It looks like Xbox Live preview program
participants may be testing out more than a new disc format
after all. According to an Xbox Live profile
allegedly belonging to one of the beta program administrators, both Avatar Kinect
and Hulu Plus
features are being tested. Both applications can be seen on the profile, though links to their respective Xbox.com listings appear to be broken for the time being.
Of course, it's possible that Avatar Kinect and Hulu Plus are simply undergoing internal testing at Microsoft and may not be part of the current preview program at all. Still, even if that's the case, the finding could signify that we may see these new features once the upcoming Xbox Live update goes public. We've contacted Microsoft for comment.
In further Xbox Live preview news, Joystiq has received several tips that participants have begun receiving their Halo: Reach
preview discs. It doesn't appear that users are receiving retail, boxed copies of the game, but rather plain, boxed DVDs plastered with a warning not to insert the disc into a non-preview console. Using the disc in a non-preview console will result in said console being unable to connect to Xbox Live until the update officially rolls out to the public.
Check out images of the (admittedly bland-looking) disc in the gallery below
Update: Microsoft has informed Joystiq that neither Hulu Plus nor Avatar Kinect are part of the public dashboard preview.