar Marketplace: Since the launch of NXE, millions of Avatars have been created on Xbox LIVE, giving our members a whole new way to express themselves online, in games, and in their social experiences. Starting this summer, you will see some great new ways to make your Avatar truly your own. First, we heard loud and clear from you that you wanted to get new avatar items as awards when playing games, and I’m happy to announce support for in-game Avatar Awardables. Second, you’re going to see some great new options with animated Props and full costumes to add to your Avatar. Finally, we’re continuing that spirit of customization and self-expression with a virtual closet full of premium clothing and interactive props to download and purchase for your Avatar. Whether its game-inspired gear or the latest fashion trends, there will be creative options for everyone to enjoy. You’ll also be able to easily access the new Avatar Marketplace directly through the Avatar editor.
- User Ratings: We’re adding a five-star rating system that lets you easily rate any content in the Games Marketplace. Now you’ll be able to show your support for your favorite games and Game Add-ons on Xbox LIVE and also quickly organize by user rating to find the community’s favorite content. This has been one of your most-requested features, and we’re very happy to bring it to you this summer.
- Performance Updates: We know that the details also matter. That’s why we’re making a series of updates based on your feedback. First and foremost, the entire Xbox LIVE service is being upgraded for improved performance including better guide and friends access. Some other things we’ve done based on your feedback include revamping the friends sorting list, Achievement views and improving our matchmaking support. There’s always room to improve, and your input really matters to us … so keep it coming!