It’s time for another dashboard update for the Xbox 360, and this time it seems to be more of a tinker than an overhaul. More squares, more apps, more ads. Everyone definitely wanted more ads.
The squares have grown in numbers as the amount of sections is trimmed down to keep things tidy, but the extra boxes seem to be an excuse to parp more commercials down the throat. It makes one wonder what that monthly Gold subscription is actually paying for. Especially when new applications Xbox Music and Xbox Video require further spending to make use of their features.
Though it isn’t all a display of cynicism as the new update does bring some good to the service. Loading is generally faster, making it less of a pain to access your own download collection, and items can be pinned to a pin screen for easy access. Though for some strange reason the often used Xbox Video Player is unable to be pinned down. it’s too wild! Aside from the video player hiccup, having the best multiplayer arcade titles and apps in one place is something that has been desired for a long time. Pity the marketplace store is still a cluttered mess thanks to Rock Band songs filling the new releases tab.
The next big addition is the inclusion of web browsing, via Internet Explorer. While it’s never going to replace a PC or laptop when it comes to searching google for cat pictures and scrambled egg recipes, it does feel smoother than past console browsers I’ve dealt with (I’m looking at you Wii and 3DS with your chugging Opera nonsense) and it was pleasing to see my own blog boot up with no hassle on the big screen. It will most likely act as a minor distraction when getting off the sofa seems to much of a drag. Still more use than 90% of the other apps.
The new dashboard then is a tinker, a tinker which brings a smoother experience at the cost of more Lovefilm adverts. There is always evil lurking where there be good.