For the last several years, Microsoft has done a fresh update to the Xbox 360's dashboard and LIVE capabilities. A few years back, the update was massive; it ditched the blades presentation early adopters remember in favor of the open and friendly GUI (Graphic User Interface) we know today. Last year, the update tweaked some settings, disabled some tabs and added the awesome ESPN app, Zune Pass and Kinect capabilities.

This time around? Well, it's all guesswork and conjecture. Joystiq ran a story today that indicated the update will feature testing for both Avatar Kinect and Hulu Plus. The info was grabbed from the LIVE profile of one of the beta test leaders, so Joystiq relinquishes the fact that we could be looking at internal testing and not the indications of what's to come.

Still, what some lucky gamers are physically getting is exciting as well. Those that signed up less than a month ago to be a beta tester for the 2011 dashboard update on the Xbox 360 were entered for a chance to receive a free copy of Halo: Reach. What you see above is a picture of said free copy. The update discs are now in the mail.

Plastered on the front of the otherwise entirely boring and bland copy of Reach is a warning that states that non-update preview users should not insert the disc into their console. If they do, LIVE will be disabled until the update takes place.

Seeing a brand new dashboard is always an awesome experience. However, don't expect Microsoft to pull an entire overhaul this time around either. It's likely that updates from now until the console's demise will sport new features, tweaks and additions. A complete redesign is unlikely.

As more information becomes available for the 2011 Xbox 360 Dashboard update, we'll have it. So stay tuned.

[via Joystiq; image via Engadget]