updated 11:30 pm EST, Tue November 8, 2011
Adds Beacons, Activity, revamped messages, more
Xbox.com is in the process of replacing the "My Xbox" section of the site with a new tab called "Social," which will not only enable new services and options, but will also give players their first look at an important part of the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update: tiles and other visual elements borrowed from "Metro," the name for the overall visual style of Windows 8. In addition, users can now use "Beacons" to mark games they want to play with others, according to a blog post on xbox.com.
Users will also soon be able to search the Zune video catalog and buy or rent movies and TV shows right from the Xbox browser under the Video tab, and be alerted when friends are playing game titles that have a Beacon set for them, along with future features such as previews of new Marketplace items, game and video releases and more. In the short term, the navigation menu for Xbox Live will be rearranged to accommodate the Video tab and other new items. The "Social" page will become the default of Xbox.com, sporting a somewhat more Facebook-like style.
Under the player avatar are links to common tasks, as well as a new Friends Activity feed that includes games a user's friends have been playing and who is playing those games at the moment or recently. The page will also report on games the user has recently played and which friends are playing those. Users can pick a game in the activity list and set a Beacon for it (for up to three games), including a description (for example what time a user plans to be playing). Beacons can attract friends or strangers to join the user in a specific game. Windows Phone users can see Beacons under the XBox Live requests section immediately, others will have to wait for the next dashboard update.
The Social page also sports a revamped Messages section and the ability to see friends' profiles, a Gamer's Spotlight, a list of online friends and what they are currently doing and more. A date for the next Xbox 360 dashboard update has not yet been announced.