Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

Summary: New Xbox 360 dashboard software update further blurs the line between games, television, and social networking

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Starting this week, Xbox 360 owners will get a new version of the game console's dashboard software pushed to them, and this fairly radical update further blurs the line between games, television, and social networking. I've been checking out the beta version of the update for several days, and there are some interesting gamification developments in there.
It's odd to think of the video game company or device having to 'gamify' part of itself, but this is the latest step on a long road for the Xbox 360 (and indeed the entire current generation of living room consoles). Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are already part of Xbox Live, and there's no better example of competitive badge-earning than the points and awards that come from the console's 'achievement' system. It just so happens that one currently earns these achievement badges on the Xbox for playing games, but it could just as easily be for downloading music videos, buying virtual goods, or exercising with the Xbox's Kinect camera via a personal trainer program.

This new update, besides radically overhauling the visual look of the Xbox dashboard (and actually going back to a horizontal orientation after a couple of years of a vertical menu bars), adds new TV and video services, and a Bing-branded search engine to connect them all.
The most interesting part, from my point of view, is the upcoming implementation of a new UFC app (that's the Ultimate Fighting Championship league, if you're not familiar). Essentially a combination of live streaming events and on-demand video content, there are also some potentially very interesting interactive features for anyone curious about how to gamify the TV-watching experience. Through an "Interactive Fight Card," you'll be able to check out upcoming matchups and pick who you think the winners will be. These choices will be up loaded to leaderboards so you can compare with friends and the global audience. Especially for sports fans, this seems like a great way to engage viewers in a game-like experience, and it could be a great foothold for the Xbox 360, or other game consoles, to fulfill their long-time dream of replacing your cable box. It's also much more viewer-friendly than those TV news or sports polls Time Warner and other cable companies trot out occasionally using colored "vote" buttons on your remote control (In NYC, the local news station NY1 does this almost daily). Check back for a hands-on take of the UFC interactive content and some of the other Xbox 360 dashboard updates.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Microsoft, Social Enterprise

Libe Goad

About Libe Goad

Texas native Libe Goad resides in New York City and has spent the past decade covering technology and video games for publications including Blender, PC Magazine, Bust, Seventeen and Sync.

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12 comments
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  • Metro Metro Everywhere

    And MS finally innovates [s]again[/s].
    x I'm tc
    • RE: Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

      @jdakula you really should look up the word oxymoron. Then read your comment again, and see the irony.
      Rick_Kl
      • RE: Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

        @Rick_Kl

        In your case you only have to worry about the second part of the word oxymoron
        bobiroc
      • RE: Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

        @bobiroc I would suggest you look in a mirror before calling anyone a moron...
        Rick_Kl
      • Rick: why?

        Is there a picture of you on his mirror?
        toddybottom
  • RE: Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

    valuable screen real estate is wasted.. a typical habit of Microsoft!
    sandeep.splash
    • yeah

      @sandeep.splash

      True. it should be filled with rows and rows of dead icons, then it could look just like an iPhone!
      omdguy
      • RE: Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

        @omdguy
        Not rows and rows of icons; that would allow you to find what you're looking for too quickly. Just 4 rows and two columns of icons.

        And it should also be big because we all want enough screen real estate on our devices dedicated to showing random pictures of our contacts and we all want to ensure the number of unread emails and messages are written in very big font.
        anono
      • RE: Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

        @omdguy +1
        Fat Albert 1
  • RE: Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

    web browser please!!!!
    Jibbits Jr
  • RE: Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

    Funny, I bought my X-box to play games. I don't care for Metro or half the immature fools you find with all the social media apps. I mean if all you want is a gaming PC why don't you just buy the X-box controller dongle and fire up a faster windows 7 pc and X-box handheld controller. Please stop Metro before it messes up Windows 8 !!!!
    partman1969@...
  • RE: Xbox 360 mashes up games, live TV, social media, and more in a major update

    I think that this new update in the X-box 360 will definitely make more people buy the console. Lot's of people are looking for a new way to have TV and video services at their houses. Instead of buying the cable box, they could save extra money by using the X-box to pick their movies and TV channels. Now the PS3's have a feature allowing you to watch Blu-ray DVD's. Since this new feature, PS3's have gotten more sales. I think that the new X-box update has gamified the TV watching experience with its interactive features. As for sports fans, there is a extra thing to do when watching the game; checking the leaderboard and all that. The X-box has definitely added a great thing it didn't have before; it has used Gamification to its advantage.
    Gamification101