Robin Burrowes, Xbox Live product marketing manager for EMEA, has revealed that the new Xbox 360 dashboard slated for release later this year is called Twist Control.
According to Burrowes, speaking with Eurogamer at gamescom, the redesign will provide Kinect users voice and motion control over the menu, and it also includes new channels and a top display, allowing for easier flick-through for those using the 360 controller.
It will also make use of a Social channel found in the Beacons section, which will allow users to post what they are doing across XBL and Facebook, which will make it much easier to contact their friends – something users have been requesting for quite some time.
“Hopefully it’s easy to browse,” said Burrowes. “It’s intuitive in terms of the way the surfing experience will actually work. The core community have been saying to us, ‘I’m doing this one activity but I really want to play Call of Duty with my mates when I’ve got four or five of them online at the same time.’ People are still text messaging each other and sending messages on other platforms. This is an easier way to do it.”
Currently, there around 20,000 content items on XBLM, and more on the way, so an update was necessary to not only make it less cluttered, but easier to use for those who were turned onto the system due to the inclusion of Disney movies into Zune.
The inclusion of Disney, according to Burrowes, brought in a broader demographic of users to the system, causing Zune usage to grow 100 percent year-on-year with the new entrants.
To this end, it was Microsoft’s goal to make browsing for content other than games much easier than it was before.
“Hopefully the new dash will show this service proposition goes beyond gaming,” said Burrowes. “We’ll never lose our focus on that gaming audience. In fact, developing the investment infrastructure to develop programs like cloud storage and Facebook posting and the beacons, are three examples of continuing to invest in that space.
“Our games Marketplace environment is really beginning to get optimised. We’re now selling more with new transaction space than we are with subscription space for the first, which is showing to us our core audience is staying with us and spending more time, money and effort within games as well as entertainment.”
Twist Control is expected to launch sometime before Christmas.