Microsoft updating Xbox 360 disc format

Company asks for US volunteers to test next system update, offers Halo: Reach as a reward for participating gamers.

Microsoft is gearing up for the next Xbox 360 system update, but it needs gamers' help testing a few things out. The company today announced a new System Update Preview Program for US-based Xbox 360 owners to help test a new disc format for the system.

Are there three more exciting words in the English language than "new disc format"?

By signing up at the Microsoft Connect website and filling out a survey, US gamers can volunteer to take part in the preview program. Multiple thousands of gamers will be chosen to participate, with Xbox Live Gold members receiving priority over their nonpaying Xbox Live Silver counterparts.

Participants will receive a copy of Halo: Reach (and possibly other rewards as well) for their trouble, but the program is not without risk. During the registration process, Microsoft warns that due to the nature of prerelease software updates, there's a chance participants could wind up with nonfunctioning systems. The agreement makes no mention of Microsoft repairing systems broken as a result of the update.

When asked what security or storage benefits the new disc format might bring, a Microsoft representative told GameSpot there were no additional details to share at this time.

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482 comments
Nodashi
Nodashi

@XanderZane Not the next. This one. The PS3 has much expensiver hardware. That's why it was much more expensive at launch. Nowadays, it OBVIOUSLY has lower profit margin. It has better hardware all around. If MY made a console with this hardware, it would cost more than 199 bucks or the margin would be lower. Many PC games are over 10gb in size. Blu ray was needed, the MS lobby dominance managed to delay the technology, not the other way around. Anyway, we'll not agree, I'm ok with it. Cya.

XanderZane
XanderZane

@Nodashi said: @XanderZane Putting Blu-Ray into the next Xbox will not make M$ profit margin smaller. If anything it will grow, because more people will be happy they did. Sony having Windows 7 in their laptops is not hurting their profit margin at all. Who is complaining about L.A. Noire being on 3 discs? Not me. You have to change discs twice in the whole game. Not a big deal. Blu-Ray wasn't needed this current generation. The Wii and XBox 360 pretty much proved that. The generation will be coming to an end in a couple years and the PS3 (w/ it's blu-ray format) will still not be the leader. Blu-Ray wasn't needed. Will if be needed Next-Gen? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what other media formats are available. Something comparable to Blu-Ray will be needed as games are getting larger and larger. One thing you're forgetting the PS3 was as I type this.

Nodashi
Nodashi

@XanderZane "Dude", you dont get my point. Noone cares if Sony is the only owner of the Blu-Ray format. MS cares about public perception (most people associate the Blu-Ray technology and Sony) and they don't want to accept it was a mistake not using Blu-Ray in the first place. It was not actually a mistake - it made the Xbox much cheaper than the PS3. The problem is, if they accept it, it will become obvious than, at the same cost, the PS3 is obviously the most useful - hey, free online play, standard wireless controllers and blue tooth and you can watch blu-ray movies on it! All I'm saying is - when you're gonne complain LA noire comes in 3 DVDs, blame MS marketing department. They could simply release a blu-ray drive upgrade or a new blu ray model. Of course, that would make their profit margin smaller... Also, hardware on other lines ha nothing to do with the discussion. Sony makes a LOT of stuff, of course their PCs have Windows installed.

XanderZane
XanderZane

@Nodashi said: @XanderZane It doesn't matter. If they have the largest share, it's their; If MS used it, they would have to accept the fact that their console use Sony technology. They would never do that, so they hurt their consumers to avoid bad marketing. Facts of life. ******************************************************************** Dude, you do realize that Sony isn't the only company that makes Blu-Ray devices right. Sony isn't the only owner of Blu-Ray. Microsoft could easily use a Samsung Blu-Ray in their next-gen console if they wanted to. Sony uses other manufacturers HDD in their PS3. They use M$ Window 7 in their laptops. lol!! This new formatting is obviously for the 360.

