Xbox 360 Goes Metro in Latest Update

Big Xbox 360 update on 6 December 2011 to include new Microsoft Metro Interface


Linked Article: First impression of the new interface

Metro Interface

Latest News: The dashboard update has been delayed slightly. Major Nelson Tweeted this today (6th Dec) at 5:30PM GMT - "We are still working to get the release out. Stay tuned, we’ll have an update this afternoon (PT) on when it will begin rolling out."

The latest Xbox 360 update from Microsoft, rolled out on the 6th December, signals a major change for the Xbox 360 dashboard and its role as an entertainment system.

Xbox 360 Metro Interface

Say goodbye to the boring Xbox 360 tabbed dashboard interface and say hello to Metro. The so called Metro look interface can already be seen on Microsoft Smart phones and is expected to be seen on the next copy of Windows, Windows 8.

The Metro interface comprises of both square and rectangular tiles that form section headings. Drilling down into these menus reveals yet more tiles that form subsections. For instance, under the social media tile you will find Twitter, Facebook and Kinect Video calls.

New Media Services

As part of Microsoft's drive towards making the Xbox 360 an all round entertainment machine, rather than just a games machine, Microsoft has signed up over 40 media companies across the globe that will provide both live and on-demand media for the console. Hopefully the new App will eventually replace the rather clunky Zune player, currently installed on the Xbox 360.

Lovefilm on Xbox 360

With the initial update on the 6th Dec, the movie streaming service Lovefilm will be installed. This might explain why Lovefilm recently dropped Adobe's flash player in favour of Microsoft's Silverlight player.

Later in December additions will include include YouTube and Channel 4's 4OD. Later in 2012, the massively popular BBC iPlayer will be added to the console along with further services listed below.

Bing for Xbox 360

Bing on Xbox 360

To help you wade through all that new content, the Microsoft Bing search engine will also be installed on the Xbox 360. This will enable users to search the whole console for any file or service.

Microsoft are also speculating that Kinect voice control could replace the traditional TV/DVD controller. Although some would say Kinect voice control is a rather gimmicky feature.

Window Phone Integration

Download the free Xbox companion app onto your Windows Smart phone and you can browse and control media content available on Xbox Live.

The Xbox companion app turns your Windows smartphone into an Xbox system remote. The app will allow you to launch films and play/pause/stop them as you would with a regular media controller. Screenshots can be viewed here.

Portable Xbox Live Profile

A huge number of people are going to find this feature very useful. Xbox Live Gold members will now be able to mirror their online profile in a cloud-based service. This will enable them to play and save their game progress in the cloud and easily access progress and achievements from another console.

This feature has been a long time coming and will be welcomed by owners of more than one console or those that like to play at friends houses.

Xbox Live Beacons

If you want to play with friends this feature could be helpful. Create a Beacon and see who else wants to play the games that you're in the mood for. The Beacon can also be broadcast to your Facebook friends.

Improved Facebook Integration

With improved Facebook integration, it will be easier to log your gaming achievements for all to see. You can now do this in realtime without leaving the current game.

Xbox 360 Media Update Schedule for the UK

6th Dec 2011:


Later in December

  • 4 on Demand (C4)
  • Screenrush
  • blinkbox (Blinkbox)
  • Crackle (Sony Pictures)
  • Dailymotion
  • Demand 5 (Five)
  • MSN
  • VEVO
  • YouTube

Early 2012:

  • BBC iPlayer. United Kingdom
  • MLB.TV (MLB Advanced Media)
  • Telenovelas/Sports (Televisa)

Linked Article: First impression of the new interface

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