Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update may land on November 25, according to reports.
The software maker appears to be targeting a release in November according to two separate reports. Gaming site Kotaku pin pointed November 10 as the launch date but Gigaom believes Microsoft is targeting Black Friday as its big Xbox day. Microsoft has issued dashboard updates in 2008 and 2010 in the month of November. The software giant originally launched its original Xbox console on November 15 in 2001. The dashboard update is expected to mark 10 years of Xbox with a radical shift in user interface.
Codenamed “Madrid”, the dashboard will bring Microsoft’s Metro style interface to the Xbox. Microsoft is also preparing to include YouTube and Bing on the Xbox. Bing users will be able to use Kinect’s voice recognition feature to search for movies, music and other content on their consoles. Microsoft is also planning to include some type of Marketplace with applications for Xbox 360.
Microsoft will also introduce an Xbox LIVE TV service as part of its dashboard update. The company announced deals with nearly 40 content providers recently. Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO and Syfy are amongst a number of TV providers for U.S. Xbox owners. The BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are partnering with Microsoft in the UK to offer programming on the Xbox 360. Xbox users will need the latest dashboard update, due in November, to experience live TV with Xbox LIVE. Microsoft is planning to make the TV channels available to Xbox LIVE gold subscribers and some partners will integrate Kinect experiences with their TV channels. Microsoft’s TV service is powered by the company’s Silverlight software.
Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 dashboard will enter the beta testing phase in October. The company is planning a Preview Program for the new dashboard, similar to last years preview. Microsoft is expected to announce details of the preview program shortly.