Xbox 360 fall dashboard update goes live

Microsoft unleashes annual user interface revision; ESPN on-demand programming now available, voice chat quality improved, search functionality added to Netflix app.

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Two weeks ago, Microsoft updated Xbox.com with a new look and a number of new features. Now, the company has its sights set on the Xbox 360.

According to Microsoft's director of Xbox Live programming, Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, the fall dashboard update is now being rolled out across all regions. Gamers will be prompted to accept the mandatory update the next time they sign in to Xbox Live.

A-Rod rounds second base…on Xbox Live.
A-Rod rounds second base…on Xbox Live.

The update brings a new look to the Xbox 360's dashboard and adds new features and functionality for existing items. The dashboard still utilizes the same panel orientation that was first implemented with the New Xbox Experience from 2008, but its colors have been changed.

Further, Xbox Live members in the United States can now view ESPN programming via their Xbox 360s. Xbox Live Gold subscribers will have access to upward of 3,500 HD-broadcasted sporting events throughout the year, as well as the ability to chat with friends during matches.

Xbox Live gamers spend more than 1 billion hours on Xbox Live per month, and now all users will be able to hear each other with better clarity, thanks to improvements made to the service's voice chat audio codec.

For the movie and television fan, the Netflix application for the Xbox 360 has been reworked with the new update. Now, users will be able to search for programs via the dashboard application instead of having to add them at Netflix.com.

For the full list of changes and updates bundled with the fall update, check out Major Nelson's blog.

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