IAmTheSaladMan
IAmTheSaladMan

I apologise for this going off the topic at hand but what I find really funny about this site is how poor some people's grasp of the English language is. Some of the comments and forum posts I attempt to read on here don't even approach readable. I fail to take seriously an argument made by someone that struggles to string even a basic sentence together. Punctuation and spell checkers exist for a reason guys.

jchristenberry
jchristenberry

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Nodashi
Nodashi

@XanderZane It doesn't matter. If they have the largest share, it's their; If MS used it, they would have to accept the fact that their console use Sony technology. They would never do that, so they hurt their consumers to avoid bad marketing. Facts of life.

XanderZane
XanderZane

@Nodashi @thenephariouson Yeah, like Nintendo "ditched" CDs on the N64. Look how good it ended up being for them. MS has no CHOICE. The Blu ray is the new media standard. Not for games, for everything. They'll have to suck it up and use Sony proprietary media format. **************************************************************** You people are giving way to much credit to Sony for Blu-Ray. First of all, Sony isn't even the company who created Blu-Ray. One man created the process and media. Sony paid him to expand the media. Then they got like 11 other companies to invest in the technology for worldwide marketing. Blu-Ray is owned by a lot of different companies. Sony just has the largest investment in the product, so that's why their name is on it first. All the other games get paid whenever a Blu-Ray media is sold though. What's funny is there are better media in development and on the way. Blu-Ray could be replaced in the future.

garrybubba
garrybubba

Could this be anything to do with security in relation to playing downloaded/copied games? As it seems the only useful thing with a new disc format, other than increasing disc size and that would be one hell of a digital magic trick with just new software. *edit didnt see how old this was and did a quick google search, seeing that this apparently offers 1GB more space on a disk, pretty cool but I still dont see the benefit when you compare it to a bluray disk, still cool though

TheTrainer1980
TheTrainer1980

@yoda101280 I have gone out and done things, left my XBOX on while redownloading software after a format. You make it sound like I sit home 24 hours a day and play, I don't. I use my XBOX for more than gaming. I use it a lot for Netflix and Last.fm. Two great services the Miss' and myself enjoy.

yoda101280
yoda101280

@TheTrainer1980 Well, then I guess that just means you lose a lot of bets. If all you base your assumptions on is the fact that you never had a 360 fail, then that simply is very poor logic. Beyond that, considering Microsoft freely admitted their was a flaw in their product that caused the ROD's which had nothing to do with the user. Perhaps you should actually read more and educate yourself before you post replies that don't even make sense. But just to comment on the drivel you posted...no, I didn't leave my 360 on for days, who does? I have a full time job and a life so I couldn't even game for extended sessions like that and I'm actually more of a PC gamer, it's pretty common that I'll go months w/o even turning my 360/PS3 on at all.

5cott
5cott

@TomBergman909 Hardly.

pie369
pie369

Also if you want certain games that are on the other platform that you dont have, save up and buy the other system, what are you, like five?

pie369
pie369

I own a PS3, an X-Box 360 and a Wii. The PS3 is by far superior to the X-Box in almost every way. (I own an X-Box for CoD with my friends.) anyway, i still firmly believe that Microsoft is one of the worst companies ever, next to Activision. No Microsoft device/software is the superior for what it is. (i.e. Mac>PC, PS3>X-box, and Every single smartphone>Windows Phone 7) so X-Box fans can shut up about their X-Crap and deal with the fact that MS is a terrible company with terrible products. That is all.

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

Look to boil the PS3 V Xbox360 debate down to base features: IE If U like the fallowing buy a PS3: God of War, Killzone, Ratchet and Clank, Twisted Metal, Little Big Planet, Uncharged, free online gameing, built in web browser, 3D games with expensive glasses and PS Move, media streaming via Windows XP/Vista, and 7, and features that play off or into PSP software........... If U like the fallowing buy an Xbox360: 60bucks a year online gameing, Halo, Gears of War, Fable, Banjo Kazooie, ShadowComplex, Crackdown, Splinter Cell, Intagrated functions between ur Xbox360, WIndows 7 PC, and Windows 7 Phone, plus Zune/Zune HD Get it now? Get the darn system U want and stop crying over games U want and can't play if U like both of them, get both and play the exclusives on both and be happy. I'm sick of fanboy debates now......... Get over it, move on and get lives....... I got more collage study work to do.

