Xbox 360 getting "updated" disc format

Microsoft has begun asking US Xbox 360 owners to register for the latest System Update Preview which this year promises something of a surprise.

"We are conducting an open call for US based participants for a public preview to help us prepare for an updated Xbox 360 disc format," community voice Major Nelson wrote on his blog.

"This is an important update as we continually strive to improve our products and we could not do so without the help of our great Xbox community."

Microsoft is looking to recruit "multiple thousands of participants", though the trial is limited to the US "due to disc distribution limitations". Xbox Live Gold members will be given priority over Silver users.

The big question, of course, is what the new disc format will be. That fact that owners of existing consoles are being asked to take part rules out an upgrade to an HD format such as Blu-ray.

More likely is a multiple layer DVD solution that can be enabled on existing hardware via a firmware update.

With games growing in scope the number of titles shipping on more than one DVD is increasing. And PS3’s use of high-capacity Blau-ray discs remains an important USP in the console sector. A move from Microsoft to redress this imbalance would not be unexpected.

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