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New Xbox 360 Dashboard Called 'Twist Control', Features Channels, Beacons
New Xbox 360 Dashboard Called 'Twist Control', Features Channels, Beacons
August 19, 2011 | By Mike Rose

The new Xbox 360 dashboard, due to be released sometime before the end of the year, will be called Twist Control, with a new menu setup that involves channel hopping.

Xbox Live product marketing manager Robin Burrowes showed the new system to Eurogamer, which reports that channels are displayed at the top of the screen and can be flicked through to find specific content using the Xbox 360 controller.

Voice and motion control can also be used to flick through these channels via the Kinect hardware.

"Hopefully it's easy to browse," Burrowes explained of the new design. "It's intuitive in terms of the way the surfing experience will actually work."

Users will also be able to find a new 'Beacons' feature in the 'Social channel', allowing you to show other players exactly what you're doing and playing via Xbox Live and Facebook -- these Beacons can then be used to alert players if their friends are online and ready to play a specific game.

"That's been a little bit of a barrier," Burrowes said. "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."

More Facebook features are also planned, with the ability to 'like' Xbox games, and cloud storage will be available.

"Hopefully the new dash will show this service proposition goes beyond gaming," Burrowes explained. "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."

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Jonathan Daley
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The cloud storage feature sounds very nice; especially if it will let you load save game files onto other Xboxes, instead of having to copy files onto a memory card or USB stick.

Jakub Klitenik
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The beacons feature sounds intriguing. But the one thing I feel they should do is to have it that your own Channel is shown first. Not the Spotlight Channel. Its a minor issue but something that lets me jump into any of my games (either via cd or arcade) as quick as possible.

warren blyth
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"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."

He seems proud to have discovered a way in which all their distractions from gaming can be twisted to contribute to gaming. on their gaming console.

I wish I understood what he meant by "developing the investment infrastructure to develop..." (does he mean Microsoft allotted more money to developing these distractions? or is proud of something he actually developed? or does he mean raising the price of Gold for their customers? or does he mean ... some sort of vague meaningless bullshit?)

William Dettrey
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There's definitely some cool features with this update. However, Microsoft has completely strayed away from what made LIVE so great and what it's original purpose was. There are two sections that should always be first and next to each other. Your Xbox screen and you Friends screen. Friends has slowly moved further and further away from your screen, what does that say about what is going on? The ability to customize your screens should be implemented. Hold down a button to allow a screen to be moved up or down the hierarchy. It almost surprises me that the Game Marketplace is right next to your user screen when evaluating the screen hierarchy.

Everything is a commercial now. I get it but it doesn't have to take away from the experience. In the early days of the 360 and LIVE I still viewed every portion of the dashboard because every wednesday there were new games being rolled out or at least new content. Clearly that is difficult to sustain but having some kind of new content on a consistent basis gets people into a behavorial pattern. When you break consistency then they break the pattern. Definitely looking forward to some of these new features but I don't think MS has one clue as to what their identity is within the game market (Sony as well). I'm curious to see what 343 puts out for the next Halo. Is it going to be a copycat of what Bungie achieved or are they going to tear things up Infinity Ward style or beyond?

Marcus Miller
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I wish they would also add a feature to allow you hear samples of music for games like Dance Central before you buy it.

Jonathan Murphy
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I hope they don't get sued by, "Twist and Shout." Don't go crazy with the new design. Please don't go crazy. ... They are going to go crazy aren't they?

Joe McGinn
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Wow, yet another Dashboard redesign ... how many has that been now? Kinda seems like something they just shoulda gotten right at the start. Just sayin'