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With just two weeks to go until the Xbox One hits store shelves, Microsoft continues to bombard YouTube and other social media outlets with an array of sneak peeks. This week's marketing offensive focuses on the Xbox One dashboard, giving gamers a glimpse at what they can expect when they first turn on their system.
The 12-minute long video, which features Xbox team members Marc Whitten and Yusuf Mehdi, showcases how easy it is to sign in, customize, and moving between apps on the Xbox One interface. The Dashboard appears to be a simplified version of its current state with the Xbox 360. There are no pages to scroll through anymore, just a main screen with a variety of customizeable boxes, and a sub-screen which contains the Xbox One store. Perhaps this is just the "demo" version of the dashboard, but it would be nice if this simplified version was the finished product and eliminated most of the bulk that's packed into the current Metro-style interface.
One of the most interesting bits relates to how easy it is to sign in with the system. Prior to signing in, Yusef has the Xbox One's Kinect sensors covered with a small black piece of plastic. Once removed, the Kinect almost instantly recognizes both Marc and Yusef, signing them into their accounts without the need for a password. This is something that the Kinect was capable of before, but never at such a rapid speed.
Although many see Kinect as a gimmick, this updated version could help change the way we view the peripheral, at least for signing in and doing some voice-controlled tasks. I've yet to see a game I want to play that utilizes the Kinect well and doesn't have me flailing around like an idiot in front of my television.
Part of the video focuses on suspended play, something the Xbox 360 never had. This allows you to move seamlessly between content and access the dashboard, all without losing your place within whatever you are playing. During the demonstration, Marc moves between Forza Motorsport 5, the dashboard and applications such as Netflix and Hulu without losing his place in each of them. The key focus here is speed.
The rest of the sneak peek revolves around the meshing of living room entertainment and gaming. This is something that Microsoft has talked about in the past and they give examples in this video as to why the marriage of these multiple forms of entertainment is a good thing. Notifications, Skype calls, and seamless integration between mutliple programs gives gamers and visual entertainment junkies a common ground.
You can check out the video in its entirety above. Be sure to tell us what you think in the comments, and if this specific sneak peek has you excited for the Xbox One's upcoming release.