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Xbox app use up 50% since dashboard redesign

By Dan Pearson

Wed 18 Jan 2012 8:32am GMT / 3:32am EST / 12:32am PST

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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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

962 187 0.2
Entertainment apps +50%
XBLA -150%

Posted:4 years ago


Kyle Davidson

12 0 0.0
"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?

Posted:4 years ago


Nick Ferguson Sr. Business Development Manager, Amazon

55 13 0.2
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...)

Posted:4 years ago

Please tell me they're not planning to put Fox News in there. It's not like US teenagers need more brainwashing...

Posted:4 years ago


Luke Harris Studying BSC Computing, Open University

5 0 0.0
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

Posted:4 years ago


Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments

356 486 1.4
Hope MS isn't betting the farm on things a smart tv or low cost STB could do for much less?

Posted:4 years ago


Dan Pearson European Editor,

148 467 3.2
@Nick - Well spotted! Will fix.

Posted:4 years ago


Mike Wells Writer

62 29 0.5
Personally I'm not interested in Netflix, 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...

Posted:4 years ago


Kevin Patterson musician

199 111 0.6
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.

Posted:4 years ago


Hugo Trepanier Senior UI Designer, Hibernum

199 227 1.1
@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.

Posted:4 years ago


Matthew Doucette Game Producer, Xona Games

1 0 0.0
Who cares what is up only? We also want to know what is down too.

Posted:4 years ago


Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer

490 302 0.6
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.

Posted:4 years ago


Hakki Sahinkaya

43 32 0.7
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.

Posted:4 years ago


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