A subtle revamp of the Xbox interface will help Microsoft further its reach into mainstream and family audiences.
At Gamescom last week, the firm was demoing the various ways its Kinect camera improves the interface – and told MCV it wants to make the experience ‘more fun for new users'.
By the time Kinect arrives on November 10th, Microsoft will have added a streamlined and ‘more linear' dashboard to Xbox Live. It will make the New Xbox Experience that debuted in 2008 simpler.
Microsoft is also adding a Kinect hub to the dashboard, with motion-sensitive enhancements that mean onscreen logos and menus react to gesture controls.
But most important are the family-friendly additions that will attract new audiences, said EMEA marketing manager for the service Robin Burrowes.
Family enhancements will come in line with Kinect's launch. We've taken the spirit of Kinect and applied that to Xbox Live,” he said.
The whole Xbox Live experience is improved by Kinect – even when someone is new to Xbox 360, it will be more fun and friendly.
Up to now the process of even creating a Gamertag has been quite long. We're actually adding Gamertag prompts and automatic suggested Avatars. We believe that this will make it all much easier and much more fun.
The natural motion interface should be well received by both new audiences and our established core audience of 25m Xbox Live users.”
Microsoft will also offer a Family Subscription for Xbox Live which includes four online accounts for the price of two – plus a special dashboard.
This will contain a number of family enhancements – the Family Pack users will have a more family-friending dashboard and the content availability will be slightly different to people with a standard subscription as well.”