Everyone who tested the new Xbox dashboard is getting a free (digital) cat

If you're a part of the Xbox One Preview Programme, which helps test beta builds of new console firmware, and you opted into trying out the New Xbox One Experience, you should today find a message from Microsoft sitting in your inbox. Unexpected gifts are legendary in the entertainment industry, from Oprah giving out cars, to acclaimed actor Terrence Stamp - after hating the experience of working on Star Wars - receiving a Phantom Menace stencil set as a thank you from George Lucas.

So where does this Xbox gift sit on that spectrum? Somewhere in the middle, I'd say. Hit "Download Now" under the message, then head to the Avatar app. What will you find? A bipedal ginger cat in a headband that mucks about with your avatar. I can't discern the exact relevance of this avatar prop to the testing of a new UI, but it sure is weird, and I think I'm fine with that.

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Joe Skrebels
Joe first fell in love with games when a copy of The Lion King on SNES became his stepfather in 1994. When the cartridge left his mother in 2001, he turned to his priest - a limited edition crystal Xbox - for guidance. And now he's here.