You just got a new Xbox 360 as a holiday gift. Welcome to a community of gamers and entertainment fans that’s over 57 million strong! If you’ve plugged it in and played a game with a controller or Kinect, you have a taste of why the Xbox 360 is awesome. But dropping a disc in the drive and playing a game is just one way to enjoy the console. Here’s just 10 of the many other ways you can experience the Xbox 360’s entertainment potential.
1. Connect to Xbox LIVE. With 2012 fast approaching, it’s hard to imagine using a computer that’s not connected to the Internet. Sure, it’s still useful, but it’s a whole different device once you take it online. The same thing is true of your Xbox 360: By itself, it’s an awesome game console and media player. But connect it to Xbox LIVE and you open a new world of possibilities: Not only can you play games with friends, but you download Add-ons to extend your favorite games, stream your favorite movies and TV shows, video chat with friends, explore YouTube, download music, and so much more. Check out our Xbox LIVE pages for the full scoop on what LIVE offers.
While an Xbox LIVE Gold membership offers the widest variety of features, you can still connect with a free account if you’re still not sure about signing up for Gold. A free membership will still let you download the latest updates for your games, purchase add-ons and games from Xbox LIVE Marketplace, try demos, and more, so there's no reason not to sign up. To get the full scoop on the differences between Free, Gold, and Family Gold memberships and then sign up, join LIVE now!
2. Try a Bunch of Free Demos. Once you’re connected to Xbox LIVE, you can try demo versions of today’s hottest games before buying. In fact, you can queue demos up to download right here from Xbox.com! Just visit the Game Demos page, select the games you’d like to try, and they’ll download to your Xbox 360 next time you sign on to Xbox LIVE. You’ll also find trial versions available for every Xbox LIVE Arcade game: over 430 as this was written!
3. Find Your Friends on Xbox LIVE. It’s great to connect on Xbox LIVE. Besides joining friends for multiplayer fun, you can also compare Achievements with them, voice and video chat, and exchange messages. The easiest way to find your friends who are already Xbox LIVE members is to use the Facebook app. You can see which of your friends have gamertags, and add them directly to your friends list from the app.
4. Customize Your Avatar. There’s an amazing variety of items available to make your avatar truly reflect your personality. You can buy virtual versions of real-life sportswear, turn your avatar into a superhero, or wear duds that show off your favorite game. In fact, you can even customize your Avatar right here on Xbox.com, using our Avatar Editor, or exploring the hundreds of items available in the Game Style and Life Style sections of Avatar Marketplace.
5. See What Your Friends Have Been Playing. A great way to discover new games and apps is to see what your friends have been up to. On your Xbox 360, head over to the Social hub and select a friend to see what they’ve been playing. On Xbox.com, you can see the titles most popular among your friends by visiting the Social page and looking at the “Friends’ Activity” section. You can also visit the Friends hub on the Social page and click individual friends to see their recent activity.
6. Get Tips from Inside Xbox. On your Xbox 360, head over to the Video hub, select “Inside Xbox,” and you’ll find an awesome collection of videos that includes Xbox 101 (introductory tips), Insider Moves (game strategies), OXM (game previews), the Kinect Show, and more. You’ll want to check back every week; it’s a great way to find out what’s up on Xbox LIVE, and learn how to get the most from your Xbox 360. You can also find some of the latest videos on the Inside Xbox page on Xbox.com.
7. Check Out All the Awesome Accessories. There are a wealth of accessories to make your new Xbox even cooler. Pick up an extra controller or three to support up to four players on your Xbox 360, or enhance your racing experience with the new Wireless Speed Wheel. There’s an awesome new Xbox 360 Wireless Headset with Bluetooth that works with both your Xbox 360 and your cell phone, as well as a Chatpad for heavy text entry. Check out the full lineup of accessories, which includes batteries, chargers, hard drives, and more.
8. Go App Shopping On your Xbox 360, head over to the Apps hub and select “Apps Marketplace” to check out the growing variety of Apps that let you use your Xbox 360 to access popular entertainment offerings like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, TMZ, SyFy, MSNBC, and more. Keep checking back, because along with the apps that are available now, 2012 will bring even more, including HBO Go and MLB.TV.
9. Chat with a Friend If your friends are on Xbox LIVE, you can save your cellular minutes and avoid long-distance calls. Xbox LIVE gives you a variety of methods for voice- and video-chatting with friends, both in-game and out. Just hit the Guide button on your controller (the big silver one in the center), choose Friends, and select a friend. Then you can invite them to a private chat, a Party chat with other friends, or a Video Kinect video call. (You’ll need either a headset with microphone or a Kinect.)
10. Get a New Game without Leaving Home While you’ll need to visit your favorite local or online retailer to grab the newest Xbox 360 titles on DVD, if your Xbox 360 has a hard drive you can purchase the many slightly older titles from Xbox LIVE Marketplace’s Games on Demand section and download them directly to your Xbox 360 without ever leaving home. These games include megahits like Halo Reach and Batman: Arkham Asylum, as well as fan-favorite games like the open-world classic Just Cause 2. Plus don’t forget the aforementioned Xbox LIVE Arcade games, and the often creative, sometimes wacky Indy games like the awesome holiday-themed platformer Elfsquad7, which costs just 80 Microsoft Points.
Of course, that’s just a quick list to get you started. There’s tons of other awesome stuff you can do with your Xbox 360 on Xbox LIVE. Share your favorite Xbox 360 activities in the comment section below!
-- Denny Atkin [Gamertag: Editer]
i dont mind xbox but seriously if we gamers fork out $60 a year we should get these apps for free i think. i mean i can barely keep up with my gold as it is
Thanks a lot I mean its not like those things were self explanatory.
haha the comments on here are so funny! microsoft, you are a bit of a joke
I love how Microsoft seems to be able to turn everything into an advertisement for itself.
Any-1 4 PGR3 ? :)
Microsoft should lower the price for gold members to expensive because were all ready pay for it.
Sorry , can't read(;
THIS DON'T GIVE YOU A FREE 1 MONTH XBOX LIVE ... YOU HAVE TO BUY IT DIP *** AND GET A LIFE *** HOE BECUZ THIS IS AMERICA AND I CAN DO WHAT EVR I WANT TO DO ***
Oh boy, i did all of these 4 years ago, Do i get a reward?
SORRY(no not realy sorry),xbox360...but am sell you due to the high cost of your membership and all the money one needs to spend on all this stuff to maintain your account(pay for xboxlive and home internet)....as soon as my liveaccount is over.....PLAYSTATION HERE I COME...
how do i get spanish off the x box TELL ME NOW!!!
hurry my moms lost her mind tell me how to get the spanish off shes on her nees begging