June 6th 2011 2:13 pm PT

Cloud Storage and more coming to Xbox LIVE

Following the E3 Briefing earlier today, we also announced the following features coming to Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE Members later this year:

  • The New Dashboard. Simpler. Cleaner. Easier to navigate. With the addition of new entertainment content on Xbox LIVE and our commitment to continuously improving the overall Xbox experience, we’ve updated the dashboard with a new look and feel that makes it even more open, inviting and intuitive to navigate. All of your favorite content is categorized in a way that is easy to browse and find what you’re looking for, plus you can use voice anywhere in the dashboard to effortlessly navigate and get to what you want.
  • Bing on Xbox. We are bringing Bing to Xbox. Bing on Xbox searches Netflix, Hulu Plus, ESPN, as well as our music, video and Xbox LIVE marketplaces to find exactly the entertainment you want to enjoy. With Bing on Xbox and Kinect, you can effortlessly find the games, movies, TV shows, sports and music you want by only using your voice. You say it, Xbox finds it. The experience is now simpler than ever before.
  • Expanded Kinect Voice Support. We want Xbox LIVE members around the globe to experience the magic of Kinect’s voice recognition technology so we are committed to bringing voice to eight additional markets by the end of this year with a total of 13 markets that will have Kinect voice. We are also exploring some innovative new ways to enable the LIVE community to help us accelerate the refinement of voice models in new markets, and look forward to sharing developments on that front soon.
  • Beacons. We want to make it easy for you to connect with friends over your favorite games on Xbox LIVE, so we are introducing Beacons to the service. Beacons are a way to tell your Xbox LIVE and Facebook friends that you want to play a game on Xbox LIVE. By setting a Beacon, you tell Xbox LIVE what you want to play. Then, Xbox LIVE lets you know when friends are playing or want to play the same game. With Beacons, no matter what you’re currently doing on Xbox LIVE your friends know that it’s ok to ask you to play your Beaconed games. Imagine sending out a Beacon to let your friends know you’re interested in playing “Halo,” while watching a movie on Netflix. It’s about making it easier for you to share and discover games and multiplayer opportunities with friends on Xbox LIVE.
  • Cloud Storage for Game Saves and LIVE Profile. Here at Xbox LIVE we listen to your feedback. We are making it easier for you to sign into your Xbox LIVE account from any console at any time to access your game saves and full profile, including items such as Microsoft Points to make purchases, Achievements and friends. Cloud storage will allow you to enjoy the same great Xbox LIVE gaming experience even when you’re not in your own living room by giving you the option to store your “game saves” securely in the Xbox LIVE cloud instead of on a portable memory unit or your console’s hard drive. Gone are the days of “gamertag recovery.” Now all you need to do is sign in, no matter where you are!

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

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  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    Awesome! Can we also store Zune content in the cloud? That would be the ultimate cloud platform!

  • http://profiles.google.com/adaptorlive Adaptor Live

    Beacons are a great idea! It could be even cooler if there was a page where you could look up beacons sorted per game and connect to people that want to play a particular game. That could really solve the problem of empty lobbies in older games.

    Can’t wait to check out the new Dashboard. Please let us see our own wallpapers again and create an option to start on the (equivalent of the) My Xbox channel instead of the Spotlight. Oh yeah, let us use a normal headseat for voice searching. If it works on a smartphone, it shouldn’t need Kinect.

  • http://www.facebook.com/electroNICimage Nic J Walsh

    what about the voice support for everywhere else than US and UK for the native english speakers? I’ve been asking microsoft sweden what the hold-up is since this function was more or less promissed to be live by the new year after the kinect launched. I don’t mind that I can’t use the native language (in fact i prefer english), so what is the holdup in removing the restriction? When disconnected from XBL the voice controls works. 
    Granted that XBL is a US heavy service, but with extended offerings and functions to use on the service, in those countries where these services are not available we’re still being charged the same amount of money for the subscription. Shouldn’t these regions have reduced pricing?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I75WVIZXKWO76BPVMKLPARKJQ4 Schw Stuk

      do you honnestly think Micr$oft cares about non-UK/US territories? All the best services are for them… the other regions are just contributing financialy to the UK/US services, but without the benefit of actually using them.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I75WVIZXKWO76BPVMKLPARKJQ4 Schw Stuk

      do you honnestly think Micr$oft cares about non-UK/US territories? All the best services are for them… the other regions are just contributing financialy to the UK/US services, but without the benefit of actually using them.

  • http://twitter.com/benwallis Ben Wallis


    The Dashboards are always klunky and limiting (and SLOW) – I would like to be able to sort / order / filter when I’m searching for things.
    Bing on Xbox is not useful it can’t access the Internet or sort / order / filter search results.

    Cloud storage is not useful – a 250GB hard drive is enough space. If I store game data in the cloud, I wont be able to play if my Internet connection goes down.

    Still no reason to buy a Kinect for me – the new games looked lame.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I75WVIZXKWO76BPVMKLPARKJQ4 Schw Stuk

      couldnt agree more with you. would also like to see an option to “star” content, being then able to acess it quickly from quick launch…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I75WVIZXKWO76BPVMKLPARKJQ4 Schw Stuk

    Microsoft had one of the weakest showings of any hardware manufacturer in the history of the E3… ever. Almost completely focused on Kinect, and the rest is useless. Plus, I see that Europe is still irrelevant to Microsoft. We still dont get access to a lot of US services (hell, not even Indie-Games, at least in my part of Europe). Weak, weak weak… all this will be taken into consideration when im migrating to the next generation…

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  • Anonymous

    Looking forward to cloud storage! But if you’ve a ridiculously low download limit it might be a problem! I thought the Microsoft conference wasn’t bad! Gears 3, HALOs (not a fan but I never finished the first! Now’s my chance), Kinect Labs. This is about as good as it could be without new hardware!
    Very impressed! Gonna be a bad 12 months for my wallet!

