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.
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.