Today is exciting. Why? Because today we welcome the newest update to the Xbox 360 dashboard.  

What does this update mean to you, Xbox LIVE Indie Game developers? To start with, it means a new user interface and organizational and functional changes.

The new user interface uses the Metro style, the same style used by Windows Phone and Windows 8. There also are organizational and functional changes not only to improve, but to enhance, the game experience. 

Today, we want to tell you about changes to the Xbox 360 dashboard we believe will most affect Xbox LIVE Indie Game developers and customers.

Rating from the game library

In the new dashboard, rating a game is easy. There now is a Rate button on the overview page for games that gives gamers quick access to rate the game's content.

The removal of the rate button from the game library in an earlier update generated considerable feedback. Its removal reduced the number of ratings given for Indie Games. We believe the permanent display of the rating button on game overview pages will increase the likelihood that your players will rate your games.

Indie exposure in the game marketplace carousel

When navigating into the game marketplace in the games section, you’ll notice the rotating carousel in the center contains an item for Xbox LIVE Indie Games. Selecting this item takes users to an Indie Games experience containing the Kotaku’s Favorites and Contest Finalists lists, as well as Indie Game specific New Releases and Most Popular lists.

This carousel item will help to push your games to even more customers by exposing Xbox LIVE Indie Games from the top level of the marketplace experience. 

Bing search

Over the years, Xbox has become about more than just games. Users can now find music, movies, and television programming on their Xbox 360 consoles. With all this great new content, Bing was added to make it even easier to find what you’re looking for. Users can use Bing search to find marketplace content, including Xbox LIVE Indie Games.

The algorithms and index of content are still being improved, but we believe this exposure of Indie Game content through the Bing search engine makes it even easier for customers to find specific Indie game content without having to manually navigate the dashboard in search of the gem.

Recommendations

Another way Xbox is helping customers find great new content is through smart recommendations. Customers viewing a piece of content can now find recommendations for related games and content that might interest them.

Smart recommendations will help customers find Indie games related to games they already own and enjoy, which should translate into more opportunities for Indie developers.

We are sure each of you is as excited as we are about the new dashboard and can see all the great new ways Indie games have been exposed to our millions of Xbox LIVE subscribers. If you have feedback regarding the dashboard, please use the official Xbox.com forum.