Over the last month, there are have been two major required updates for Xbox Live. The question that I have for you guys is this: did anyone notice a difference? We did, and we are here to breakdown the differences. After doing a little research, I found out that Major Nelson did a blog post explaining some of the changes; but not all were explained.

According to the previously mentioned post, the Xbox Live team worked to make the new dashboard a lot easier to load. With the new advertisements, sometimes loading different sections of the dashboard took longer than what should be expected of a Xbox operating system. According to VG247, Xbox’s UK Community Manager tweeted saying the changes were “just behind the scenes stuff to keep Xbox Live the best experience possible”.

Another change that we’ve noticed is the changing of the “Games” category. Previously, Xbox Indie and Arcade developers have complained because their particular categories were harder to find, compared to the previous dashboard update. Now instead of having to sift through the games category, you can find the Arcade and Indie games much easier. Downloads overall are much quicker, but game connection has lost some of its strength.

Being an avid Halo player, I notice multiplayer game speeds very easily. While there have been some updates to Reach, I don’t believe 343 Industries changed the networking code. Those players who use methods of creating ” host advantage” are rewarded as they can lead players to a black screen that would traditionally put all players in a state of pause; instead, some players continue to play creating a less-balanced game experience on Xbox Live.

Overall, the changes for Xbox Live have been for the benefit of the Xbox brand with download speeds increasing for games and other media, while the minority of Xbox users have multiplayer issues. This overall is supposed to create a better experience for those using Xbox Live, right? For those playing multiplayer, not really. I hope to see a change that’ll prevent those people from using “lag switches” to manipulate the network.

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