The Xbox 360 went through several fairly drastic facelifts throughout its lifecycle, paving the way for what's arguably still the best console UI on the shop. It might be getting on a bit, but the good old 360 has a wealth of handy features that have yet to be improved on by its successor.
That said, there are a few things that could stand to be implemented or updated on the Xbox 360's UI even now, and as several updates have already rolled out or due on Xbox One in the coming weeks, we thought it was time we ran our critical eye over the older console's dashboard. We've already rounded up our most-wanted Xbox One update fixes, after all - it's only fair to share the love.
"Xbox Go Home"
One of the things the Xbox 360 could certainly borrow from the Xbox One's UI is the ability to get back to the dashboard at any time via Kinect. Sure, the Xbox 360 has its Guide menu, but you have to press a whole other button from there to reach the dash - and shouting "Xbox, go home... you're drunk!" at an innocent slab of circuits feels strangely empowering.
What're ya playin?
Xbox One owners can see what games their friends on the 360 are playing, but it doesn't work the other way around. It's like the Xbox One is a super secret cool kids clubhouse that other Xbox players aren't allowed into - no fair. We're all one big family, so let's share - or I'm telling. And on that note of inclusiveness, would it really be so impossible to enable voice chat across both consoles?
A bigger friends list
Owning both an Xbox 360 and an Xbox One, I've honestly never felt so disconnected from my online friends list. If I'm on my Xbox One, I never really know who's online or offline, and if I'm on the Xbox 360 I only see a portion of my entire friends list. How about unifying the two, Microsoft? A bigger friends list on the Xbox 360 would be a good start, or perhaps the console could adopt the Xbox One's followers system. And whilst we're talking, a favourites list that includes both platforms would be a great way of keeping tracks of those friends we play with and chat to most often.
More gamerpic customisation options
It's understandable that Xbox 360 players don't have access to the full size 1080p gamerpics available to Xbox One owners, but last gen's gamerpic offerings could definitely do with an update right about now too. The current selection of pre-existing pics is rather naff and ageing fast, so most people on my friends list create their own Gamerpic these days, using their 360 Xbox avatar. Maybe a wider range of poses and backgrounds for this feature might be enough to keep things fresh?
The ability to 'gift' credit or games
On *cough* other platforms, users have the ability to buy or gift game downloads to other players. Whilst you can buy physical Xbox Live gift cards, this isn't quite as personal as being able to buy a specific game's download code for a special someone. A similar service was trialled a few years ago now, where users could send Microsoft Points to others as a "last minute gift idea," but the concept was a little half-baked and never rolled into full service. Perhaps the time has come to try it out again?
There's a special place in my heart for my Xbox 360 dashboard, which currently sports a rad Scott Pilgrim theme that looks decidedly more "me" than the Xbox One's 'blackest black imaginable' background. Mind you, there are still loads of ways to make the Xbox 360 dash even more personalisable. How about the ability to manually arrange tiles, for example? It could work a little like certain app UIs, in that you could hold down a button on a tile to move it around the dash or even use gesture commands. If a fully customisable homepage isn't possible, how about particular folders within the home dash? If that's a no-go, I'd settle for Microsoft bringing things more in line with the Xbox One's UI and allowing users to choose from a range of Xbox 360 dashboard colour schemes, to go along with all those personalised themes.
A screenshot function
This is a bit of a long shot, as not even the Xbox One has access to this function at present, but if you don't ask you don't get. Let me take pictures of my exploits in Dark Souls II please, Microsoft. I'll be your best friend forever.
Are you sticking with your Xbox 360 for now? Can you think of any updates or changes that would keep you firmly last gen for longer? Let us know. Incidentally, if you've made the leap to Xbox One, you've got a new UI update to look forward to very soon. If you'e had trouble installing the last Xbox One UI update, check out our super handy installation troubleshooting guide.