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Xbox 360 dashboard update to shun Microsoft Points system - report

UI refresh due in August in preparation for next-gen Xbox, claims report

Microsoft is reportedly preparing a dashboard update for the Xbox 360 that will phase out its 'Microsoft Points' currency system and prepare the console for the arrival of its successor.

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Citing 'sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans', The Verge reports that the new dashboard update will go into beta testing in 'late June or early July', targeting a full release in August.

The update, according to the report, will ditch the 'Microsoft Points' currency, backing up a previous report in which the site claimed that Microsoft plans to transition the Xbox Live Marketplace to real-world currencies.

The new dashboard will apparently also prepare the console for the arrival of the next-generation Xbox, by laying the foundations for messaging, beacons and achievements to be cross-compatible between the two machines.

The Verge also touts cosmetic changes, including smaller Live Tiles - in line with planned changes to the Windows 8 UI - and lighter/darker colour schemes.

"We don't have anything new to announce at this time," a Microsoft rep said in response to the report.

Lastly, the site says a "smaller, denser Xbox console with newly designed controllers that are said to be 'flattened' in appearance" will be unveiled during the next-gen Xbox reveal event on May 21.

It's unclear if this relates to the next-generation Xbox, or to a previously rumoured Xbox 360 set-top box.

Prior reports have claimed that Microsoft will introduce a third, more compact, media-focused iteration of the current-generation Xbox 360 alongside its next-gen console. According to prior reports, this new console will lack its own disc drive, but will connect with the new Xbox, allowing for backward-compatibility with Xbox 360 disc games via the disc drive in the new machine.

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