Sunday, October 22, 2006

Extender functionality in Vista Betas vs Xbox Live

As some of you observed during the Xbox Live maintenance downtime earlier this week, it would seem that Xbox 360 extender functionality would not work while Xbox Live was down.

From the Extender release notes ever since this functionality was made available, the following is noted about the need for Xbox Live connectivity:

Media Center Extender requires connectivity to Xbox Live

Description: For the length of the beta program the Media Center Extender will required the Xbox 360 to have a connection to Xbox Live. An Xbox Live user account is not required to connect to Xbox Live servers. Users who do not have an active connection will experience the following error message on the Xbox 360 when attempting to launch Media Center. "The Xbox 360 is not able to connect to Xbox Live. Use the Xbox Live Troubleshooter from Network Settings."

Solution: Connect Xbox 360 Console to Xbox Live.

  1. From the System section of the Xbox dashboard, Select Network Settings
  2. Select Test Xbox Live Connection
  3. Allow the Test to be conducted
  4. Resolve any failures
  5. Restart the Add Extender task from the Media Center.

NOTE: When connecting to Xbox live for the first time, you may need a memory card or hard drive on the Xbox 360 for temporarily cache of console updates. Xbox Live connectivity will not be required for the final release of Vista.

This dependence on the Xbox 360 Extender bits on Xbox Live connectivity was needed so that 'not-so-RTM'ed' code could be tested on retail machines. The alternative to this would have been to test the Xbox 360 Extender bits only on debug machines, which would have greatly reduced the number of testers that could test out this feature. It is important to note that the need for Xbox Live connectivity will not be required when Vista is finalized, so Xbox 360 Extender usage won't be affected by future Xbox Live maintenance.

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