Xbox 360 Update Preview

For the past week, I have been scouring through my Xbox’s new features. As you may or may not have heard, Microsoft recently opened up a new round of participants in the Beta for the Xbox’s next major dashboard update. Codenamed “Madrid”, this update packs in a lot of new features, not to mention a slighty different and snazzier-looking Metro dashboard.

One of the first features I noticed when my Xbox turned on was something called Pins, which can be seen on your home page. Basically, Pins are exactly what a pin is, something you “pin” to your home page. I’m personally not on Pinterest so you can insert your own witty joke here if you are. The usefulness of Pins come into play if you’re a really lazy or impatient person. All it’s for is to allow you to pin your favorite items whether it be a game, app, etc to your home page for quick and easy access.

Also, a major feature missing is the Zune Marketplace, having been replaced by Microsoft’s own stores called Xbox Video and Xbox Music, which quite frankly, I found to be much more user-friendly. Who knows, I might actually buy “The Hunger Games” now. The Xbox’s search engine has been improved as well with the ability to use voice search on Bing.

Being apart of the beta testing team also gives you access to yet to be released games such as Happy Wars. I’m not going to go into details just yet but stay tuned here for a future preview of that game. Lastly, there are a couple of new apps the most notable of course being, Internet Explorer. Without disclosing too much, let’s just say I quite enjoyed the Web Hub and know that you too will enjoy the ability to browse the Internet on the comfort of your HDTV. Overall, Microsoft is truly fulfilling on its promise to transform the Xbox 360 from the gaming console into the sole entertainment system you will need for your household and all the while, creating a very streamlined experience. This dashboard update will be hitting your Xbox sometime this November and I hope this was enough to whet your appetite until then.

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