Xbox Live Update Preview Program Now Accepting Sign-Ups [Updated]

[Update: September 23, 2010] Registration for the Xbox Live preview program is now closed.

[Original Story] Alongside the Kinect peripheral, Microsoft is set to revamp the Xbox 360 dashboard, yet again. Other than adding functionality for the camera across all connected consoles, the Xbox 360 dashboard redesign will sport a new look and method of organizing content.

To prepare for the redesign, Microsoft has opened the door to the public in a new preview program for the dashboard's changes, Major Nelson revealed. Sign-ups are available on the Microsoft Connect website with room for "multiple thousands of participants." The preview program will include on-demand ESPN, Zune music, Netflix search capabilities, and a number of other changes.

Although the major addition is the Kinect functionality, those signing up will not receive a Kinect unit to test prior to the accessory's launch. Also, there are a number of caveats for those interested in participating:

  • Your ISP must support ESPN 3 for the application to function
  • You must be a subscriber to Netflix to enable searching
  • Xbox Live Silver users can enter to participate; however Gold members take priority when users are selected
  • Party chat with users of the current dashboard will no longer function, until the official update is delivered (due to the audio codec changes included in the update; game chat should operate normally)