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Patch Your Xbox 360 – Dashboard patch includes unreported changes

The new Xbox 360 dashboard update released today seems to offer several small, under-the-hood improvements not mentioned in the official release. In addition to the official HDMI audio correction, we’ve discovered a few other apparent changes:

  • Some DVDs that wouldn’t play without the hard drive attached now work! For example, Angel Season 3 Disc 1 would not load for us at all unless the hard drive was attached. Now it plays fine without.
  • Hit or miss: Navigating to Games Library seems much zippier in some situations, but can still take 10 seconds or more to load at other times. Seriously, it shouldn’t take more than a second to access the same Arcade game you played last night, especially if you’re offline!
  • This might not be new, but the contextual icons displayed on the dashboard for the A, B, X and Y. buttons flash when you press them, at least in some places. Maybe it was like that before – we can’t compare now that we’ve updated, but we never noticed it before. CONFIRMED: NOT NEW. Thanks for the comments correcting this. Guess I’m less observant than I thought.

There might be more; let us know if you spot anything else that might be new. If I get ambitious in the next week, I might try redownloading some orphaned content from last year’s console death to see whether the update fixed that rather significant DRM problem.

Oh, and if anyone on the dashboard team is paying attention, here are a couple more minor issues that remain:

  • Logging in with a password to Xbox Live using a remote prompts you to connect a controller. Why should this be necessary if all I want to do is stream a Netflix show or see what friends are doing? Fortunately pressing B takes you to the prompt so you can login, but it’s still a glitch and minor annoyance.
  • Netflix streaming, at least for us, consistently pauses to adjust video quality (saying the connection has slowed) – usually within the first 30 seconds of playback. This is a real pain when you’re watching a bunch of 30 minutes shows back to back and it does it every time. Seems like there should be a preference to set video quality where it most consistently succeeds, with the option to retrain if you upgrade your Internet.
  • Friends caching. The Friends section still consistently takes too long to load. It seems like the console should cache avatars for all of your friends so they load instantly and then stream in any avatar/clothing changes, their games being played and additional party members afterwards.

All of these are small gripes, but certainly worth addressing…

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