For those that are not interested in Kinect, the majority of the new fall dashboard updates for the Xbox 360 were expected to center on the necessary updates needed to support Kinect. While it is true that Kinect will be the main thrust of what users will get in the dashboard updates this fall, there are at least a few new things coming to light that will be for everyone and should not be overlooked.
The biggest news of the coming fall update is, of course, the addition of ESPN3 streaming for Gold subscribers. In addition, Netflix will be getting an overhaul that includes improved search functionality. A new Zune Marketplace is also on tap. The dashboard will also be getting some attention that will include some streamlining to improve functionality with Kinect.
Additional updates will include improved voice quality for audio chat, new functionality and interface for changing your gaming tag and a new virtual keyboard will be replacing the old virtual keyboard technology to enhance input.
User Avatars will be upgraded to better support Kinect; and Avatars will be more proportional to work better with Kinect gaming titles. The wireless network configuration and connectivity interface will undergo a complete makeover to make it easier to connect and configure wireless network settings. Controllers will offer the ability to sign-out other controllers and profiles connected to the console.
One of the big things that a lot of people are talking about is the new 100% completed games browser and interface to show off the games that users have completed.
It is expected that Microsoft will start pushing the Fall Dashboard Update prior to November 4th , as Kinect goes on sale then, and the update is needed to support Kinect and to be able to connect it to your console. Sources continue to talk about a release during the last week of October, but Microsoft has yet to confirm that this is the case; we suspect that it is likely to be accurate, unless Microsoft moves to release it earlier.