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Xbox app use up 50% since dashboard redesign

Video consumption via device also leaps 140% in one year

Microsoft's various Xbox entertainment apps have seen a rise of fifty per cent in the number of users utilising them since the dashboard redesign late last year.

Offerings such as Last.FM, Sky Player and the Zune video rental service were given much more prominent positioning in the December 7 reshuffle, which was a clear move to encourage perception of the 360 as an entertainment device, rather than just a games console.

Microsoft's proprietary search engine, Bing, was also added during the update.

Since many of the services which have been added over the last year have been video-related, such as on-demand television services and movie rental apps such as Netflix, it's not surprising that the use of the console to watch video has rocketed, also.

Video use on the 360 has jumped by over 140 per cent, in terms of time spent, in just one year, says Microsoft's Major Nelson, AKA Larry Hyrb.

Currently planned for the service, and announced at CES, is a partnership which will see many of News Corp and subsidiary Fox's content made available via the dash.

"We are committed to enhancing and expanding our global entertainment offerings on Xbox LIVE in 2012," said Hribb.

"Moving forward, you can expect to see more of the world's leading entertainment providers coming to Xbox and a continued rollout of additional entertainment apps."

Not all groups were happy with the redesigned dashboard, with several indie developers bemoaning the apparent demotion of the Indie Games Channel to a deeper level of the dash, which many believe affected its visibility.

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Latest comments (13)

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 4 years ago
Entertainment apps +50%
XBLA -150%
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Kyle Davidson4 years ago
"Moving forward, you can expect to see more of the world's leading entertainment providers coming to Xbox and a continued rollout of additional entertainment apps."

Ok, but what about the games?
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Nick Ferguson Sr. Business Development Manager, Amazon4 years ago
I've been watching a lot of Netflix. Very pleased that I can get unlimited LoveFilm and Netflix streaming for just over a tenner in total. RIP Blockbuster*.

PS It's "Hyrb" not "Hribb".

* other video rental chains are available (oh wait, they're not...)
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Show all comments (13)
Please tell me they're not planning to put Fox News in there. It's not like US teenagers need more brainwashing...
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Luke Harris Studying BSC Computing, Open University4 years ago
The 360 has one pitfall as an entertainment device - it sounds like my hoover. Maybe newer models reduce the db level but my TV is silent. Offers BBC iplayer in HD for free and I can relax to watch content in peace.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Luke Harris on 18th January 2012 3:19pm

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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments4 years ago
Hope MS isn't betting the farm on things a smart tv or low cost STB could do for much less?
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Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry.biz4 years ago
@Nick - Well spotted! Will fix.
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Mike Wells Writer 4 years ago
Personally I'm not interested in Netflix, Last.fm et al. I do find I go to the games marketplace much less now that it's a bit of a faff to get to. Amazing how a relatively small change to the interface distance can have a big impact. My sympathies to the XBLA community...
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Kevin Patterson musician 4 years ago
The video apps are great, but I have found the new dashboard to be a pain when looking for community games, add-ons, and new XBLA games. The dash just kind of lumps everything together.
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Hugo Trepanier Senior UI Designer, Hibernum4 years ago
@Nick and @Dan, it's actually Hryb, and the typo is there twice in the article :)

I have mixed feelings about the new dashboard. I think it does look very good overall but I find it more difficult to get to some of the things I want compared to the previous iteration. Everything was more accessible before. As a UI designer, I find this especially frustrating since any update should make things easier for the user, not more difficult.

There are some noticeable improvements but I don't like how the console is trying to move away from gaming into more of an entertainment center. It should certainly be able to do both but not at the expense of making the console what it is in the first place: a gaming device.
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Matthew Doucette Game Producer, Xona Games4 years ago
Who cares what is up only? We also want to know what is down too.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 4 years ago
I have to say I used More 4 and five on demand on my 360 after the update. The simple truth is that it's now easier to find the category of interaction you want with the new layout.

My only gripe is the adverts.
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Hakki Sahinkaya4 years ago
I go to Games tab and all the on-demand XBLA, indie, demos etc are nicely listed with various filtering setups (newets, top rated, most downloads etc).

I personally find the new UI much more enjoyable ALL together (apps, games, videos). So I don't get these vague points about how it is hurting XBLA or is less user friendly. And those adverts are mostly game adverts too from what I see (I am connected to UK XBL if it makes a difference). And most of those game ads can be XBLA ads.

My only gripe is since it's Kinect (i.e: wipe) friendly, big boxes take up a lot of space when I could see more content on one page. Although it was kind of like this before update anyway. I wish they would offer various viewing layouts like PS Store does.
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