New Xbox Experience: avatars and HD movies

Rumours that all 360 avatars come with specs and pimples have yet to be confirmed

Engadget HD is reporting that the upcoming revamp of the Xbox 360's interface - dubbed New Xbox Experience - will offer, for the first time anywhere, streaming High Definition movies.

Although you can already download HD movies to the 360 using Microsoft's own Live Marketplace, the Netflix service will be the first to offer movies streamed live in High Def.

There will only be a small HD selection (around 300 titles) available on its launch date of 19 November, with pricing and resolution still to be confirmed.

Netflix to hand HD to Microsoft first

The launch of HD streaming on the 360 is quite a coup, as even subscribers to Netflix's own Watch Instantly portal won't be able to access the service initially.

Naturally, the streaming of HD movies will be dependent on having a decent, uncontended broadband connection, such as can be found in many cabled homes in the US.

The Experience will also bring avatars to the 360, as Microsoft targets casual gamers and kids alongside its traditional audience of bedroom gamers.

Users will be able to set up simple avatars on the console, with an avatar store selling fancier clothes and features to follow. Don't count on being able to purchase Second Life-style genitals, mind.