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XBox - It's Alive

Nov. 11 2008, Published 7:52 a.m. ET

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Xbox 360 Elite Users of Microsoft's 'Xbox Live' will find something different when they log on November 19th. That's when they can tap into an upgraded online network with a slicker operating system packed with all kinds of goodies.

Among the improvements are fully animated avatars, an iPod-like display, and immediate viewing of Netflix movie rentals.

"We're completely reinventing the service so it's easy to use and social," says Marc Whitten, the general manager of Xbox Live. "The old user experience was static and pretty limited. This, on the other hand, is really a social media entertainment hub."

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This enhancement is part of Microsoft's desire to increase its base of 'Xbox 360' users for the holiday season. The cost of the basic 'Xbox' was recently lowered to $199, which is less than the 'Wii,' which sells for $249.

Other improvements will be an increase in available games, since independent and amateur creators can put their own downloadable games on the new 'Community Games' channel.

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