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New Kinect Drives Xbox One's Interface

On stage at its reveal event, Microsoft demonstrated the new dashboard for the Xbox One. While it isn't a drastic overhaul visually, the emphasis on using motion and voice to navigate highlights the company's commitment to Kinect.

The console starts up when you say "Xbox on," bringing players to the home screen. This panel puts the most recent activities front and center, including games and applications.  Xbox Live also pushes recommendations to users via a sidebar on the home screen.

To switch to another screen, like "Music," you just swipe at the screen – something that should be familiar for current Kinect owners. New motion controls, like grabbing and panning to enlarge or minimize specific screens, lets you tailor what you're seeing on your TV (and how much of it). You can also swap between multiple types of media – games, movies, TV – just by voice. The switch happens instantly, without a lengthly load or boot-up.

A controller and SmartGlass can still be used for basic navigation.

Amid all of the swiping and media-switching, we didn't see any avatars in the user interface. That isn't necessarily a definitive sign that they aren't returning, but Microsoft doesn't seem to be pushing them.

 

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