Microsoft begins rolling out the Xbox 360 dashboard update 2.0.16197.0 today, October 16, and will slowly release it for all owners of the home console in the following weeks, allowing them access to new features like Internet Explorer.
Microsoft is preparing for some big launches this month, culminating with the release of the Windows 8 operating system, as well as of the Surface tablet and many other services, like Xbox Music
This doesn’t mean that it’s forgetting about Xbox 360 owners, as the company has just started rolling out dashboard update 2.0.16197.0 for the home console.
Just like with previous firmware versions, the update will be released in waves, so owners shouldn’t worry if the update prompt has yet to appear on their console.
A wide array of new features are added by the update, from the ability to pin your favorite games, movies, or TV shows on the dashboard, to the possibility of browsing the web using Internet Explorer.
Check out the full list of features below.
Refreshed Xbox 360 Dashboard. We’ve updated the UI with a few things, including an updated layout with more tiles, a combined TV & Movies channel and, in the US, a Sports destination.
Internet Explorer for Xbox. With Internet Explorer on Xbox, you can easily find and view internet content on the biggest screen in the house, including HTML5 videos.
Recommendations and Ratings. Recommendations will allow you to discover new favorites, generated based on a number of variables including the content you previously viewed, what your friends are consuming and what is most relevant and popular with our Xbox community. You can now rate content yourself and also see Rotten Tomatoes ratings.
Pinning. Pinning lets you personalize the dashboard by saving your favorite movies, TV shows, games, music, videos and websites right to the home screen. It’s as easy as opening an app or a favorite movie and clicking “pin.”
Xbox Video. Formerly called Zune Video Marketplace, Xbox Video offers hundreds of thousands of TV shows and movies for buying or renting in instant HD streaming.
Recent. Previously called Quick Play, the Recent view gives you a list of movies, games, apps or other types of content that you most recently accessed on the console.
Enhanced Search. The last Xbox LIVE update brought Bing voice search to Xbox so you could use voice to search for movies, TV shows, actors, directors and artists. This year we added genre search to the list, so now you can search for action, comedy, romance, drama or sci-fi. Bing voice search now includes results for video across the Web, including YouTube.
International Expansion of Voice Search. We’ve expanded our Kinect voice search capabilities to 9 new countries – Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Ireland.
The update also sets the stage for the release of Xbox SmartGlass later this month, as the service will be rolled out alongside Windows 8 on October 26.
Until then, the company will try to release the dashboard update for all Xbox 360 owners around the world.