We’ve been hearing about Microsoft‘s plans to unify services across all their devices for quite a while now, and that initiative should come to ahead very soon. Obviously, it starts on the grandest scale with the unveiling of the next-gen Xbox on May 21st, but there are also some small scale, and more immediate, changes in the pipeline.
Sometime in June or July Microsoft plans to release a new Dashboard update that will change the user interface once again. This is the UI update we’ve all been expecting — the one that gives Xbox Live a look that more closely resembles Windows 8 with live tiles and whatnot.
Polygon has it on good authority from a source within Microsoft that the update should enter public beta next month (or, at the latest, early July), however the implications of the update might not be felt until much later this year. That’s because a key component of the update is better integration with next-gen Xbox players.
While some gamers will be transitioning from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox Infinity (or whatever you want to call it) in the Fall, a lot of gamers won’t be ready, or willing, to make that day 1 purchase. But with games slated to launch on both the Xbox 360 and next-gen Xbox — Assassin’s Creed 4, Watch_Dogs, Call of Duty: Ghosts, just to name a few — the two consoles will need to play nice with each other regardless.
Achievements need to transfer over, messages need to find their destination, and anything else Xbox-related needs to function regardless of console. In other words, the transition from one console to the next needs to be smooth, and this update will presumably help.
As was mentioned, this update is only one of numerous changes coming to Microsoft in the future. Those changes also include the elimination of MS Points in favor of a cash-based currency system. Perhaps this update will include a new option to use credit cards or gift cards to make purchases on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Look for more details about this Dashboard update after the May 21st event.
What changes do you hope Microsoft introduces in this next Dashboard update? Would you like a radical UI redesign, or something more subtle?