Xbox.com site redesign inbound tomorrow
"Massive facelift" coming to Microsoft’s Xbox Web site on Oct. 20; browser-based Avatar editor, updated marketplace search, Web games among list of changes and additions.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has been the top-selling console for months now, most recently pushing 484,000 units in September. Next month, the company will launch its motion-tracking Kinect technology behind a $500 million marketing blitz. Now, Microsoft’s efforts are aimed at its all things Xbox Web site.
According to Xbox Live’s programming director Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, tomorrow Xbox.com will receive a "massive facelift." The site will receive an entirely new layout and will be updated with a host of new features.
The update will roll out starting tomorrow at 0500 ET/0200 PT/0900 GMT, at which point the Web site and its forums will be down for a "short" period of time. When the site returns, it will be updated with a browser-based Avatar editor, where users can try on virtual clothing items prior to purchase. Also added to the site will be a section where users can play Web games with Xbox Live friends. A list of titles was not provided.
Also arriving with the Web site update tomorrow will be the addition of a "more powerful" search function, where users will be able to search for marketplace items in "more intuitive" ways. Again, specifics were not provided.
For parents, the new site will offer improved reporting tools. According to Major Nelson, this means users will be able to "understand what your family is doing and how they are using [Xbox] Live."
For a full list of changes coming to the Xbox.com Web site tomorrow, including a Flickr stream of images, check out the blog of Major Nelson.