While the general public has taken kindly to the Xbox 360's dashboard, nothing inspires change more than last-minute panic. Perhaps sensing big things on the way from the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft has an pretty hefty UI update (85 new features) ready to deploy today.
The biggest new feature on the way is the addition of the ability to output 1080p--we'll have to fish out our VGA adaptor to test this when it hits, as most HDTVs can't output 1080p via component. Besides providing a higher output for games, the Xbox 360 will also provide that resolution kick to HD-DVDs, which are now playable on the system after this upgrade (and your purchase of the $200 HD-DVD player).
The 360 will have a few other new sources of streaming video at your beck and call starting tomorrow. Whereas users could previously only stream video from a Media Center-enabled PC, this update will allow you to stream WMV video from a Windows PC running Windows Media Player 11, Zune software, or Windows Media Connect. Finally, Xbox Live Arcade is receiving a few tweaks with features allowing quicker startup and easier access to titles, as well as the ability to auto-download trial versions of new games as they release. Be sure to check back in the next few days as we take these new features for a test run. For now, take a gander at the entire list of new features courtesy of Xbox.com. There's a Daylight Savings change next year?