A lot was showed during Microsoft’s E3 keynote and as it turns out, some of it was left out too. Director of Programming in the Xbox team, Larry Hryb shared on his blog two features to be introduced in Xbox that weren’t talked about on stage at E3. One feature is about adding social to gaming and the other is making it easier for gamers to access their data.
Xbox 360 will be storing saved games on the cloud making it easier for a gamer to continue his game when he is not on his console. The fine print on the service is unclear but I would assume that this will be part of the Xbox LIVE Diamond or Gold subscription. It could even be free for all users. Currently, users have to save their data on the Xbox HDD or a portable drive, with cloud storage, the need for physical storage has been reduced.
Cloud storage will allow users to sync their Xbox profile including Microsoft Points, achievements and friends.
A new social element added to the Xbox 360 gaming experience makes it easier for gamers to tell their friends what game they would like play. Larry explains Beacons as:
Beacons are a way to tell your Xbox LIVE and Facebook friends that you want to play a game on Xbox LIVE. By setting a Beacon, you tell Xbox LIVE what you want to play. Then, Xbox LIVE lets you know when friends are playing or want to play the same game. With Beacons, no matter what you’re currently doing on Xbox LIVE your friends know that it’s ok to ask you to play your Beaconed games.