Xbox 360 dashboard updates December 6

Microsoft dates redesigned interface, expanded Kinect voice control support, cloud storage for game saves, and new entertainment apps for Xbox Live users early next month.

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The Xbox 360 interface is about to get another makeover. Microsoft today announced that the next free dashboard update for its current console will launch December 6 for all users.

A vision of the near future for Xbox Live users.
A vision of the near future for Xbox Live users.

Inspired by Microsoft's "Metro" design used in Windows Phone 7 and the upcoming Windows 8, the new Xbox 360 dashboard includes a range of new features, starting with expanded support for navigation using voice and gesture controls with the Kinect camera. On top of that, the update introduces the new beacon system to facilitate finding friends for gameplay sessions, deeper Facebook integration, and cloud storage for game saves.

Microsoft also noted that the update will bring with it the first wave of new entertainment applications from its TV, sports, music, and movie partners. In October, the console maker confirmed a list of 38 companies that would be bringing their content to Xbox Live beginning this holiday season. Among the big names on the list were US cable TV providers Comcast and Verizon, as well as the BBC, LoveFilm, HBO GO, TMZ, YouTube, and UFC.

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