Xbox Dashboard 2012 - Now More Metro Than Ever

This has begun rolling out today. Anyone get it yet? Two week roll out, but my Xbox hasn’t gotten it yet.

Big new features:

Dashboard tweaked. More Metro… errr, Modern UI… than ever
IE9 now, so you can browse.
Smartglass goes live on the 26th, so you can surf aforementioned IE9 using your tablet.

I’ve been using the beta for a couple months maybe? Like you say, it’s pretty much just more. More blocks or panes or whatever you want to call them. I didn’t find it a significant upgrade, though there is now a web browser if you feel like you need to check out the Internet from your 360. So, you know, no huge leap but no harm done, is my review. And now you know why I don’t write tech reviews.

I’ve had the beta for a few weeks. It’s okay. I’m still not thrilled at how much real estate is wasted on ads and cheesy BS, but it’s an improvement over the last version. The best thing about it is the ability to “pin” favorites to the separate box.

Netflix U/I still sucks ass, but I guess that’s an issue for Netflix since they wrote the app.

IE functionality is decent, but pales in comparison to the browser in Steam’s Big Picture mode. I still don’t see what all the fuss was about when people were insisting that they absolutely needed a browser on their TV screen. I’d rather use the iPad on the couch.

“Man, I wish I could browse the internet on my gaming console”, said nobody ever.

If you have a Gold membership.

I still don’t see what all the fuss was about when people were insisting that they absolutely needed a browser on their TV screen

Who were these people? Youtube yes. Browser, no.

I don’t know, but it was a common refrain from people comparing the PS3 and Wii to the 360.

Go check Google with “why doesn’t the XBox 360 have a web browser” and count the hits. (About 2,010,000 results.) Or try “I want a web browser on the 360.” (About 16,800,000 results.)

If you actually look at the search results Google brings up, though, only a small proportion are actually asking for a browser. If you put your latter string in quotes, you get all of two results. And there’s a difference between wondering why the Xbox doesn’t have a browser when every other console and even handheld has one, and saying you need it.

The UI for Hulu Plus is garbage, too. I strongly suspect that MS imposed app guidelines that required the awful interface for Kinect compatibility.

Any novelty value from holding my hand aloft trying to hit the right cube wore off long ago.

I’m not going to get into a debate about how Google search works or why the result didn’t match exactly what we’re talking about. I just know that early on, there were posts all over the internet in forums and articles pointing out how behind the curve the 360 was for not having a browser while the Wii and PS3 did. People kept bringing it up like it was some kind of crazy must-have feature that Microsoft was stupid for not including in their console. Every app release like the Twitter, Youtube, or Facebook dashboard apps would result in a few posts complaining that “MS should just give us a browser LOL.”

Obviously someone must want it, because Valve even went through the trouble of including one in Big Picture mode and worked out a new wheel typing system for the controller. Maybe Valve just fell into the echo chamber trap or something.

I don’t want it, that’s for sure.

Considering how Twitter and Facebook used to be Gold features, I’m not really shocked.

Hell, the new “Free to Play” game they just launched, Happy Wars, is also behind the Gold paywall.

Obviously someone must want it, because Valve even went through the trouble of including one in Big Picture mode and worked out a new wheel typing system for the controller. Maybe Valve just fell into the echo chamber trap or something.

But Valve’s store-front (and much else in Steam besides) is browser driven. They’re not providing a browser for the sake of having a browser on your TV. They’re providing a browser <i>because Steam requires a browser</i>.

I have no idea why you’re trying so hard to disprove my assertion that people had asked for the browser on the 360. /shrug

Does it still load everything ve ry s l o w l y

While I was skeptical of the usefulness of a web browser on the xbox, I did discover that I can use it to get to Pandora, which is pretty useful (I prefer pandora to live.fm). So, there’s that.

I have the chatpad on my controller; I can’t even imagine trying to use it without that. And I do like the trigger-button zoom. But I still can’t imagine using it for anything other than Pandora.

MS can update a gazillion PCs on patch day, but is executing the slowest-ass roll-out for this update. Ughhhhhh… If Apple did this with a major iOS release, there’d be screaming and rioting.

JoshL’s comment about Pandora made me wonder. Can the browser play Netflix videos? Or how about some of the other 20+ Gold-only features?

In Denmark Netflix is a gold only feature. When I saw that, I laughed and turned on my Ps3 and watched Netflix for free there.

Somehow I cant imagine apple fanboys screaming about anything Apple does - except in joy.