Microsoft today announced a new offer for students who purchase a new Windows 7-based PC and also made available new Xbox 360 System Update, which allows Xbox LIVE users to make purchases on their Xbox 360 consoles with their PayPal accounts.
Starting May 22, students buying a new Windows 7-based PC priced at $699 (U.S.) or more will get a free Xbox 360 4GB console, Microsoft said. Students will be able to choose from the wide range of Windows 7-based PCs to find the one that?s right for them based on the features, color, size and price they want. The offer is available at participating retailers for current students in the U.S. while supplies last. Similar student-focused offers will be coming soon in Canada and France, Microsoft added.
To take advantage of this offer, students or parents must provide valid student identification as defined by the participating retailer. More information about this offer can be found at http://www.windows.com/freexbox
Microsoft also today announced that as a part of a new Xbox 360 System Update, the company is expanding its integration with PayPal to allow U.S. and international Xbox LIVE users to make purchases on their Xbox 360 consoles with their PayPal accounts. Users will be able to link their PayPal account to their Xbox LIVE account on Xbox.com and they will be ready to use it as a billing option, allowing them to buy content such as Microsoft Points, Xbox LIVE Gold subscriptions and Games on Demand titles.
Microsoft is rolling out the Xbox 360 System Update gradually to all Xbox LIVE users starting today and throughout the next couple week. Just like any other update to the service, users will know they have received it when they turn on your Xbox 360 console, connect to Xbox LIVE and receive a notification to download the update.
This particular update will also bring an auto-standby feature that places the console on standby if it?s idle for more than one hour, helping to reduce power consumption. This feature will be automatically enabled after users download the update. The setting can be also changed in the System Settings on the console.
The update will also add support for an updated Xbox 360 disc format called XGD3. The new format reportedly gives developers an extra 1GB of storage space per disc and adds new anti-piracy controls. There have been reports of a system update bricking some Xbox 360 consoles and this being related to the disc format capability. Microsoft clarified that "the console replacement plan that is the subject of some of today's headlines is related to a previous update, not the system update that has been in public beta and will be deployed shortly" -- the one he announced today. "The new disc format that is part of the beta has been rigorously tested across all Xbox 360 models and there are no known compatibility issues."