Giant Bomb News

151 Comments

Want to Beta Test the Next Xbox 360 Dashboard?

Sign-ups available for the annual interface update to Microsoft's console.

It’s unlikely this fall’s Xbox 360 dashboard update will change many of the glaring issues we’ve been griping about, but if you’d like an early look at what Microsoft’s been working on, sign-ups are available.

Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hryb announced the public beta sign-ups on his Major Nelson blog, which will require you to sign a non-disclosure (aka shut up on Twitter) agreement.

Some of the changes coming in this year’s update include a version of Internet Explorer, more personalized dashboard displays, and additional search options.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
151 Comments
  • 151 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Posted by Deathpooky

I am curious about the new and interesting ways Microsoft will hurt usability and further integrate ad placement.

Posted by mrpandaman

@mikey87144 said:

I remember when people bashed Sony's Dashboard for being "too difficult to navigate" and too spartan. I kinda wish Microsoft would try to emulate Sony's approach so their dashboard would be... not shit.

I never quite understood why it was so "difficult" to navigate, it has always seemed very simple and easy to use to me.

Posted by Hurricrane

Only if they make it so I can access the GAMES part of my fucking GAME Console instead of flipping through literally 5 other pages made of ads. But that's nOt happening.

Posted by mrpandaman

Also why can't MS just give the option to choose what kind of layout you want? I mean if they're going to keep messing things up, give people the option to revert back to older styles.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man

They have closed sign ups. 

Posted by Phatmac

@YukoAsho: Yeah, with each update it seems apparent that Microsoft doesn't want games to be the main reason to own a console. Shame as they have some of the best downloadable games out there.

Posted by Rudeboy217

Damn, I missed out.

Posted by DiegoBitterman
Posted by OldGuy

I'm weird. It doesn't bother me in the least (particularly since it's now zippy fast between panes). Turn on and hit A to play, or rock the stick or d-pad down once and hit A to play recent games, or click the right bumper three times and hit A to play anything.

Why does this not seem hard to me? Why is this hard for you?

Posted by ThatPrimeGuy

"Some of the changes coming in this year’s update include a ad-filled version of Internet Explorer, more personalized ad's on the dashboard displays, and additional search options to help you look up those ad's you want to watch."

Fixed that for you.

Posted by Napalm

@OldGuy said:

I'm weird. It doesn't bother me in the least (particularly since it's now zippy fast between panes). Turn on and hit A to play, or rock the stick or d-pad down once and hit A to play recent games, or click the right bumper three times and hit A to play anything.

Why does this not seem hard to me? Why is this hard for you?

I know a lot of the discretion comes from discovering or finding new games. More and more, these things are pushed to the back in an effort to increase focus on the casual, inclusive entertainment aspect.

Posted by thehuntsmen5434

Magic the Gathering template lol

Posted by Sooty

I hate Microsoft's metro design, it only looks good on phones. Looks pretty horrible on Windows 8 and the 360 dash got worse when it started taking cues from it.

Awful dash overall, the last update added quite a few seconds to my 360 boot time too. Finding Spelunky was more effort than it should have been for a new release.

Posted by dcgc

Unfortunately, the only good dashboard on the X360 was the "Blades" 's one (and it had some problems with the organization of items on the XBLM). The others that came after that were just clunky, slow and sometimes unresponsive. This beta will just be worthwhile if people want to try out the IE on Xbox (I don't see a reason why).

Posted by SmilingPig

I want the playstation 2 dashboard.

Posted by zombiesatemycereal

@OldGuy: It's not hard, it's slow and cumbersome and quickplay takes forever to load.

Posted by Vampire_Chibi

Wha?whawawa?? What the hell! it's over already not even a day...

Edited by dvorak

I will do literally anything I have to, to get away from the awful current dashboard. Even if it means leaping into the uncertain future that may in fact harbor some kind of monstrous non-functional mess. That's a risk I'm willing to take.

Edited by AjayRaz

i hope this one is miles better than the current dashboard. the keyboard on the search function is the absolute worst. who thought that scrolling from left to right to select letters was a good idea? they should be shot.

i kind of wish i had more time to spend with the Blades interface. i always liked the sounds it had and the feel to it. something about it felt like "next-gen". with that said, i have no idea if blades was actually good in terms of productivity and functionality in comparison to the NXE dashboards that i spent much more time using.

also, as Sooty said, the Metro interface doesn't look very good on the Xbox..

