Since the Xbox 360 first arrived in late 2005 we have seen lots of updates rolled-out over Xbox Live to improve the overall experience, in early December Microsoft overhauled the 360 once again with what’s been dubbed the ‘Metro UI’ and this brought a similar layout to what we see in Windows Phone 7 and the Windows 8 beta to Microsoft’s console along with some other neat features.
One of the most noticeable improvements was more solid support and integration of apps, a recent EuroGamer article has confirmed that entertainment app usage has gone up 50% since the dashboard update based on data collected in November 2011 and December 2011. When you compare figures from 2010 to 2011 there was 140% growth in terms of video consumed globally on Xbox LIVE and we predict even stronger growth when 2012′s statistics come in.
Other figures suggest that 60% of all Xbox Live Gold members used entertainment apps in December for on average 1 hour per day, this shows that people aren’t just trying out these apps and forgetting about them, they are returning to them and using them over and over again – this suggests that enhanced support for apps is popular with Xbox 360 owners.
On a personal note I used to use a HTPC to watch online streaming services on my HDTV in my living room, however since the update I have not turned this HTPC on as my 360 now allows me to catch up on TV episodes and movies thanks to apps such as 4oD, Demand 5 and Netflix. In fact using the 4OD app I have saved money as I was going to buy the Peep Show and Phoneshop box sets, however all the episodes for these programs are on Channel 4′s servers ready to stream – hopefully the BBC iPlayer app will hurry up!
Have you watched more video on your 360 than ever before since the dashboard update?