Tech Industry

Xbox 360's TV update faces delay

Microsoft says in a morning tweet that the media-heavy expansion of its Xbox services will be "slightly delayed." But by the evening word finally comes that the update is "on its way to all 35 million Xbox Live members."

The wait for Microsoft's TV-centric Xbox update, due today, lasted a little bit longer than expected.

A tweet this morning from Larry Hyrb, of Microsoft's Xbox marketing team, warned of a delay: "The timing for Xbox 360 dashboard update has been slightly delayed. I'll have a status update later today."

Hyrb didn't specify how long that delay might be.

Microsoft kicked off the week with the announcement of "an all-new Xbox 360 experience" that includes apps from TV and entertainment companies arriving on a rolling launch. Due today are offerings from sources including ESPN, Hulu Plus, Lovefilm (in the U.K.), Netflix, and Telefonica (in Spain).

The expansion of the partnership roster will continue with the likes of Verizon Fios TV, Vudu, YouTube, Rogers On Demand Live, and Australias Ninemsn (later in December) and the BBC, HBO Go, CinemaNow, and MLB.TV (in early 2012).

Also coming with the update is the integration of Kinect voice control with Bing search.

The update is no small potatoes for Microsoft. As my colleague Jay Greene wrote:

Though most gamers will notice a dramatically different interface, and some will take advantage of more advanced voice-recognition controls, the real significance of the update is how boldly the software giant is putting itself at the core of the TV entertainment experience. Microsoft is partnering with 40 content providers from around the globe to significantly increase the amount of live and on-demand content available on Xbox.

Update 4:16 p.m. PT: Microsoft issued the following statement about a half hour ago:

We apologize for the delay in launching the new Xbox 360 dashboard. We're working through some deployment issues and within a few hours the first customers will begin to receive the update. Because customers in this first phase are not selected based on geography, we can't specify which individual consoles will receive the update first. We share our customers' excitement for the new dash and will provide an update as soon as possible.
Update 6:16 p.m. PT: Microsoft issued the following statement ten minutes ago, noting that the new service is now being pushed out to customers worldwide:
The Xbox update is currently on its way to all 35 million Xbox Live members. Since we are releasing this significant update on a global scale, we ask for your patience as it may be a few hours before we update all the Xbox consoles connected to the Xbox Live service around the world. We apologize for today's delay and hope that you will be thrilled with your new Xbox experience.
Now playing: Watch this: Xbox Live update (December 2011)