Friday, May 23, 2008

What's the Deal With the 360 Spring Update?

One thing 360 owners have come to expect over the last few years are the bi-annual dashboard updates that are released in the Spring and the Fall which add all sorts of new functionality to the console interface. Right around now is the time when the Spring Update would normally be released. Next-Gen is reporting that there will be no Spring Update this year, based on an interview with Xbox Live manager Marc Whitten, however, as one Next-Gen reader pointed out in the comments, Whitten never specifically says that there will be only one update this year, just that "most users will not notice any significant changes to the dashboard this spring".

This could mean any number of things:

1. There will be a spring update, it just won't be as significant as past updates. This makes sense because as time goes on there are going to be less and less features they can reasonably add.

2. There will be a sizable update, it just won't be in the Spring. Remember that the Fall Update was released so late in the Fall that it was very nearly the Winter Update. It would follow then that the next update might not be ready until early to mid summer, which would make it the "Summer Update". That of course begs the question, "Why didn't Whitten just say that the update wouldn't be out until the Summer?"

3. Next-Gen is right and there won't be any kind of update until the Fall or later.

I would hope Microsoft wouldn't go an entire year between updates while Sony constantly updates the PS3 firmware. I've always liked Microsoft's strategy better because not only is it something to look forward to, the updates are always virtually seamless. Anyone with a PS3 (or PSP which works the same way) will tell you that updating the firmware is a huge pain in the ass, made worse by the fact that Sony regularly releases updates that do nothing, but are required nonetheless.

I'd like to think Scenario 2 is what will happen, but either way this definitely requires further investigation.

[via Joystiq]

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