  • B. G.

    It’s not mandatory you use cloud, right?

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  • http://profiles.google.com/thief000 J.A.J.G. Thiéfaine

    Very good, love everything Metro UI! It’s very self-explanatory to use and very clear to look at.

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  • http://danielalexan80.wordpress.com/ Dazzle369

    Cloud storage, YES!!!

  • Karl Brown

    I like the idea of Cloud storage and I don’t at the same time. It means we will (hopefully) be able to store everything on their servers and run it on their servers instead of having to download everything (for those of us that have 50+ mb/s speeds), but it also means that we won’t be able to access our saves/profiles if our internet connections go down for maintenance/upgrades or just go down for no reason even.

    The whole show seemed pretty weak to me, with MS supporting Kinect but failing to support the rest of the console – Sure, Halo 4 and Gears 3 look amazing and they’re first party titles, but 2 exclusive games isn’t enough to support a console for a year. Microsoft, you’d better have something up your sleeve for this winter or Xbox’s year-over-year growth will cease to be growth.

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  • Anonymous

    Major can you clear this up for me, the dashboard they showed at E3 is that the kinect dashboard or the new dashbaord we will all get, because it looked awful and i really like the current style we already have i think that new one will put me of using it

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730916105 Nick Major

    Cloud storage will be awesome and the beacons sound good too

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GEERGTAW7YAIJKE5DIUIVSJ4CU Grizzly Bear

    Thank you for cloud storage!

  • Tim Gagnon

    While this is great, where is the bigger friends list? I’m still sick of having to cull my list every couple months to add new people.

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  • http://twitter.com/karlcramer Karl Cramer

    Really looking forward to this. I play on different boxes.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GEERGTAW7YAIJKE5DIUIVSJ4CU Grizzly Bear

      Same here. I am always worried that something will happen to my flash drive with all my game saves and profile.

  • Anonymous

    Cloud Storage!!!!WOOOHOOOO!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dirtyuglyraw Gil Andrei Cagalawan

    Well. that’s a very good news.

  • http://drshocker.com Jonthomasdesigns

    I have 4 Xbox 360s at the moment on 4 diff tv’s .. Will i be able to log in under my Gamertag on more than one at a time , or is it still limited to 1 at a time with the cloud ? Thanks !

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHJJBLQKEIDRVHEQLK36QTNL7E Philip

    is there a release date for the dashboard setup?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Craig-McCrindle/729816077 Craig McCrindle

    built in internet explorer would be very handy.

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  • http://twitter.com/Tannosuke Athanasios Voutsinos

    They’re so nice, but when will you guys fill the missing XBL Marketplace contents in the newbie countries? As they’re now, they’re half the games you guys own!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zachary-Saenz/100000351161894 Zachary Saenz

    xbox should just add internet explorer to the dash board. Playstation has a web browser why cant xbox? Microsoft owns xbox and internet explorer might as well just add it right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/loganzweb John Thompson

      Then you’ll have the whole Anti-trust nonsense like they had with Windows. Then opera will demand to be allowed to make a browser.
      Also there’s the huge risk that people will try to make viruses for xboxes too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zachary-Saenz/100000351161894 Zachary Saenz

    why doesn’t xbox just add internet exlorer on it already? if they did they would more or likely get more people to by xbox’s instead of big desk top computers. yes people already have laptops and stuff but why get up from your xbox to just surf the web when you can surf it from your couch and xbox. just a suggestion.

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  • http://www.eattherich.co.uk Darryl Young

    An updated dash sounds good to me (when is it available?) but I’d rather be hearing “substantial speed improvements to the Xbox guide” – it’s so laggy, still…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lk-Kolz/100001381613969 Lk Kolz

    Yeah.. I wonder why some of you have more than one console but at the same time too poor afford a 800 point dlc. *cough modded cough* :) Go on with your excuses as you usually do though. You’ll believe it the more you say it. ;)

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JZGVHT53OQAPSVVLBXUKRMFWXY OS Perry

    “by only using your voice. You say it, Xbox finds it.”  Can a voice mic on a headset be used for this or are you required to purchase a kinect, to do voice searches?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hood.locsta Hood Locsta

    can u explian more to me about that beacons i kow major nelson explain but i am talking about clear

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GEERGTAW7YAIJKE5DIUIVSJ4CU Grizzly Bear

      Could you explain WTF you just said.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hood.locsta Hood Locsta

        o i write it wrong but the beacons i what to know more about it

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  • empire.of.one

    Major, When will Australia recieve the promised voice controll for Kinect.
    I had a chance to watch the full conference and noticed that voice control over Kinect was a part of the majority of announcements. I have a Kinect but i live in Australia where voice control is not available even though we were promised it would be availbale early 2011 (February/March was the time frame). Sadly alll these new features will be useless to us and we still have no information on when we will recieve voice controlls.

    • http://twitter.com/Sabre91 Khan Hema

      Agreed, Same here in New Zealand.
      Kinect Can do some amazing things with voice, but sadly we cannot use it, i tried when i changed my profile to an American one in settings and it recognized our accents perfectly.
      Also i wonder how many of the new features coming to Xbox Live like, UFC Live and Bing will actually be coming to this side of the world, Please make a partnership with New Zealands Sky so i can watch all the league and Rugby straight from my Xbox..

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  • http://twitter.com/0rbytel Luke

    Thank god for cloud storage! 

    I think I may have lost a couple of vent covers having to move the internal hard drive between my slim consoles all the time. 

    What’s even better, is now I’ll be able to play those saves on my old console without having to transfer my GT to an external hard drive with the saves I need.

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