Posted by MarkHawk

Well that's lame... I would have loved to test it out like I have every year but work got in the way. oh well. :/

Edited by ProfessorEss

I just don't care any more. I think the principles that Metro is founded on are very sound and I very much enjoy designing things in it but for some reason (I assume advertising reasons) they pooched the XBox version of it and I'm not convinced they'll fix it this time around. 

Another dashboard redesign is, for the most part, meaningless to me nowadays as I use the blades popup for almost everything on that console. I love the one click to play what's in the tray but everything else was a serious downgrade from the NXE which I still consider to be a MAJOR upgrade from the original blades interface. 
 
But this is really just an extension of how I feel about the entire state of the console market right now and based on everyone's presentations at this year's E3 I'm not confident that anyone is going to get it right next round. 
 
That's why, despite my qualms, I finally went out and bought a new, non-work PC.

Posted by Nadafinga

@ChrisTaran said:

MS can thank their dashboard for why I buy all my non-exclusive titles for the PS3 now.

Yep. I have just about the same amount of friends on both consoles too, so gaming on my PS3 is just as good for me. I let me Gold account lapse a couple months ago, haven't really touched my 360 since, and don't really miss it at all.

Posted by OldGuy

@Napalm said:

@OldGuy said:

I'm weird. It doesn't bother me in the least (particularly since it's now zippy fast between panes). Turn on and hit A to play, or rock the stick or d-pad down once and hit A to play recent games, or click the right bumper three times and hit A to play anything.

Why does this not seem hard to me? Why is this hard for you?

I know a lot of the discretion comes from discovering or finding new games. More and more, these things are pushed to the back in an effort to increase focus on the casual, inclusive entertainment aspect.

Well, let's be honest, XBLM (and, even more so, XBIG) have always been a mess... but I solved that by doing my game finding on xbox.com...

Also, I tend to believe that (however much we rail at them) Microsoft does look a the service from a usage standpoint and has a reason for setting up the dashboard the way it is currently. I will note that all the people on my (pretty small [20ish]) friends list were added for either gameplay or leaderboard chasing purposes (80% sourced from GB users), but I see them active in other things than games or the dashboard/home more than 50% of the time... So take that as you will...

Posted by Viking_Funeral

@Sooty said:

I hate Microsoft's metro design, it only looks good on phones. Looks pretty horrible on Windows 8 and the 360 dash got worse when it started taking cues from it.

Awful dash overall, the last update added quite a few seconds to my 360 boot time too. Finding Spelunky was more effort than it should have been for a new release.

I'm not sure I agree (yet) with GabeN's idea that Windows 8 is going to be a catastrophe, but if it's anything like the current Xbox Dashboard then I want absolutely nothing to do with it.

Posted by EJStyleS

So funny how much we ragged on blades back in the day...it's a beautiful dream compared to the ad-filled experience we have now.

Posted by StriderNo9

Meh, I dont mind this one at all but I know others have an terrible experiences.

Posted by EPGPX

Dear Microsoft

I wish you would remove the TV, Video, Music and Apps from the Xbox 360. All I want is Netflix for viewing movies. I already have my iPhone for Music and Apps and don't need Zune. Also while you're at it, please get rid of the boring Metro UI. It got painstakingly unattractive in less than a year. Just focus on making and releasing new games. I like how you present games in the games marketplace. I'm a fan of viewing big box art.

From an Xbox fan.

Posted by SaFt

I don't get Microsofts' obsession with updating the interface for the 360. Just design a well thought out, easy to use menu system instead of releasing a new version every six months (twelve?) that people have to learn all over again.

Posted by Spiritof

Anyone remember the time when playing games on the 360 was easy and fun?

Posted by Ravenlight

Want to Beta Test the Next Xbox 360 Dashboard?

No.

I don't have any faith that any future iterations of the once-proud Dashboard will be any good.

Posted by MuncherOfSpleens

Like hell I'm gonna sign an NDA to do free QA for Microsoft.

Posted by TheMarcosMantis

on the upside, it can't possibly be worse than what we have at the moment.. (reads bit about integrated internet explorer) - goddamnit

Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish

Leaked pictures of the new Xbox dashboard have surfaced!! 
 

