The dashboard update to prepare for the Kinect launch on 11/4 is here. I was able to get some hands on time with it earlier today, and overall I’m pleased with the changes. For the most part there weren’t any major changes outside of the Kinect features, which have been added to the System Settings section of the dashboard. There’s also a new Communities section and a new entry to Video Kinect with your friends while looking at their profiles.
Outside of the Kinect additions there were some visual changes with how the menus look. The font for most of the text seems a bit smaller and a different style than before. It makes the text look a little more crisp when browsing the menus. The drab blue shading for the menus have been replaced by a lighter silver and gray combo, and the animation seems different when browsing between dashboard menus.
Finally, the ESPN channel has been added to the Video section of the dashboard. After downloading and installing various updates for it I was watching SportsCenter within 5 minutes. There are multiple categories of videos to watch as well as the live SC feed, and since it was earlier in the morning I also had the live feed to Mike and Mike in the morning. Overall, the ESPN channel looks neat, but I don’t really see much use for it right now. But that’s just me. I mainly use my Xbox to game, so I haven’t really used any of the other social additions like Twitter or Facebook either.
The update is mandatory to keep using Xbox Live, so you have to download it. It does refresh the look and makes it a little more crisp looking. I can’t really comment on the Kinect features until I get mine later this week, but I’m excited to try them out. ESPN is cool, but not sure how much value it’ll add to your gaming experience but it’s free, so why not? You’ll get the update the next time you fire up your Xbox 360 and the whole process doesn’t take much more than 5 minutes. You’ve been updated so you can Kinect…
E.B. “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”