Xbox 360 update – Metro
This is your new UI, and if you've got a Windows Phone Mango handset like the Nokia Lumia 800 or the HTC Titan, Metro's large tiles and hubs won't be a stranger to you. Microsoft has divvied up your Xbox's capabilities into Social, Games, Apps, Video, Music and Live TV in the menu running across the top of your screen, with quick access to recently launched apps. Consider it a sneak peek into what Windows 8 might bring us next February.
Xbox 360 update – apps
Microsoft is gunning for Xbox LIVE to bump pricey, standalone smart TVs off our Christmas wishlists. And with plenty of just announced apps – and a few, like BBC iPlayer on the horizon for 2012 – we can see Xbox owners more than catered for without the need for a smart TV.
Here in the UK, anyone with an Xbox LIVE Gold account gets access to 14 new apps including LOVEFiLM, YouTube, VEVO, last.fm, blinkbox, 4oD and 5 Demand via the Apps Marketplace tile.
Xbox 360 update – Kinect and Bing
Those large Metro tiles are built for Kinect-friendly arm waving, meaning that your madeover Xbox dashboard can be easily navigated when your Xbox controller's gone MIA. There's also voice commands, which integrates with the Bing search engine, the dashboard's menu categories, and within apps like YouTube for Siri-style searching.
Xbox 360 update – how to get it?
The Xbox 360 dashboard update will be available from December 6, and some of the apps like LOVEFiLM come with 30-day free trials to test out the streaming services. Plus, the free Windows Phone 7 Xbox companion app will be available to download from the Marketplace tomorrow. Now, to renew that Xbox LIVE membership and get our hands on a Kinect.
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