November 1st 2010 9:21 am PT

Xbox 360 Dashboard update is now available


I am happy to announce that the latest dashboard update has now been officially released and is in process of being rolled out across the LIVE service. For many of you, the next time you sign in to Xbox LIVE, you will be prompted to receive the update. A couple of things to keep in mind over the next few hours as the update is deployed:

  • You’ll be prompted to accept the update when you sign into Xbox Live sometime in the next few hours. 
  • Regardless of what you have heard, it’s not geographically based. No one area of the world will get it before another. 
  • If you keep signing out and then back in again, this will NOT force the update…it will only anger people on your friends list who will keep getting a notification. every. time. you sign. in.
  • Be patient, everyone will eventually receive the update

Here are a few of the features that we are including in this update:


ESPN on Xbox LIVE*

3,500 Sporting Events A Year – Access more than 3,500 live and on-demand global sporting events from a year, including college basketball, college football and college bowl games, MLB, NBA, international soccer and more.

Out of Market Games – Catch your favorite college team games. Check out the huge catalog of out of market games and enjoy them on the big screen.

The Best Ways to Watch – Enjoy HD programming, DVR controls, plus access to hundreds of clips from, refreshed daily.

Games at a Glance – Keep up on real-time score information using’s score feed without leaving the game you’re watching. View scores for leagues and games currently in the feed and select “Watch Live” or “Watch Replay” to jump straight into that game.

Predict the Winner – Pick what team you think will win. While watching selected games in college football, college basketball, MLB, and NBA, you will be prompted to vote for your team of choice. You’ll also see the percentage of votes among the Xbox LIVE viewing community.

Voice Chat – Voice chat with up to seven other friends while watching the big game.

My Sports – To customize your ESPN on Xbox LIVE experience, click on the “Events, Highlights and More” slot on the homepage and browse by sport to pick a specific league that you want to follow for the season. The league that you select will now automatically display in your My Sports Channel.

Zune Music*

Zune Pass – Zune Pass is a monthly subscription service that gives you unlimited, on demand streaming of millions of songs at launch from all the major music labels and thousands of independent labels.

Enhanced search – Search the broad library to find your favorite artists, albums, songs and playlists.

Social – Connect with like-minded fans on the Zune online community and get new music recommendations. Zune Social also lets you see friend’s Avatars and listen to their recently played songs or check out their favorite artists.

Smart DJ – Instantly create customized playlists by selecting an artist and have Smart DJ find songs that complement your selection.

Netflix* Search – Experience a streamlined search function making it much easier to find the movies and TV shows you want to watch.


Improved voice chat quality – The audio codec is updated to improve Xbox LIVE Party audio quality. So grab your friends and jump into a multiplayer game or catch a big game with friends via ESPN3.


Improved Gamertag creation – Choosing a new Gamertag? If the Gamertag you’re looking for is already taken, your Avatar will spin a wheel and we will provide five other Gamertag suggestions at a time for you to choose from.

Streamlined in-dashboard virtual keyboard
– We’ve taken the existing QWERTY keyboard in-dash and made it easier to use for scenarios that involve repeated text entry, when signing up for LIVE within the dashboard for example.

Improved Xbox LIVE Marketplace UI and browse experience
– The Game Marketplace has been re-organized to provide streamlined access to the gaming and video content you want, reducing the number of steps to get to a download.

Easier to get on a wireless network
– Trying to connect to a wireless network? Now you can see a list of all the wireless networks within range when you go into network settings.  From there, you can select a new network or further configure the network you’re connected to.

Ability to sign-out other controllers in the sign-in UI
– We’re adding the ability to sign-out profiles on other controllers in the sign-in UI within the Guide. This is especially useful when playing games like Rock Band.

New browse experience for 100% completed games
– You spent a lot of time and effort earning those Achievements, so we’re giving you a new and better way to browse all of them.

Updated Family Settings
– Xbox 360 continues to lead the industry in efforts to create tools that help parents and caregivers choose the right play and viewing settings for their families. We are enhancing the core Family Settings tools for all Xbox LIVE members:

Family Programming
– When turned on, Family Programming disables display of all mature content on the dashboard and can be turned on or off with a protected password for individual members (per account). It also highlights all family-friendly entertainment.

