Xbox 360 Dashboard update rolls out, brings IE9 to Gold members, Smartglass coming 26th

Xbox Home

The latest Xbox 360 Dashboard update, which has been in beta for some time, is now rolling out to console owners.

The star feature of the update is the arrival of IE9 on Xbox 360.  This enables users to browse the web from the couch, controlling the experience using Xbox Smart Glass from their favourite smartphone or tablet.  This app is expected to hit the market on the 26th, with the release of Windows 8 also.

Unfortunately one needs an Xbox Live Gold member ship to gain access to the browser, a negative for those who mainly use the Xbox 360 as a media device.

The full feature list for the update include:

  • 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 should hit all consoles over the next few days.

    Read more detail at Major Nelson here.

  • Comments
    • Alex F.


      • Drewidian

        The next XBox will supposedly be based on Windows RT and thus porbably will have the IE10 Kernel. I think they did this so the current gen devices will be able to access some of the features that will be available on the next XBox but not all of them due to some obvious limitations. We’ll have a better idea at E3.

    • Mark Matheson

      I noticed in the beta that Windows Companion had stopped working, enabling Smartglass on the Xbox fixed that so I’m guessing the feature rename is MS doing the Apple thing and coming up with catchy buzzwords to hook people on the product.

      • markjonson

        Pretty much. SmartGlass is a rebrand + feature extension of Xbox Companion. And as you seemed to note, if you connect the Xbox Companion app once you have the update it will say “SmartGlass connected” on the Xbox now instead of “Xbox Companion.”

    • Mark Gibbs

      Where is SKYPE! What is taking so dam long..

      • JimmyFal

        This is the saddest part of the fall for me. When that Kinect first hit the scene with Kinect Video I knew that it would be an absolute living room game changer. So so sad that with all this cool stuff happening for Microsoft this fall, that we have to wait for the next Xbox console to finally get that experience.
        And IE 9? WTF? It’s a nice update, it’s fast but the next console will be what were waiting for unfortunatley. Smart glass will be nice also, but no Skype, a real dissapointment for the Kinect device that needs it.

    • dablackreaper

      why do we need to have gold subscription for internet browsing??? O_o

      • PitbullGeek

        Microsoft: Let’s take everything that’s free and charge for using it …except for our Zune music and Zune video.

        i’ve got an XBOX 360 and would never pay Gold for IE9, YouTube, Netflix, etc. etc. etc.

    • Zicoz

      With this rollout, does anyone know who the 22 countries that gets Xbox Music Pass are?

    • mkr10001

      I’m getting sick of this only gold members get these things. A fucking web browser?!?! Really only going to give it to gold subscribers?!? It’s pathetic. I can watch lovefilm on my ps3 for free, I wanted to see what it was like on my xbox but I can’t because I’m not a gold subscriber….why can sony provide it for free but microsoft can’t? And don’t tell me it’s anything to do with a better user experience that is worth the money because streaming video is streaming video.