One of the more fun things to do while playing Xbox 360 online is talking to your gamer friends, either in the title you're playing or through the Party Chat system. Obviously, one of the more lame things about online communication is the plethora of annoying people who fill sessions with cursing, derogatory remarks, and just plain ignorance.
Jerry Johnson of Xbox Live Studios explains the improvements coming to online communication through a dashboard update this fall, launching the same time as Kinect.
"The codec we used when we first launched was a low bit rate codec and we stuck with that. We launched and we said we required broadband. We required a 64k connection, which not many people think of as broadband any longer. But that was the minimum requirement to run the service at the time. It's time for us to move on. Especially if we want to think about broadening -- a crackly headset on the top of your head -- not what people think of when they talk about popular entertainment."
So it seems that with more and more people having access to cable internet connections, Xbox LIVE will be upgrading the service to increase quality of communication. And I think we all got excited when he used the word 'codec.' I do agree with Johnson's comment on the crackly headset; I can't remember how many times I was playing Modern Warfare or Halo and lost a match because I had lost communication with my team members. Yes, I was bombarded with curses after those games, much to my dismay.
Party chat is very important in any kind of online game, but it's also fun to just hop on Netflix and watch a crappy movie and make fun of it with your friends. After all, isn't that the point of mass communication these days? Unifying yourself with your friends for the common goal of expressing your horror and outrage while watching "The Final Sacrifice"?