We do our best to be skeptical here at TNW Microsoft. That said, we are comfortable calling these revealed Xbox 360 dashboard features (mostly) legitimate; discussions with other publications have provided us with enough confidence to dub parts of the following videos as real.
We have two short clips. The first is a walk through of a number of pictures, detailing a great host of features and upgrades that will be coming to the Xbox 360 as early as September. The second is a short video that shows the software that the pictures were taken of, but in action.
There is, however, a catch: After thought and examination of the source material that the video employs, TNW Microsoft is not convinced that the next Xbox 360 dashboard will include Skype integration as claimed. In fact, we would be surprised if it did. Even more, the icon shown in the pictures and videos is so similar to the video chat icon found here, which is perfectly capable of being unrelated to Skype, that we wonder if it is not the same.
In other words, be cautious.
Here is the first clip that contains the dubious Skype claim, but does have some very interesting commentary on what is called a coming “discoverable” option, a feature that lets the user interact with the external devices:
Continuing, here is the clip that shows the dashboard in actual use (it is obviously unfinished):
We repeat our warning: Take all of this with a grain of salt. Microsoft, of course, will neither confirm nor deny the clips, so until we hear from several more sources this is not gospel. For now, however, parts of it do appear to be legitimate.
If you were piqued by the new “discoverable” features, WinRumors has a useful discussion of it here.