Microsoft has announced a few great new features for the Xbox and Live system. Cloud storage is one of them, and it sounds pretty good. Cloud storage is basically a server online that holds your Xbox Live profile, giving you access to everything from where ever you are. Also coming: A new Xbox Dashboard. Sounds great, but when? Later this year, according to Major Nelson.
- 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!