Microsoft revealed today that it has begun delivering the Fall 2012 Dashboard Update to Xbox 360 users. I’ve been testing this update on my primary Xbox 360 for a few months a will have a more complete write-up soon, but here’s a peek at what’s coming your way.
“Today we’re starting to roll out the official release of the update to Xbox LIVE subscribers around the world,” Microsoft’s Larry Hryb wrote in a post to his Major Nelson blog. “To ensure a stable release, this will be a gradual deployment across subscribers and regions over the course of the next week. Our initial deployment will reach approximately three million consoles worldwide, with additional users being updated over the course of a couple weeks. Don’t panic if you don’t see an immediate update, just keep checking back in.”
Don’t panic? Yeah, right. :)
The following changes are included in this update:
Updated UI. The Dashboard has been updated—evolved, not completely changed—with an updated layout with more tiles, a combined TV & Movies channel and, in the US, a new Sports destination.
Internet Explorer for Xbox. Now you can easily find and view Internet content on the biggest screen in the house. Microsoft’s Ryan Gavin says that “IE on Xbox enables you to view content on the web on your TV and includes great features like the ability to personalize your dashboard by pinning your favorite web sites and watching HTML5 videos on the web.”
Recommendations and Ratings. In a change that will be mirrored in, a new recommendations service will help you to discover new favorites, generated based on a number of variables including the content you previously viewed, what your friends are consuming and what is most relevant and popular with our Xbox community. You can now rate content yourself and also see Rotten Tomatoes ratings for movies.
(Improved) Pinning. Now you can personalize the Dashboard by saving favorite movies, TV shows, games, music, videos and web sites right to the home screen. You will see a new “Pin” tile next to this content as you browse around the Dashboard.
Xbox Music. With this Dashboard rollout, the Xbox 360 is the first Microsoft platform to gain access to Microsoft’s new Xbox Music service, which replaces and expands on Zune Music. For more information, check out Xbox Music Preview.
Xbox Video. Formerly called Zune Video Marketplace, Xbox Video offers hundreds of thousands of TV shows and movies for buying or renting in instant HD streaming. And yes, I’ve actually started seeing some closed captioning. Miracles can happen.
Recent. Previously called Quick Play, the Recent view gives you a list of movies, games, apps or other types of content that you most recently accessed on the console.
(Improved) Search. Bing voice search now provides genre searching, in addition to the movies, TV shows, actors, directors and artists search added last year. It also includes results for video across the web, including YouTube. Microsoft has also expanded voice search capabilities to 9 new countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Ireland.