Xbox 360 Dashboard update is here, Kinect ready to go

Starting today, all US Xbox 360 owners who connect to Xbox Live will be greeted with the biggest update since the introduction of the "Next Xbox Experience" in 2008. In addition to installing a brand new system interface and some twists and tweaks all around, this update will make your Xbox 360 fully equipped to handle Kinect when the motion camera goes on sale later this week.

Above: The Xbox 360 is going beyond just a "media hub" and becoming an "everything hub"

Kinect is the headlining feature of the update, but there are several others being added to the system as part of the installation. And they are:

  • Improved Xbox Live voice chat fidelity
  • New interface, including new fonts and graphics
  • Updated Avatars that look more human-like
  • "Search" feature improved in Netflix app
  • Improvements to the on-screen keyboard
  • Zune Music/Movie marketplace connectivity
  • New ESPN app for live streaming sports content

If you want to play Kinect games but don't have an Internet-connected Xbox 360, don't worry. The update will come installed with every packaged Kinect title, allowing the system to be upgraded on the spot.

Moreover, if you do connect to Xbox Live, even if you have absolutely no interest in Kinect, this is a mandatory update. You will not be able to connect to Xbox Live until you grab this latest dashboard download. It should take less than 10 minutes to download and install.

Kinect goes on sale on November 4th. Midnight launch parties are happening all around the US, including a big spectacle at Times Square in New York City (where I'll be). Get in line early if you wanna get your Kinect face on, because Microsoft is strumming up as much hype as possible to get those units off the shelves.

Nov 1, 2010