The second complete overhaul of the Xbox 360's user interface is set to take place tomorrow with the Metro-inspired 2011 system update. A myriad of content provider partnerships were announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo as coming later this year, and a recent Microsoft-issued update clarifies that many of the bigger offerings will not launch until as late as early next year.
Microsoft announced that while currently available content providers will continue to be available with tomorrow's update, many of the recently announced new partners will be launching later in December or in early 2012. Offerings in place tomorrow will include EPIX, ESPN, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and MSNBC.
In the US, the big ones landing later this month include Sony Pictures' Crackle, iHeartRadio, TMZ, UFC, Verizon FiOS, VEVO, Vudu, and YouTube. CinemaNow, HBO GO, MLB.TV, and Xfinity on Demand have been pushed to early 2012.
In addition to new content providers, the 2011 dashboard update is set to bring the Xbox 360 user interface in line with the Metro design language used in Windows Phone 7 and the forthcoming Windows 8. The Kinect will also be more deeply integrated with the new firmware, allowing for motion-controlled and voice-powered menu navigation. Bing search will also be integrated for Xbox Live Marketplace searches, including support for select content partners.