Intelligent Default Settings – Your Xbox automatically customizes privacy and activity settings for each member, based on age (child, teen and adult). These settings can later be individually customized.

Title Exceptions – Allow your family members to play specific games above the console’s designated ESRB/PEGI (etc.) rating as you deem appropriate.

* Xbox LIVE Gold account required to access these features. Not all features available in all Xbox LIVE Regions.


Update: Boot to disc is currently unavailable. See this Support Article for details. This WILL return in a future update.


Xbox 360 By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • simon zephyr

    So, any news on LastFM in Canada?

  • DaverJ

    @majornelson Is there a place to report Avatar items not working? My “wizard” top earned from Pinball FX 2 can’t be applied to my avatar.

  • CochransLac

    @dirt then why has your gamertag been this way the past 20 minutes after you posted if its so bad?

    Playing Xbox 360 Dashboard

  • CochransLac

    @dirt then why has your gamertag been this way the past 20 minutes after you posted if its so bad?

    Playing Xbox 360 Dashboard

  • tabicat

    Finally, searching in Netflix.

  • CochransLac

    love double post. If you dont like it you dont like it I was j/w?

  • Lavindathar

    Too much white? Let us change the colour. I love how MS run BETA’s, yet don’t actually listen to what the BETA testers say.

  • Jcnet

    In some ways the fresh new look is nice, but it would be nice to be able to hae darker colors than just the blinding white everywhere.

    Beyond that though, the removal of the option on the marketplace to list all games on one screen is unacceptable and needs to be put back in place. Talk about totally destroying the convenience of the marketplace yeesh. I assume this is an oversight and will be fixed, I doubt MS really wants to lose sales. Never underestimate the importance a consumer will place on convenience.

  • Gorbachev

    Can we PLEASE get release dates on XBLM content and the ability to sort them by release date sometime within this millenia?

    Look, I don’t browse through that content every day, or even every week. When you don’t check it out often, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to figure out which content you’ve already seen and which you haven’t. The “new arrivals” don’t cut it, because when you don’t check that stuff often enough the list of new arrivals items is too short to cover everything you missed.

  • Jcnet

    I mispoke earlier it seems if you go to the a-z list and scroll allllll the way to the right there still is an option to display all, nm then all is well!

  • LastHour1

    I think the update is great. I’ve been using the beta for a while, but I never got to test out the new party chat codec. Once I get home from classes, I’ll be sure to test it out. Overall is faster. Not quite “blades” good, but very good nonetheless.

  • EpicKiller1

    been using the beta and seriously NOT INPRSSED with it. sure its faster and little more functional but the color scheme is just too white. i prefer the dark green.

  • Master Devwi

    Awesome! I love all the new features (including Multiple Points of Presence (MPOP) in Messenger, which is not listed above). It’s a great update, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next time.

    Congratulations on finally releasing the update!

  • SGT Benton

    Sorry, don’t like it and if I could go back to the older version I would. I just wish someone at MS would realise that not all of us are interested in Kinect, and some of us are getting sick and tired of having it rammed down our throats…

  • Mark of Scorpio

    The ESPN app says my ISP isn’t on the affiliated list, but I assure you it is. I’ve already activated and been using for a week now. Can Xbox update the list please? Time Warner

  • AutomaticOcelot

    Just FYI Major: I presume I was already patched up from the Beta, but when it prompted me to read and accept the new Terms of Service, it came up in French with no option to switch to English. Somewhat awkward.

  • Ruthless Image

    whats the point in having a beta if youre still gonna release it with numerous bugs?

    me and my sons avatar items arent showing up.

    and the white is all horrible.

  • PerfectStrategy

    Please allow us to change the background color for the Xbox Guide. The white is simply far too bright and tends to hurt my eyes. Very annoying, especially considering this is a step backwards from the previous guide which had a very pleasing color scheme. Please at least give us the option to make a simple color change that would make all our daily xbox activities 10 times more pleasant. PLEASE!!