Posted by Guerrilla_Mason

@DasUberOgre said:

Is it weird that I find the dashboard to be a cluttered mess but the ads are honestly not that big of a deal to me? The non-videogame related ones are usually regulated to the bottom right corner for me and it's not like they make noise unless I hover over them. The game-related ones aren't even obnoxious either. Usually it's just "YO THIS GAME IS OUT ON XBL/GAMES ON DEMAND. COP DIS SHIT" or "YO THIS MOVIE/MUSIC IS OUT ON ZUNE. HIT IT UP". While they are not relevant to my interests they are at least about the system's functionality.

I couldn't agree more with you. I LOVE having all that stuff there. I don't have to search for the Deals of the Week, they're right there. And besides, people do know they can boot right up to the disc, right? You don't have to see the dashboard ever. Don't understand all the complaining.

Posted by Hosstile17

Sign-ups have ended.

Posted by gocthulhugo

@Guerrilla_Mason said:

You don't have to see the dashboard ever.

*unless you want to play arcade/indie games

Posted by natetodamax

I can't imagine that adding even more features to the console is going to make the dashboard and guide faster and easier to use. That's what I really care about at this point.

Posted by thugg1280

it wasn't cluttered with bullshit by that do you mean adds?

Posted by 617_jbug

Looking forward to being able to pin things I want on to the home dashboard.

Posted by TehJedicake

Will it not be garbage?

Posted by Guerrilla_Mason

@gocthulhugo said:

@Guerrilla_Mason said:

You don't have to see the dashboard ever.

*unless you want to play arcade/indie games

*unless you want to play buy arcade/indie games. You can launch them from the guide menu while playing another game. Not the best solution, but you can still skip the dashboard.

Posted by Zamir

NEVER AGREE TO NDAs

Posted by MrKlorox

Damn, I wished they went back to Microsoft Connect for these. Everybody follows Nelson's blog, so if you don't get up early you're not going to make it.

Posted by OldGuy
@Guerrilla_Mason said:

@gocthulhugo said:

@Guerrilla_Mason said:

You don't have to see the dashboard ever.

*unless you want to play arcade/indie games

*unless you want to play buy arcade/indie games. You can launch them from the guide menu while playing another game. Not the best solution, but you can still skip the dashboard.

*unless you buy them at xbox.com (which is easier to search and find stuff on).
Posted by SlightConfuse

I don't want more ads on my dashboard so no

Posted by thetenthdoctor

Oh, I love some dashboard whining. How hard is it to hit "my games" and choose the game you want? "I can't find anything!!" How? You scroll to "games", then choose Indie, Arcade or On Demand- it's not rocket science. People will bitch about anything, I swear...

Posted by OleMarthin

got into the beta, not super excited but i do like the idea of having a favorite "page" or slide or whatever it's called. being able to pin all the stuff i use so i don't have to move around the entire dashboard for the few functions i use will be cool

Online
Posted by VoshiNova

I don't really want to have anything to do with it actually.

Edited by SmithCommaJohn

Sign me up. I'm really excited to see what they fuck up this time.

They've turned the Netflix interface into a complete shit show, but they haven't made it entirely unusable yet. Their efforts to that end have been admirable, but I doubt they're going to rest on their laurels. I bet we're going to see some really interesting stuff in the coming months. I'm hoping they introduce a new control system that causes the screen to go blank and forces you to browse titles via a series of abstract musical cues.

Maybe they could change the default font across the entire dashboard to Wingdings! That would go a long way toward turning the whole system into an unusable clusterfuck, which seems to be their end goal. But we'll probably have to wait for the next generation of hardware to see their nightmare vision fully realized.

I don't know about you guys, but I can't wait!

Posted by bkfountain

@DasUberOgre said:

Is it weird that I find the dashboard to be a cluttered mess but the ads are honestly not that big of a deal to me? The non-videogame related ones are usually regulated to the bottom right corner for me and it's not like they make noise unless I hover over them. The game-related ones aren't even obnoxious either. Usually it's just "YO THIS GAME IS OUT ON XBL/GAMES ON DEMAND. COP DIS SHIT" or "YO THIS MOVIE/MUSIC IS OUT ON ZUNE. HIT IT UP". While they are not relevant to my interests they are at least about the system's functionality.

The ads don't really bother me either, I mean come on. We live in a society where there's even ads in a bar urinal.

The dashboard is shitty down to it's core though. The fact that MS had to make an app for deals and specials shows just how awful their interface is as letting people see what the hell is actually for sale.

  • 151 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4