And as you can tell, they haven’t. Typical Microsoft, they are late in giving us the update that will allow us background downloading, and while I am sure they just need the extra time to make it actually work, it is interesting that they even had information up on their site for a while about it.
With the spring auto-update of the Xbox Live service scheduled for May 23, 2006, you will have access to the Active Download feature in the Xbox Live Marketplace.
With an active downloads list, you receive the following benefits:
- Each item that you download is downloaded separately in the background. This lets you continue to use the console while you download an item.
- You can stream music, play DVDs or CDs, play arcade titles, and play games while you download an item from the marketplace.
- If you start to play an online game, the download is automatically paused while you play the game to help prevent game lag because of network congestion. This helps you receive the best online gaming experience that the network can provide.
- All downloads are associated with your profile. If a download is paused or if the download is interrupted, the download will resume the next time that you connect to Xbox Live.
- You can add items to the active downloads list at any time by selecting more items from the marketplace.
You will receive a notification in the Xbox Guide when an item starts to download and when the download is completed. You will also receive a notification if the download fails.
I am pretty happy about the overall abilities of the background downloading application, as the only real limitation seems to be that downloading will automatically pause if you go play online games to make sure you don’t experience crazy lag, which is smart. I just wish they would hurry up and push this release out. It would have been crazy useful during E3, and I hope there will be other times that it will be useful, as more and more content fills up the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Where it will be the most useful is when new owners connect the Xbox Live for the first time, get this update, and can download to their hearts content to catch up to where most of us currently are as we have been downloading single items as they are released. I think this “Active Downloading” application is only going to fill hard drives faster though.