February 17th, 2012 | By Chris Priestman
A dashboard update for Xbox 360s in the US has transformed the menus entirely, making things look a lot neater and a lot easier to navigate. In a surprising twist, the update also puts an indie game channel right under people’s noses too.
Should we choke on our own words? There have been many complaints about the Xbox Dashboard update in December which was argued to have put indie games in an obscure place behind various sub menus. There was even a petition for a proper indie games channel on the Xbox Dashboard started only a few days ago.
Now, all of a sudden, the most recent Dashboard update which rolled out yesterday has completely reconfigured the game marketplace in US territories only. As you can see in the comparison below, it makes a lot more sense and puts indie games right at the front amongst the Arcade and On Demand.
As you can see in the old menu (top), there’s no direct way to go straight into the various game marketplaces, you have to go through ‘Game Type’ to get to that. In the update however, that previous sub menu is now right at the front, where it should have been before.
It seems like a small change and who knows if it will make much of a difference in the long run, but at least the marketplace makes sense now and you can find indies in just one click.* Inside the XBLIG menu there exists a further menu that filters the types of games on the market, including a Kinect option. Microsoft’s peripheral wasn’t made available to XBLIG development before so does this mean they’ll be encouraging indie developers to make games for Kinect from now on?
It’s all a little suspicious really, considering that Microsoft failed to mention this part of the update in the release notes yesterday. Instead, the focus was a fix for a certain color issue and better performance – nothing about a redesign. Why is this US only at the moment too? Yes, very strange indeed.
We’re hoping to have updates on this story for you shortly.
* Before you point it out, the indie games panel in the top picture is a scrolling one which didn’t lead to the entire XBLIG marketplace
Thanks to BlazeHedgehog for the picture.