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New Xbox Dashboard Has Increased App Usage on Xbox 360

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Posted on January 23, 2012 AT 02:02pm

THE BUZZ: Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hryb talked a bit recently about some usage stats in regards to the recent Xbox 360 dashboard update.

EGM’s TAKE: Late last year, Microsoft released the third major overhaul to the Xbox 360 dashboard, this time designed around the “Metro” style of UI that the company has started to integrate into many of its products. In response to that update, Hryb noted some changes in usage stats directly related to that new interface.

* The number of people using entertainment apps on the Xbox 360 increased nearly 50 percent globally from November to December

* In December (after the update), more than 60% of US Xbox Live Gold members used entertainment apps on their Xbox 360, and for an average of an hour each day

Of course, this increase in media app usage no doubt comes in part from the fact that there are more media apps now on the Xbox 360 as a part of that dashboard update. So, an increase in usage stats isn’t at all surprising.

What I personally would love to know is how game usage and purchasing stats have (or have not) been affected by the update. While some elements of the new dashboard are changes for the better, in my eyes, others are worse. Browsing the Xbox Marketplace, for example, has become an at times frustrating experience—and I know I’m not alone in that opinion. So, I’m curious if the new interface has shown an increase in content and game purchasing, or if it has had a negative effect.

I’ll also say that the push for more media-centric functions on the Xbox 360 is another frustration of mine. I love consoles that can do more than play games–I used my PS3 heavily for media playback—but the point to which the new Xbox 360 dashboard seems to emphasize media content over game content is a little frustrating to me.

How has your experience been so far with the new Xbox 360 dashboard? Do you find yourself using the console for media playback far more than you used to?

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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