Happy Dashboard Day! The newest revision to the Xbox 360 UI is available now after a brief delay this morning. Sticking with Microsoft’s new Metro obsession, get ready for page after page of flattened tiles, complete with nestled ads and a wide array of various sized boxes. If you’ve got a Windows Phone or the Windows 8 beta, you should feel right at home in box country.
One of the biggest changes aside from the visual aesthetic is the full Kinect motion and voice integration. Now you can change panes with a wave of a hand nearly anywhere you are in the Xbox interface. Swipe through lists with the flick of your wrist, or just tell Bing what you want and let her do the work. If you’ve been using Windows 8 with a mouse, you’ll know how antiquated your controller will feel when not using gestures to navigate the new UI. It works, but Minority Report would have been much less impressive if they would have been sitting at desks researching crime patterns on Altavista, Dogpile, and Compuserve.
While all these changes are fine and integrating the look of Microsoft’s other platforms makes sense, the folks at Microsoft have a loftier goal. They want you to turn your Xbox 360 on every time you turn on your television. While that may be already a truth for some of us, expanding the Xbox 360 to a cable box, PPV hub, HBO/Cinemax portal, and Redbox alternative, all go to their goal to “change living room entertainment forever.”