Microsoft has been rather silent throughout the whole PSN service shutdown, instead adopting a more passive aggressive approach to pour salt in Sony’s wounds. For example, during the PSN blackout, Xbox Live 3 Month memberships were sold for $9.99 to help boost membership on Xbox Live during that period.

Now with Sony working on making sure their service continue to run problem-free, Microsoft has another benefit for members that in a small way still pokes at Sony’s woes. While Sony had struggled with keeping their customers’ information secure, Microsoft has instead expanded its payment options by offering customers the ability to link their PayPal account to their Xbox Live account, making good on their announcement earlier this month.

The update carrying the new addition to the payment options has already been launched and is on its way to reaching every Xbox 360. In order to ensure that the quality of the update’s deployment is as high as possible, the update is going to be slowly rolled out over the next couple of weeks.

Once gamers have their Live membership linked with their PayPal, they’ll be able to purchase MS Points, Gold memberships, and Games on Demand titles.

There is a small catch though. Although the update is being rolled out around the world, the PayPal service will not be available in a number of Xbox Live regions including: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan.

On a happier note, the update also includes a new auto-standby feature which will put your Xbox 360 on standby if it’s idle for more than one hour. Gamers will be able to find the option under ‘Auto-Off’ in their console settings, and this new feature should help reduce power consumption of idle consoles essentially making them greener. How fitting.

As if this update wasn’t already jam-packed with good news, there’s yet another big piece being added with this patch. The previously announced disc update is being rolled out in this patch, which will give developers an extra 1GB of space to work with on each disc, an effective 15% increase over the previous storage amount of 6.8GB.

The update was originally rumored to be preventing retails discs from being read by some Xbox 360 consoles, but Microsoft claimed this was untrue, citing a previous update as the culprit in these cases. Microsoft has also offered to replace affected consoles with new upgraded models and a year of free Xbox Live Gold membership.

Are you planning on linking PayPal to your Xbox Live membership? Do you feel like your financial information will be safer? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Major Nelson