New Xbox 360 3D Dashboard Revealed for Fall; Features Game Installs, Remote Marketplace

Microsoft today confirmed that the Xbox 360 will gain an entirely new 3D interface and dashboard via a downloadable system update available this fall.

The system is set up like a 3D photo album, with large channel icons that include your Gamerscore, the disc tray, etc. A column of options including My Xbox, Community, Primetime, Games, and Video sit to the left.

"For everyone who loves the blades interface, it's not going away; they are now built directly in to the new Xbox guide," explained Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten. nope

"Every feature and option is available right from the guide. You can even access your full games library at all times. No matter where you are (in dash or in game), immediately call up your games played list and directly launch a game."

Other new features include the ability to install a game to the hard drive for faster load times, though the disc will still need to be present in the drive to prove ownership. The option to purchase Xbox Live Marketplace content from the web and have it downloaded to your console will also be introduced.

The new dashboard allows for personalized avatars to be created in a cartoon style. Pants, shirts, and other accessories can be added to the avatars. Xbox Live friends are visually represented through their avatars, and up to eight friends can chat in a "live party." Photos can be shared by streaming to the party, and the party can then move on to easily jump into a game.

The Primetime channel was also announced. The channel is a gameshow-style network, where players will take part in contests to win real prizes.

"More fun, more social, and simpler to use," teased Xbox Live services VP John Schappert. "Our vision is to make every experience a shared experience."

The system is set to go live this fall.