Xbox Dashboard Update Due December 6

After months of waiting, Microsoft has finally provided a release date for the upcoming Xbox 360 fall dashboard update: it’ll be out on December 6.

The free download adds a wide variety of features, including those we first heard about during E3 in June. The redesigned look of the dashboard lets Kinect owners navigate it with either gestures or voice control – the latter is also one way of using the new search functionality that will allow you to find content on the Xbox Live Marketplace, Zune Marketplace, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. As this is a Microsoft product, search will be powered by Bing.

Cloud storage for Xbox Live profiles and save games is also being added. The benefit of this is you don’t need to worry about any issues with your hard drive costing you that precious Skyrim save. It’ll also allow you to recover your Gamertag without going through the very long process that currently entails. 

Beacons are a new way of broadcasting what you want to play to your friends over Live and on Facebook. This lets you see when other friends start playing something you want to play even if you’re busy with something else. Beacons were among the features added to in the update that went earlier this month.

There are other new aspects of the dashboard update as well, including enhanced family settings for those with children.

Starting on December 6, once the update has gone live, we’ll begin to see new entertainment content show up on Live as well. Microsoft announced plans last month to bring content from HBO, Syfy, BBC, Crackle, and more to Live, but we apparently won’t see all of it become available at once and some of it will be region restricted.

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