  • Dutch726

    Microsoft / ESPN need to work on getting other ISP’s involved. I am totally hating life that Qwest is not supporting ESPN3. I don’t think this is immediately apparent to people at first. There should be a pop-up or something that says “Unsupported ISP. Please Contact your ISP for more information”.


    Yes like Mark of Scorpio said, PLEASE update the ESPN live streaming for us Time Warner customers. I’ve already had ESPN3 registered and working with them for at least a week now, so there’s no excuse for it not being recognized as so.

  • Exu

    I was beta testing this update and it was not ready for full release, not at all.

  • I DLord I

    I’ll say what I said earlier in a nicer way. Please all- wait. Perfect Strategy already asked. DO THIS. I am going to need a new set of specs if these f***ing white boxes stay as is.

  • MetalBoxFan

    I’m just glad I’ll finally be able to talk to friends in party chat now. its been a month of solitude for me. lol. But I’d do the beta again anytime. it was neat’o.

  • LuKhon

    Great news, Major. Any idea when this will be available as a PC download that I can put on a USB stick so we can update consoles that don’t have internet connection? It looks like the link to the zip file on the support page ( is for the update from Feb 2010.

  • Oatmeal25

    Most of the update is “meh” to me. I’m in Canada and we get an extremely small subset of the US features. For a laugh take a look at our Zune Video store or the Netflix library.

    What I hoped for was increased codec support (mkv so I can have chapter support) and support for album art. As a media player the 360 is very… Russian.

    I wish Microsoft had been more bold and cutting edge in their gui design. Something that had some “cool factor” like XBMC, the Tron Legacy teaser or the virtual displays in the Minority Report. Instead we get NXEs “corporate comic book” look.

  • onemorechanc

    I guess we don’t get any ESPN in Canada:

    What you need

    To access ESPN on Xbox LIVE, you need the following:

    * Xbox LIVE access from within the United States
    * Xbox 360 console
    * Xbox LIVE Gold Membership
    * ESPN application for Xbox
    * broadband ISP (Internet service provider)

    [ from ]

  • Jayifiied

    Kinda looks like a step back from NXE >.>
    Keep in mind, i’m only talking about the look. Everything in the dashboard/Guide window, looks flat. I miss the overlapping window look of NXE. Not really liking all the white either.
    As for the performance, I can’t really say much because I haven’t really done anything on my console other than game today.
    Will there be a way in the future, where we can switch back to the NXE look?
    (Also, I never really got why everyone says NXE is slow.. My 360 has always been lightning quick.)

    Anyways, I do like the ESPN addition. NFL news straight from my console. :)

  • uzivatel

    Nice update, really, but you should consider:
    * placing Indie Games as the fourth item in the same section with Arcade, Games on Demand and Demos – the current placement is not good at all
    * fixing the 100% completed games section – it does not show some completed games, which defeats the whole point (1200/1200 Mass Effect 1 in my case)
    * allowing white text on dark background as an alternative setting (better option on some screens / light conditions)
    * giving Facebook and twitter “Live Tile” functionality (may require separate download)
    * releasing new Facebook client (graphics and functionality)


    The update will not download or install, very disappointed, I can’t sign online now at all! I’m pissed!

  • Jamaican Knight

    FINALLY! I wont have to answer to all my friends “How’d you get ESPN already!”


    Irritated badly at this point, there’s got to be another way I can download this update, in fact I can careless about the update, all I want is to use Netflix and play online, that’s why I paid for an xbox gold account!

  • Sausage Villan

    hey thanks for making the dashboard really generic and ugly, thanks for adding all those annoying extra sound effects, thanks for making all those premium themes i paid for because the friends area looked cool and blended in look stilted and disjointed i would have never figured out which friend i was currently selecting if you hadn’t made it look crappy and ugly, and an extra thanks for not having ANYTHING available for downloading like the new espn features or netflix or EVEN GAME PATCHES; so basically thanks for making my day sh*tty by giving me an ugly dashboard to look at AND NOTHING ELSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I CAN’T EVEN PLAY GAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cyrax PT


    -> Those who have SDTV now get small letters;
    -> A really nice White-that-hurt-the-eyes only dashboard;
    -> A “robotic” voice chat (and this is an improvement???);
    -> USA and others countries only features.