galduke
galduke

@parhar67 Not sure you realize what role media format plays with games...

parhar67
parhar67

Nodashi Blu ray is the new media for everything? LOL are you serious? HAHAHAHHA thats hilarious because last time I checked more DVD's are sold over blu ray movies. How come PC games are still on DVD? Crysis 1 blows anything that the ps3 has to offer out of the water in terms of graphical power and its all done on a DVD that is inferior....LOL. Not everyone owns a HDTV to use blu rays. That will be their down fall. Blu ray is good technology but having a blu ray player without a HDTV is useless. There is not point. It needs HDTV's to suceed and not every one has jumped ship nor will they anytime soon.

Nodashi
Nodashi

@thenephariouson Yeah, like Nintendo "ditched" CDs on the N64. Look how good it ended up being for them. MS has no CHOICE. The Blu ray is the new media standard. Not for games, for everything. They'll have to suck it up and use Sony proprietary media format.

Nodashi
Nodashi

@KrazzyDJ They will do it the way new consoles are always unveiled - one month or so prior to release. It WILL kill the Xbox 360. As the PS3 killed the PS2. It's a fact of life. The "next gen" consoles we play are seven years old. Time for them to die. My PC has six cores, 2g VGA and 8 gbs of RAM. Consoles must evolve.

hartmanau
hartmanau

Microsoft Connect is no longer accepting participants. I am a Gold subscriber even, so the link in the article really no longer matters. If someone else navigates to it and is accepted, let us know. Otherwise, the Preview is full.

Chickenman9431
Chickenman9431

With this whole console war stuff, if we are talking about parts, the PS3 has better ones. I don't wish to start any arguments but even the versatility the PS3 has is far superior. i still remember trying to put music on the Xbox... But PC always is best. Period.

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

With all this talk, I'm beginning to believe that the next XBOX announcement is not far away. I wonder though how they'll announce it since wouldn't such a reveal result in a drop in the current XBOX sales ??? Or maybe they'll go the Apple way ???

KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

i find all this trash talk about ms and its 360 stemming from this article hilarious. some people just go out of their way to define the 360 as an inferior gaming option. have fun bickering kids.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

Not sure what advantages a new disc format can bring. More space on discs is what is really needed.

redskinStu
redskinStu

Ha, ha, yeah right, does it include a red ring on front?

Microsteve
Microsteve

pirates will always find a way, waste of time and money microsoft

Trogeton
Trogeton

yeah I just switched over being miscrosoft screwed me over after putting thousands of dollars in the console and thousands in my gamertag and they ban me will year 9999, lol switch to another console you will end up patting yourself on the back. Thank you for pushing me away microsoft

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Personally, i think its great that MS are willing to take the effort at maximising the current disc capacity, given that the next platform is a couple of years away, i also wouldnt be suprised if MS ditch BluRay in favour of newer media technologies on the next console.

nate1222
nate1222

The more these types of stories pop up, the more glad I am that I'm NOT part of the current (7th) gen. Good thing I have GOG for my cheap ($6-$10) Old School goodies. And they'll run on a device I already get plenty of practical uses out of; my laptop.

Philly04
Philly04

It's almost like an experimental vaccine. Woah Microsoft is being cheap!

rann89
rann89

Wow. I guess a cheapskate system is run by a cheapskate company. "We may break your system, or you may win a mediocre game."

