For those of you who weren't lucky enough to land a spot in the public beta test of the new Xbox 360 dashboard, fear not. The official version has begun rolling out to about 3 million consoles around the world and will continue for the next week. Once that first batch is finished, more and more LIVE subscribers will be added to the rollout over the next couple of weeks. Much like Windows Phone updates, the deployment was spread out over time and across different regions to make it go as smoothly as possible.
If you aren't familiar with the new features that the update brings, here's a rundown for you:
- Refreshed dashboard, complete with new user interface and revamped categories.
- Internet Explorer for Xbox. Now you can surf the web from your console, something that arguably should have been part of Xbox 360 from its inception.
- Recommendations and ratings, which include Rotten Tomatoes ratings.
- Pinning. Much like the Start screen on your Windows Phone, you can now pin tiles for apps, games, etc. to the Pins section of your Xbox.
- Xbox Video, formerly Zune Video Marketplace
- Recent, formerly called Quick Play. A list of movies, games, apps or other types of content that you most recently accessed on the console.
- Enhanced Search, which is basically some new keywords, etc. that have been added to the Bing voice search. It also includes enhanced
- International Expansion of Voice Search to 9 new countries – Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Ireland.
Xbox Music will also be part of the new Xbox 360. Another important point of interest is that SmartGlass will also be making its way to Xbox 360 after Windows 8 is released later this month. There aren't any details yet on how exactly that feature will be rolled out.