New 360 Dashboard is Live

News filtered in through the night that the new Xbox 360 Dash update was live for those who were accepted on the preview program. We can now confirm, via switching on our 360, that the update is indeed prompted when you sign in to Live.

The biggest benefits of the new system are US-only right now (Netflix, ESPN) but there are one or two other little tweaks that are present in Europe too. The whole thing has had a little bit of visual improvement and seems a little more colourful and “modern”. The menu options are now all on the same, 2D, plane and are crisper and more square-looking andAvatars are taller and as a result look slightly more adult in proportion than before.

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Of course, the real guts of this update are in preparation for Kinect’s eventual release in just over a month’s time. There are no doubt some usability reasons for the new, squarer, flatter look as well as the aesthetic reasons.

This comes at the same time as the announcement that MSN content will be thrown in to the Inside Xbox section of the dashboard. Content from the web portal will appear, in devoted channels, alongside the usual Inside Xbox fare that we’re used to. So no you can access the latest celebrity gossip, news and financial advice on your Xbox before loading up Halo: Reach and shooting things in the face.

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21 Comments

  1. Updated my Xbox this morning and got to say i like the new fresher look a lot and it now seems a little quicker as well.

    • Yes it feels far less clunky and is just that bit faster, which I think was required. Much more in keeping with the appearances of Windows 7 and Windows Media Center now, I like. :)

  2. I think it’s kind of a shame because (as someone who doesn’t have an xbox) I really liked the depth-based look of the menus, was a bit jealous of that, but now I don’t need to be, so … er… good. What was I saying?

  3. Wait, so now it’s going to even MORE like they ripped of the XMB and turned it sideways?

    • ha ha – spot on..

      they always copy Sony/Apple/Ninty add a sheen of gloss and call it their own…

    • If only they copied the XMB even more, in like, it consisting mostly of icons that led to functionality, instead of promotional material.

    • +1

  4. I wasn’t a huge fan of the new dashboard, don’t know why I prefer the old one unless its because of Games for Windows live :/

    Would be interesting to see how the new dashboard looks likes

  5. As someone who uses GUIs, designs GUIs, uses both the XMB and the Dashboard, I find the Xbox Dashboard very cumbersome at times. I know XMB can suffer a bit with long lists of files in any given one section but it’s still easier to navigate in my humble opinion.

    I’ll be interested to see how the updates feel when they roll it out properly.

    • My 2 and half year happily navigates through the xmb.

    • I agree that it seems to take longer to get to where you want to be using the xbox. However, I think it is caused in part by the amount of content that is availble. Whereas on the PS3 all the content is hidden on the store which is even more cumbersome that the dashboard in my opinion.

      • The PS3 has a search function, so you don’t actually need to look for anything technically. Why does the Xbox not have this feature? It sure as hell needs it as far as I can see.

        Additionally, the PS3 store actually forces you to navigate less “layers” of folders than the Xbox to find anything that isn’t in the ‘new arrivals’ section if you wish to browse anyway. I don’t see how anyone could find that MORE cumbersome than the Xbox’s irritating front end. I don’t see what you mean by “hidden” at all.

      • I could be wrong here as I’m going from memory, but aren’t you able to search by genre and name (at least the first letter) of content on the xbox?

        Also, trying to find E3 stuff was easier on the xbox as it was all grouped into the E3 section, same for Gamescom (or whatever it is now called) and will probably be the same for TGS. However, on the eU store at least for the PSN stuff was kind of just put on in any old way without any real order.

        You say the PS3 has a search function. Where is this, as I haven’t seen it and this would be bloody useful for me as it wwould make life so much easier for me. Thanks

  6. Is it not about time Sony did something to revamp the XMB? A revamp of the user profile screen and friends list is long overdue! I really do hope SCEA can wrestle control over firmware updates from SCEJ soon!

    A few little tweaks and the XMB could be awesome, like the fan-art versions of the friends lists/profile you often see floating around the interweb… like linking the little comment bubble with your Twitter feed… like a new web browser… like web integration of your PSN profile so you can do things like buy PSN Store items online – and even get them to start downloading while you’re at work using Remote Play over websites etc… There are so many ways the XMB could be awesome…

    • Functionality would be welcome, but don’t mess with the simple, elegant, fast design.

      At least with the XMB you can find things in logical places. Systems / Photos / Music / Video / Games / Network / Friends. It really doesn’t get clearer than that.

      I tried to change the theme on my Xbox tonight (from the crappy free Gears of War one I downloaded a while ago to a default one) and I kid you not I spent _at least_ a minute trying the find where the F#$& it was hiding.

      I think part of the problem with the Dash is that it cycles through in a loop. I much prefer the way the XMB has defined ends.

  7. I want it :(

  8. so wat?
    i nvr liked da 360 dashboard tbh =1

  9. When’s it out for normal people?

  10. If ever a frontend needed a redesign, it’s the 360s. It is/was hideous to look at on my HDTV, and I’d hope that this tidies things up a bit.

    Gotta say though, for all Microsoft’s talk about their “confidence” in their console’s design and set up they’ve been spouting through the years, their actions seem to tell a very different story.

    • People say that they would like to see the xmb to be revamped, but I think the chaps at sony know what they are doing. I think the xmb is good it does what it was designed for and is used increasingly more throughout sony’s products, so someone else must think it is good as well.

      I think it is a shame that MS’s huge dev department can’t make a good enough GUI for the xbox, this is the second time they have revamped it. Something over there just isn’t working it seems.

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