Pineapple_Head
Pineapple_Head

I was about to sign up after clicking on the link on this article and when I looked back on the article and saw the following.... "there's a chance participants could wind up with non-functioning systems. The agreement makes no mention of Microsoft repairing systems broken as a result of the update." , I was like f-this and decided not to join. I have a rare Dark Knight X360 in my possession and I can't afford the risk of bull-**** on it. I'll wait for the post-beta upgrade of this software when the "new discs" come out.

mightEone
mightEone

Little late to be changing Formats at this point. Might as well just put a Blu Ray in the new Xbox and release it in 2 years.

jaymib
jaymib

Wouldn't it easyer just ot release a Blu ray player add on...

blue_francis14
blue_francis14

@collingtonuk ah... thanks for that info. I'm a late console buyer so I didn't really know what happened except that PS3's before has a hefty price tag. I just bought mine during the release of the slim and the price drop.

SuperYeti22
SuperYeti22

OMG can you people stop arguing?! Why is there a damn console war?! PS3 and 360 are both equally great systems ..... ({PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS JUST MY OPINION!! NO FLAME/HATE/TROLLS PLEASE!!!!!!!} I personally prefer PS3 as a console {PC ALWAYS WINS}, I beleive it has much better exculsives; multimedia; free online; reliability; upgradability, but many multiplats are lead-developed on the Xbox, giving it decent advantage) , but when stupid console war fanboys argue, they're not only missing out on the advantages each system has to offer, they're also wasting all of their time! DON'T YOU HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO?!?!?! (Besides, if you're lifelessly bent on this stupid argument, this is the worst place, Gamespot has a System Wars page on the forums for this!!)

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@ samedizombie I can think of a massive list of better 3 word sayings than some format change.I'll just mention one,and anyone please tell me if it doesn't excite you when you here it from a console company. New game console.

parhar67
parhar67

dj_pulserfan no one forced me to update? Yeah cuz If I did not update than I wouldnt be able to go online with my system not being able to use psn or netflix....another 2 features sony would take away from me. LOL sony doesnt force you to do anything they just restrict your console.

samedizombie
samedizombie

Q: Are there three more exciting words in the English language than "new disc format"? A: Yes: "Eat My Shorts!"

Diddies
Diddies

@TheTrainer1980 You are wrong. They own a small share of it. Panasonic owns most of it. These are the companies that are responsible: CyberLink Corporation Dell Inc. Hewlett-Packard Company Hitachi Ltd. Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. LG Electronics Inc. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic) Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Pioneer Corporation Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. Sharp Corporation Sony Corporation TDK Corporation Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. Warner Home Video Inc. Therefore, if Microsoft would team up with say Panasonic for instance, lets say you may see Blu-Ray on the Xbox.

The_Dragon_Born
The_Dragon_Born

Right on. I'd be tempted if I didn't already have Halo Reach

archlvt
archlvt

"RROD incoming, lol." OH MY GOODNESS another RROD joke didn't see that one coming lololololol

dj_pulserfan
dj_pulserfan

@parhar67 "no they just shoot it themselves by removing things i paid for like backwards compatibility and other OS....and I dont have to pay to fix my system thats under warranty when an update they force me to take bricks my system." Sony only took away other OS to prevent hackers and turns out less than 2% of PS3 users actually used it anyway. Besides, no one FORCED you to upgrade. And BC is STILL there for people with consoles able to do so. So stop with the disinformation please.

shabulia
shabulia

Well I'M SOLD! As a reward for possibly bricking my currently working 360, I get a game that has been out for 6 months and that I could buy at Gamestop or on Ebay for around $40.00. Not only that, I get NO specs on how (if the new format doesn't mess my system up) the new format will benefit me in any way, shape, or form. Not only that, but if I am not lucky enough to get chosen for this great deal, then I can just wait for all the other guinea pigs to get their systems messed up and then, after all the kinks are worked out, I can download the update anyway. Where do I sign up?!?!

fillup0
fillup0

Microsoft better prepare to give free repairs for ANYONE who is affected by this...

torbonator
torbonator

at the end of the day a DVD is still a DVD, blu-ray is the new format, they might as well put the money into researching how to implement that or create a competitor that can actually compete.

brian419
brian419

I have sent three 360's in for repair over the past 2 years,my slim is in the repair center for the 2nd time in the past month. The last thing I need is more headaches,no thanks! Whoever agrees to this is crazy and deserves what they get!