May 22, 2008

Marc Whitten Gives Info on 360 Dash Update, DRM, & XBLA

In an interview with Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten talks about the future of the Xbox Live Arcade, a fix for the digital rights management issue, and the 2008 spring update for the Xbox 360. The summary of the interview basically states that there will not be a significant dashboard update this spring, a DRM fix is coming soon, and Microsoft is beginning to focus more on quality rather than quantity in the Xbox Live Arcade. Hit the jump for a few more details.

Whitten stated that while there will not be a major dashboard update this spring, the team is working on a fix for the major DRM problems users have had.
"So while most users will not notice any significant changes to the dashboard this spring, I can tell you that the team will be releasing a new digital rights management (DRM) tool next month that will allow you to better consolidate your licenses for downloaded content to a single Xbox and allow you the freedom to be able to play your content both online and offline."

Also, Microsoft will soon begin to de-list arcade games that earn a metacritic score below 65% and a conversion rate below 6% in a focus on quality control in the arcade, there will be a 3 month warning prior to the removal of any game. Whitten also confirms that Microsoft will soon open a first party development studio focused on media creation with the hopes that quality will become a much bigger factor in the arcade library. With the increase in quality comes a price increase as well;
"While the service has had a lot of success and now boasts over 130 titles, we think it is time to continue our focus on quality over quantity. This means that we need to allow developers more time and more space to make even bigger and better games. So we are officially increasing our XBLA game size limits dramatically from 150mb to 350mb. We are also giving publishers more flexibility in how they price their games and opening up a new 1600 Microsoft Points price point for some of these now bigger and better games."

It is yet to be seen how the community will react to this 1600 price point. The first game to utilize it launched Wednesday, Penny Arcade's first title was set at 1600 Microsoft points to the complaints of many. No need to sit and watch your 360 anymore in the coming weeks, no update is coming. Enjoy some games rather than waiting for that much needed four player private chat, we will see you in the Fall!

Full Interview via

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