The new Xbox 360 Dashboard
Around this time 2 years ago, Microsoft released a major update to the Xbox 360 Dashboard with not just a nicer, sleeker look, but also some new features. Today, Microsoft has done it again. As we mentioned back in our First Look at the upcoming Kinect (which comes out in 3 days!), this new Dashboard features a whole bunch of cool new things beyond being “Kinect ready” (which of course, it is). We’re talking about ESPN (with the ability to watch the latest highlights and even live games on ESPN3), Netflix search (meaning you can now search for movies right on your Xbox), Zune Music and Video Marketplaces (for buying movies/TV shows and streaming music), as well as a tweaked design and everything else we’ve come to know and love from the Xbox 360 Dashboard such as Facebook and Twitter.
We’ve loaded it up on our 360 here (though not without a little bit of trouble before hand. We don’t know why, but if it doesn’t work for you on the first couple of tries be patient), and while I’ve only spent a little bit of time with it, this new update looks pretty solid. As a big sports fan, I really love the excellent quality ESPN video streams in, making catching up on the latest SportsCenter “Right Now” much clearer and easier than on my PC (I mean, it’s full HD and on a TV, like having ESPN on demand!).
The update is out now and is mandatory for all Xbox users (meaning you can’t play any games on Xbox Live without it), so go download it now and let us know what you think. (And if you don’t have Live or have trouble downloading straight to your 360, see Microsoft’s guide here for other ways to install it onto your 360)
Yesterday wasn’t all about phones for Microsoft. After the main Windows Phone 7 event, Microsoft showed off its full holiday lineup—including as you’d very much expect, Kinect and all the new Xbox 360 media features announced along side it back in June. Let me just say this right now– Kinect is AMAZING.
With only a few hours left till one of the biggest sporting events of the year, we wanna help you stay up to date on everything related to March Madness, sharing with you a slew of gadgets and apps to cover the variety of your needs, from watching the games, to checking scores, to seeing if you picked that game upset in your brackets while on the go– with something available for your computer, iPhone/iPod Touch or other smartphones.
What with Facebook, Netflix and Twitter already playing on Xbox Live, and with a new Halo and, of course, Project Natal coming out later this year, you’d think Microsoft has done enough to pump up 360 owners for another great year. Well, for all us 360 owners who love all things sports and ESPN, things look to be getting even better.
According to the New York Times, Microsoft is having “super secret” meetings with Walt Disney Co. (the owners of more than Disney land and Disney channel—they also own ABC and ESPN) in order to bring live streaming of ESPN to the 360 (think kinda like the current ESPN360, we know—a perfect name, that lets you watch live games on you computer).
The rumors also say that, unfortunately, this may require some sort of subscriber fee, though if its any consolation, it might be live streaming and some interactive games. Of course seeing as neither Microsoft and Walt Disney haven’t said anything on the topic, take this as an awesome rumor for now.
And I believe this very well could happen. Microsoft over the past couple of years have pushed something called IPTV, or TV over the internet, with the 360 helping drive its case. Getting ESPN and perhaps other Disney-owned channels would be a great way to really build this service up and really make the case for people to ditch their regular cable or satellite.
What you think? You think/want this to happen? You watch any movies or do other things with your 360 beyond gaming? Do you want the 360 to become your “cable box?” Sound off in the comments.