Recently a purported next-generation Xbox software development kit surfaced on eBay, one or two the seller claims to have. While we’re not sure if the development kit is legitimate, developers speaking to Forbes claim Windows 8 could launch on the next-generation Xbox console.
Could Microsoft use Windows 8 on the next Xbox rather than trying to get the dashboard to imitate the Modern UI?
If you were to ask us what the front of the next-generation Xbox could look like, we’d probably say Windows 8. That’s because Microsoft continues to refine its key product – Xbox, Windows Phone, and Windows – to look like each other.
Rafeal Riviera, a developer, agrees. On his withinwindows blog, Riviera said there’s evidence the next Xbox will run the Windows 8 SKU and therefore look pretty similar. Apps will also be built around the Windows Runtime application programming interface (API), possible ditching Win32 completely.
It’s an interesting development. Whatever your feelings towards the changes Microsoft is making with Windows 8, there’s a clear consistency. The current version of the dashboard is faux Modern, and isn’t as accessible or as simple as the start screen in Windows 8. That’s because Windows 8 doesn’t have advertisements plastered around the dashboard, but having a start screen with hubs to select is better design.
Let’s think about it. We can have the start screen, with an option to launch a game loaded in the disc tray. Then there’s the Games, Media Apps, Indie Games, Xbox Live Arcade hubs and more. For a specific digital titles, or a movie for example, users can pin it to the start screen. The problem with the dashboard now is too many button presses are required.
Could Windows 8 Be Cloned?
Of course this could be bogus. I’m skeptical of Microsoft making a major change to the dashboard when it continues to refine the current appearance, creating an individual experience for Xbox and not a clone of Windows 8’s Modern UI. Currently in beta for sign-ups, the dashboard’s latest iterations look more fined. Bigger icons and a reshuffle of advertisements means it doesn’t seem cluttered.
A mod I’m going to be interested in seeing for Windows 8 is the Xbox dashboard, like Rainmeter modding the Windows 7 desktop to look like Modern UI.
Windows 8 launches October 26.