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Xbox 360 update taps ESPN, Zune Music

Microsoft has launched the console's fall update, which includes access to ESPN and Zune Music and streamlines Netflix search.

ESPN on Xbox Live.
ESPN on Xbox Live. Jeff Bakalar/CNET

Xbox 360 owners who power up their consoles today will be greeted with the fall update to the console's Xbox Live service.

The update includes access to ESPN content. According to Microsoft, the ESPN offering will give people access to more than 3,500 live and on-demand sporting events a year. The ESPN integration also includes scoreboards, voice chat, and the ability to "predict the winner" of games.

Through Zune Music, people will be able to stream "millions of songs" from the Zune Marketplace, as long as they have a Zune Pass music subscription.

Microsoft also said it has streamlined Netflix search, improved quality in voice chat, and made a fix that makes it easier to access wireless networks. The ESPN content, Zune Music, and Netflix search require an Xbox Live Gold account.

This week is shaping up to be a big one for Microsoft. The fall update comes three days before the release of the highly anticipated Kinect motion-gaming peripheral. Kinect lets people control on-screen action with body movements alone. It will sell for $150.

Further reading: Xbox 360 fall updates hands-on