Larry Hyrb, otherwise known as Xbox Live’s Major Nelson, has confirmed that the Xbox 360 Dashboard update will arrive in time for the holidays. Some users have already been using the new Dashboard through the Xbox Live Preview Program but the general public will be able to take the new layout for a spin starting December 6.
The update is free for all console owners and includes a wealth of new features, including new personal and social features like Cloud Storage for game saves and Live profiles (no more having to transport your gamer tag on a memory card or trying to recover it over the web), Beacons and Facebook sharing, enhanced family settings and integrated voice and gesture control using Kinect.
Beacons will let you to mark games you wish to play with others on your friends list. Your friends will see the Beacon and can decide if they also want to play the game, rather than you having to send multiple game invites or arrange playing together through traditional means. You can have up to three Beacons active at a time and you can optionally add a description to each one indicating things like what time you want to play or what game mode you are interested in.
In addition to the new dashboard features, Microsoft will be adding a lot more content to the 360 including new apps for television, movies, internet videos, sports and music.
It was originally believed that the new Dashboard update was going to launch on November 15 to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of the original Xbox launch in 2001 but that intel proved to be inaccurate.