NEWS - Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Xbox app use up since Dashboard Redesign

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 Hribb.

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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