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Xbox Live Update: ‘A New Entertainment Experience’

I
hope you weren’t too comfortable with the existing Xbox Live Dashboard, because
come December 6th, Microsoft is deploying a new update for the service which
will bring a ‘newly designed user interface… expanded voice control with Kinect,
and the first group of new entertainment customer applications’.  The intention is to beef up the Xbox 360’s
capabilities as a voice-controlled media centre, with the ability to navigate
easily through menus using either your voice or gestures thanks to the Kinect
hardware.

According
to the press release, ‘New, customized applications for television, movies,
internet videos, sports and music will begin rolling out from world-leading
providers in more than 20 countries’, which makes quite clear Microsoft’s
intention to position the 360 as the main media center of most homes.

A
number of personal and social features will also be added in the update,
including (most excitingly for hardcore gamers) ‘Cloud Storage for Game Saves
and LIVE Profile’ which should, if the name is anything to go by, allow gamers
to keep their game saves and gamer profiles backed up on a secure Cloud server
and access them from any Xbox 360, which makes the idea of heading round to a
friend’s house for a multiplayer session much more appealing, with the added
bonus of retaining any achievements you unlock while there.

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