Xbox Live Fall Dashboard Update Brings Awesomeness To Your TV

  • September 9, 2011 9:23 pm

Way back in 2008 we had a nice little update to our Xbox 360 Dashboard that actually made you feel lik you were playing on a Next Gen console. Here we are 3 years later and it’s about time we feel like the rest of the Windows world. With the Windows Phone 7 out and in some pockets everywhere, and Windows 8 on the verge, Microsoft wants their entire lineup to feel like a tiled social dream. They bring this idea to their highly successful gaming platform in hopes to make your gaming easy and less clumpy. Hopefully most of you have a 360 and know what it is like to try and find content on the thing. Sometimes items are hard to find, and for the n00b out there, locating a video or game content can get difficult.

Microsoft is here to save the day, once again. Later this year (“Fall”) our Xboxes will be getting a much needed update. With a new design, enhanced performance and some pretty nifty social integration, Microsoft hopes we will have a one-stop shop for all of our media needs. Will Microsoft be able to bring television and movies into the mix to actually provide us with 1 solution for everything we might need? Hop on in to find out!

Updated Design

As for the design, don’t get me wrong, what we have now isn’t horrible. I like it much better than some odd years ago. I grew fond of it, but as of most things it is nice to have a change. Microsoft did just that! Bringing the ’tiled’ feel that Windows 7 has shown us really adds some character to your Xbox Dashboard. No more ‘channels,’ what we are left with is a much nicer, less junky presentation of all that Microsoft has to offer. Less items cluttering the screen and a much easier navigation method. And for those of you lucky enough (read: ???) to have a Kinect, navigation is actually even simpler with the ease of an arm flap to switch between areas of the Dashboard. Microsoft has listened to the community, giving them that “unified design” everyone was after. The Kinect will be playing a big role in the new design, giving the user the ability to not only gesture where to go, but using voice commands to jump to a specific area - something the lazy here at GS headquarters will be stoked to do! Microsoft will also be bringing the Bing search engine to the 360. You’ll be able to search and access a variety of content across many different areas of Xbox Live. Terry Farrel, a senior product manager of Xbox Live Entertainment, said you will be able to say “Xbox, Bing Batman,” at which point several listings will show up. Underneath each were a rating and an icon, denoting whether it was a TV show, game or a movie.

Social Good Times

A nice social integration is far up the list on items Microsoft will be adding. Giving us Live users a feature letting our Facebook and other friends know we are interested in playing a game. Adding a ‘Beacon‘ will allow you to broadcast to everyone letting them know you are interested in hooking up for some Battlefield 3 (or any other custom message) making it a whole lot easier for your buddies to hit you up for some online pwnage. Deep integration with Facebook seems to be included, and the team here at GS is hoping Twitter will join the ranks as well. If any of you out there have used these social networks via the Dashboard, you’ll know that improvement is definitely needed. Maybe text-to-speech using the Kinect Microsoft???

Along with the Beacons and social integration, we’ll be seeing a feature to allow easier Achievement sharing. You’ll not be able to easily and automatically post Achievements that you unlock straight to Facebook (and hopefully Twitter). This function will be entirely optional, so your Xbox won’t be the next spambot for Facebook.

Live TV?

Now, Microsoft already has the Zune channel on the Dashboard. They also have the likes of Hulu Plus and Netflix. We have posted and wondered in the past about the Xbox having it’s own subscription based service to deliver both television and movies instead of the “rent” option they have now. Microsoft is promising some special stuff come this Fall, and they have promised they will be revealing the partnerships with TV cable operators. We are hoping this means a subscription service giving us new television content as well as the same movie content already offered - really making a dent in Netflix and Hulu market.

How about all of you, what are you looking forward to / hoping for? Would you like to see a replacement for your cable box? 1 place to do all your media trolling? We definitely hope for the subscription based television/movie option as well as some nice social integration. We’ll keep you up to date on any information that is released.

Source: Kotaku