Microsoft has revealed a dramatically new Xbox Live Dashboard that deeply integrates the Kinect Sensor and Bing Voice and taking Microsoft’s Metro UI/UX philosophy to the 6-year-old console. I, for one, personally like Metro and the Live Tiles system first introduced on Windows Phone 7 and recently revealed to be the new touch UI layer of Windows 8 so the changes are very welcome to me.
With Kinect and voice control supported all around controlling the Dashboard can now be as simple as moving your hands or saying what you want to be done. This is in contrast to the current Dashboard that had a separate UI for Kinect. The new UI fully integrates Kinect to the Xbox experience instead of just adding a layer over it.
Bing Voice adds Microsoft’s search engine into Xbox Live. You can now search for new game titles or movies simply by effortlessly searching in Bing Voice and it will show you stuff related to your search terms from the Marketplace or from your console. There’s no need to navigate the menus anymore.
Youtube is also now a part of the Xbox Live experience which obviously lets you watch Youtube videos directly from your Xbox 360. Another is Live TV which allows you to watch streamed TV from Microsoft partners from around the globe. I don’t have much information about the latter but I believe that there’s some extra fees to avail of Live TV.
I have some lingering questions about the new UI though. One of them is how we are going to make use of the dashboard themes that we have spent our precious Microsoft Points on. This became an issue when Microsoft changed the original Dashboard blade UI to the Media Center-inspired UI. I just hope my purchased premium themes still work on the new Dashboard.
The update is slated to be released this fall, 2011. A video of the E3 unveiling is attached after the break.