Xbox 360 dashboard update to bring voice control this week

Video: Xbox 360 dashboard update
Kinect functionality added

The Xbox 360 dashboard update is nearly here, bringing with it a brand-new look and a whole host of enhanced functionality – including voice and gesture control for channel hopping.

Announced earlier in November, the update is a significant one for Microsoft as it aligns its online services as one mass entertainment hub, which it is calling "the biggest interactive TV service in the world".

The interactivity comes in the form of Kinect functionality. Anyone who has a Kinect connected up to their console will now be able to benefit from flailing their hands wildly at the screen to change their online channels and you will also be able to shout the name of the show you want to see.

New design

And if you don't believe us, Microsoft has released a video to show off the new changes - have a watch below.

The new design of the Xbox 360 dashboard is part of a major overhaul of all Microsoft brands. The look and feel of the UI has more than a touch of Windows 8 to it plus a lovely smattering of old-style Xbox dashboard in there for good measure.

A number of UK partners have been announced for the new dashboard, including LoveFilm, 4OD, BlinkBox, Crackle, ScreenRush, Demand 5, MSN and Vevo.

One provider which is significantly missing is the BBC and its catch up service, but Microsoft - by way of Major Nelson - is promising that the app will be coming to the service in early 2012. This is unlikely to be iPlayer, however, due to the TV services being only available on the Gold paid-for subscription service.

Check the video out below and let us know what you think.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.