Xbox 360 dashboard update beta coming in October

Microsoft is prepping to launch another major update to the Xbox 360 user interface, otherwise known as the dashboard, later this year. Today new previews of the dashboard update were posted on several web sites, including word that a beta test for the update will launch in October before the final version will be distributed free to all Xbox 360 owners. When the Xbox 360 launched back in 2005, it had a "blade" design that was dumped in 2008 with the New Xbox Experience update. 

Venture Beat reports that the design of the new dashboard update resembles the tile-themed UI created for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. It also allows Xbox 360 users to go through content much faster which is needed since the amount of content available to Xbox 360 owners has increased dramatically over the years.

The new update will also take advantage of the Kinect motion controller camera add-on that launched in November 2010. Players will be able to use the Kinect's voice recognition feature to navigate though the new user interface or you can simply move and wave your hand to interact with the new dashboard. Joystiq reports on the new Bing-based search features that will enable users to look up anything available for the Xbox 360 via the controller or with Kinect via the voice feature.

Other new features include players highlighting Xbox 360 game achievements and then sharing them via your Facebook or Twitter account, and "beacons" that let players send an open and invite for friends to play games. Unfortunately, Microsoft is not yet talking about its plans to offer live television via Xbox 360, first revealed at E3 2011 in June, although that should also be a part of the next dashboard update.

Image via Microsoft

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18 Comments

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I wonder how the new guide will look when you press the xbox button on the controller during game. I would love that to be faster, so sending a message during gaming is more smoother.

SCRISP said,
I wonder how the new guide will look when you press the xbox button on the controller during game. I would love that to be faster, so sending a message during gaming is more smoother.

We haven't seen or heard anything about that, but I doubt it'll change much, it should be faster though.

schiz-o-phren-ic said,
I don't like the sht. I don't own Kinect, nor will I ever. This doesn't look gamepad friendly.

Yet it is gamepad friendly just fine, best not to jump to conclusions when you haven't used it yet.

Xilo said,
Looks like they copying the XMB...

Not really... if anything the current XBox UI is more similar in operation to the XMB, its like an XMB that operates vertically first... this new UI aligns it with the Metro design language they are heavily investing in.

Xilo said,
Looks like they copying the XMB...

Aside from moving left and right between the main categories nothing else is similar to the XMB, people need to give it a rest with the "x is coping y" lines.

akav0id said,
The 'blades' weren't dumped, they were just relegated to the guide button

True, people seem to forget the guide button I guess? Hell, you can still set the system to load right into your game and never use the dashboard.

I think this one will be way better for navigation with the controller because it makes proper use of the triggers which i never use with the system now.. you can flip through way more information then what you can right now..

Tbh with these dashboard updates and games pretty much all having really nice graphics I wouldn't be against the idea for Microsoft keeping the 360 going for a VERY long time

zikalify said,
Tbh with these dashboard updates and games pretty much all having really nice graphics I wouldn't be against the idea for Microsoft keeping the 360 going for a VERY long time

Yeah, but firmware updates can only go on the same console & remain modern for so long. We're eventually gonaa need a new one.

MASTER260 said,

Yeah, but firmware updates can only go on the same console & remain modern for so long. We're eventually gonaa need a new one.

I think the new Xbox, whatever they call it, will probably share the same dashboard with the 360 at the time of it's release. MS wants to have the same UI on everything now.

Gibbyhome said,
when can we start beta testing !!!
please pick me !!

I'd keep an eye on majornelson.com , betas are usually announced by him first.