The update is deceptively subtle, and to the uninitiated, unnoticeable. We decided to test the limits of the new features. First, we fired up a DVD, selected a random chapter, let it play for a few seconds, pressed stop, and ejected the disc.
From the dashboard, we cycled through the much improved marketplace menu system, targeted the Hitman demo, and launched the download. Next, we cycled over to the music player, plugged in our iPod, fired up a playlist, and then scrolled over to the Xbox Live Arcade. From there, we dove into a quick game of Uno, pleased to find that our custom soundtrack continued to pump without a hitch. We pulled open the Xbox guide to check on our Hitman download, and sure enough, it was chugging away.
Next, we popped in Burnout and immediately signed into Xbox Live. Our soundtrack continued to play, but an alert prompted that the Hitman download was now paused. We backed out of Xbox Live and launched the single player mode. Unfortunately, the download remained pending and we couldn't reinitiate it from the guide. Slightly frustrated, we quit to the dashboard, but upon doing so, the download automatically started back up.
We re-launched Burnout, raced a few tracks until the download had completed, and then quit back to the dashboard. Our custom soundtrack was still playing, uninterrupted. We cycled over to our stored demos and launched Hitman. We waddled around the demo's mostly abandoned theme park for a few minutes and decided to call it quits. Before shutting down, we popped our DVD back in, and, to our satisfaction, the movie started playing right where we left off. Yes folks, the update works -- for the most part. And more importantly, the Xbox 360 is much improved because of it.
See also: Engadget's hands on with the big Xbox dashboard update (lots of pics)