Bad news Microsoft, your secret is out. When news first broke a few weeks ago that a few lucky gamers had been asked to join the Kinect beta test, those of us who weren't so lucky were forced to sit back and hope a secret or two would come squeaking out.
Fortunately for all of us, it was more than a squeak.
The Kinect testers have been kind enough to release screenshots of not only the re-designed Avatars, which have been adjusted to iron out some gameplay glitches (caused by unrealistic body proportions), but the Xbox 360's new and improved dashboard as well. Hopefully the problems associated with stubby arms and hipless torsoes are now a thing of the past.
The real story is the overall appearance of the new Xbox dashboard. If you were hoping for something a bit flashier, you may be disappointed. From this first look, it appears that the upcoming update will be placing importance on function over fashion.
So check out the screenshots:
As well as video:
Perhaps Microsoft has gone out of their way to make sure that the Kinect dashboard isn't upstaged when the update kicks in - around the same day Kinect is released.
Certainly nothing earth-shattering, but with the beta just starting, hopefully the leaks will continue and we'll get an even more in-depth look at the games included in the beta: Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures!, and Kinect Joy Ride.
I'll be honest, it's a bit of a relief to hear some good news come out regarding Kinect, as opposed to the recent confusion surrounding its impending launch. To me, the new dashboard looks like a slight improvement on a system that wasn't broken. Hopefully, Microsoft has put their efforts into making good marketplace content easier to find, and streamlining browsing, as opposed to redesigning it altogether.
Are you disappointed in the lack of flash to the updated browser? Or do you welcome a news story involving Kinect that doesn't include a Microsoft-issued correction?