Xbox 360 firmware preview preps for updated disc format

Microsoft is getting ready for a new Xbox 360 firmware update, and is once again requesting testers for its System Update Preview program. Xbox Live programming director Larry Hryb (aka "Major Nelson") posted the details on his blog. This update is said to prepare for an "updated Xbox 360 disc format," though Nelson was vague on differences between current 360 discs and the new ones.

This update might also be the one to raise the Friends List cap above 100. The limitation was due to the legacy of the first Xbox, and the company couldn't expand it without shutting down multiplayer servers for Halo 2. Now that the servers have been closed, there shouldn't be anything standing in the way of the long-awaited Friends List expansion. Of course, don't take that as a guarantee.

Microsoft is seeking "multiple thousands" of US-based participants for the test. Silver members are allowed in, but Gold members will take priority in the selection process. Those selected will get a copy of Halo: Reach, plus "other possible rewards." If a free copy of a game sounds like apt pay for being Microsoft's guinea pig, sign up to be considered.