AKQA has finally been able to get round to announcing that they've been working closely with Microsoft to design the new Xbox 360 interface. PR Newswire has the full press release, via Usability News.
Russ Glaser Group UI Design Manager at Xbox is quoted:
"To arrive at the new Xbox 360 player interface, Microsoft and AKQA formed a multidisciplinary team of user experience, interaction design, user insight and behavior specialists, who built several functioning prototypes, working hand-in-hand with the Xbox 360 industrial design team. In-depth testing of the prototypes followed, with immersive workshops, usability sessions and interviews with customers taking place worldwide. The prototypes were then refined and re-tested."
I know AKQA from my Microsoft UK days and before that - they've been a leading digital design and dev firm since 1995, so I know a few of them pretty well. They had to remain completely tight lipped during the design process - hard to do I imagine when you've got a dream brief like the Xbox 360 UI. Anyhow, I've not played with the interface myself yet, but am sure if it lives up to AKQA's reputation, it'll be superb.
Well done to Ajaz and the rest of the team!
Update: Lots more UI pics at BetaNews.