Xbox 360 Fall 2007 Dashboard update hands-on

What, you didn't wait up all night to play around with Microsoft's Xbox 360 Fall 2007 Dashboard update? Ok, fine, we're just that geeky, but we feel vindicated: this is hands down our favorite 360 update thus far. And not just because we can finally watch DivX and Xvid on our 360. The best new bits (and other notes):

  • Um, did we mention DivX / XviD support? For free? Oh, we did. Well, we're still reeling. (Yep, we successfully tested both codecs using .divx and .avi files.)

  • Enhanced profiles is really exciting; you have to opt out of everyone being able to view your friends list, but given the permissions system Live is based on, that's not such a big deal. Browsing friends' friends lists adds a whole new layer. Microsoft, care to bump us up past 100 Live friends now?

  • IPTV support is included! Unfortunately, you are still dependent on your service provider to flip the switch, so don't expect to be able to just start watching / recording shows to your 360. (Interface shots here, from way back when.)

  • Family timers lets you specify the number of playable hours daily and weekly. For instance, you can enable between 15 minutes and 24 hours of daily play time (in 15 minute increments). We're not sure how this works if you're watching IPTV, though, although we presume the system is smart enough to know the difference between gaming and playing back media.

  • Microsoft added its increasingly pervasive twist interface all over the place, including Xbox Live downloads, the media interface, etc. Browsing just about everything on the 360 just got way easier.

  • Inside Xbox newsletter / feed is now available from the home blade, helping highlight new content and features. We kind of wish this wasn't so front and center though -- really, how often are you going to use this?