We’ve been looking forward to the fall Xbox 360 dashboard update for quite some time now. Good news: it’s coming Tuesday, December 6, a few weeks before Winter kicks in.
In addition to switching over to the Metro UI, the upcoming dash includes a host of new features: full Kinect motion and voice control (sweet!), improved avatar animations (pretty cool), a quick launch list of your ten most recently played games and apps (so nice), Cloud storage for profiles and save data (whoo hoo!), the ability to set beacons, which advertize that you’ll be playing a game at a specific time, and better Facebook integration. It also opens up a new App section which will include stuff like YouTube and UFC apps, and enables the forthcoming Windows Phone Xbox 360 Companion App's connectivity with the console.
On the downside, the 360's Metro dash is even more overflowing with ads than the current version. The clutter of advertisements sometimes make it difficult to find the actual content you’re looking for. Premium themes, at least in the current beta version, lose some of their luster as Friends list backgrounds have vanished. Worst of all, the beta dashboard update completely the ability of one of my consoles to stay connected to Xbox Live through my router. The other system is fine though, and it’s apparently not a common problem. I hope hope hope they get that straightened out by December 6, because I hate not being able to connect and play online games and watch Netflix with my main system.
The new dashboard look is all part of Microsoft’s plan to have a unified interface between all of its platforms. Next year’s Windows 8 will also go Metro.