The New 360 "Hub" Looks Better Than The Dashboard

When Kinect is released in November, Microsoft will update the Xbox 360's dashboard to make better use of the controller. This is what that dash will look like, and if you think it's familiar, that's because it is.

The incredibly simple, bold grid-based system on display is very similar to that used by Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system, cutting out the relatively complex menus and button prompts of the old dash (below) in favour of an emphasis on the stuff you use most.

It's also, uh, pretty damn close to the Wii's menu screen. Funny, that.

In the screens at the top and bottom of this post, for example, you'll see there's games on display, alongside media applications, an avatar icon and in the bottom left the two "primary" functions, which control your friends and your own account.

That little hand in the bottom right is for Kinect users; the camera can track your hand and you'll be able to move that icon with it. As revealed earlier today, and as you'll also see in the screenshot below, you'll also be able to control the dashboard simply by speaking to it.

While this will no doubt put many users off, I really like it, just like I'm a fan of the Windows Phone 7 design. There are only a handful of things you use all the time on a console, and those things should always be front and centre, rather than having to dig around for them in menus all the time.

Those without Kinect, don't worry, you'll keep the same dash you know and maybe even love. And even those with Kinect can opt out of it; that arrow at the top left will whoosh you right back to the standard menu layout, as though the future had never even existed.

It's a little clumsy having a wall between the dashboard and the hub, yes, but then it's also a little clumsy having some 360 owners with a camera and others without, so it's probably the best solution Microsoft could have opted for.


    Looks a lot like the Wii, anything that doesn't require me to navigate through menus with a dpad that glitches when I just want to play an effin game off my hard drive is a good thing.

    It is a game console, 99% of the time when I turn it on, I'll want to play a game, put the damn games front and centre and make me dig for things the other 1% of the time.

    I like it. Ok so it's the same
    as the wii interface, which itself is
    just a basic menu interface.

    Who cares, it's better than their current

    I wonder if you can 'flip' or 'slide' sets of tiles so you can get access to more options, like your downloaded game library.

    I always wondered why the 360 never powers up on the start game in drive. I suppose Spotlight is their advertising but I always found it silly.

    @DKnight1000, you can set the xbox360 to launch the disc in the drive upon startup.

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