    Yeah… what’s next? RROD in the next update?

  • Sausage Villan

    this is like getting windows 7 and then setting it to the classic view and at the same time your internet breaks so now you have an ugly desktop and nothing to do


    By far the worst roll out since I got a live account over five years ago. Besides the time live was down and glitchy for a while. I was planning on buying Kinect but now I highly doubt it’s worth the headache me and my kids will get from your poor software & programing. Hopefully Apple will come out with a console and online service that will force you guys to pay attention to your customers, like Windows 7. I might as well sell this brick and get my family another iPad, it’s much more reliable.

  • Nod Nolan

    @tipcee mine didn’t download first time either. A reboot of the router followed by a reboot of the console sorted it out though.

  • aStrangeDisease

    I don’t like to complain, but…
    -> The “Terms of Use” was in French. What did I agree to?
    -> I am missing avatar props and clothing that I paid money for. Do I get them back?
    -> Searching for new game content is not easier. Demos, indie games and game videos are in separate places now.
    -> Zune video marketplace has more oldies, but loads sooo slow now. I’m starting a Netflix account asap.
    -> Still no LastFM and no Zune Music for Canada. I want music!
    -> Like everyone else, I don’t like all the white everywhere. Is color too complicated?
    -> On a positive note, I love the new family features.

  • beautifuldreams

    the espn ap says my isp isn’t supported even though espn says my isp is supported, and I am able to use the full espn3 on my computer


    Al right it’s working, I’m happy again, until you guys screw up again, lol! But seriously you guys are lucky to have me, I’m good at influencing people.

  • chiruno99

    5 mins with it and already the new Games Marketplace is annoying the crap out of me. I liked it when ALL of the newest content could be shown at one time. This new layout sucks.

  • NorthMr Taylor

    In my opinion this is a step backward from the old dashboard. Reason could be that Kinect requires more memory to operate the dash. Which means the level of effects in the old dash needed to be scaled back.

    My only issues are the fact that looking for all new stuff added to the market place is now more difficult than before. Plus those white boxes should have been tweaked to a grey shade. White simply does not work with black or dark based themes period.

    Who ever decided on the colours should be shot at dawn. Shocking.

    Perhaps MS should release an update that allows the users to choose white or grey for the boxes?! Should be possible. (would not take that much memory surely)

  • DaBadGuyCR

    Major this update really needs customizing colors. The white is hurting a ton of peoples eyes and I’m sure alot of people would like to beable to pick what color everything is. Just let us Customize the White and Font color and a lot of people would love the update.

  • RainbowDespair

    A lot of XBLIG developers are really mad at how XBox Live Indie GAMES are apparently no longer considered Games and are only listed under the Specialty Shops tag.

  • MysticWeirdo

    @aStrangeDisease Out of curiousity, I took the time to scroll through the French terms of use and found the English were underneath. I think the order should have been reversed outside of Quebec. Or perhap a menu to select the languange preference.

  • UnHoly One

    The White is Terrible…

  • xLoCk 0nx

    @Sphyder I second this request for BBC iPlayer, 4OD and Love Film on UK Xbox LIVE. He is right about Facebook and Twitter sucking on a controller too, you have less than half the control of the web browser version.

  • NorthMr Taylor

    Make sure you guys and gals have your screensavers turned on. Those white boxes will burn squares into your screen. LOL.

  • xLoCk 0nx

    Yeah too much white and too bland overall. Even the tenure bar is a boring orange bar (where it once had circles of various sizes). Why not have a stripey orange and yellow wavy band along the tenure bar to liven it up a bit (like the new green wavy band that you see on inside xbox videos.

  • AARON82

    i want the original dashboard back.
    it was the best,no fancy crap that serves no purpose.
    whats the point in a background picture if you cant see it ?
    Avatars are pointless i want the option to turn them off.
    were there any codec updates ? lots of camera videos that dont stream on xbox

  • chiruno99

    This is all Microsoft are capable of, it always seems to be making everything worse and increasing the opportunities for advertising.