Friday, November 21, 2008

Cotchin Fridays: The New Xbox Experience (NXE)

What are your views on the new dashboard…?

After months of hype, reports and games-based gossip posted on several forums by people who think they know more about the Xbox than Bill Gates and his entire development team put together, Microsoft officially launched the ‘New Xbox Experience’ earlier this week. That’s right, Wednesday 19 November the Dashboard, Marketplace and Xbox 360 interface was changed, but was if for the better? Danny Walker takes a look at the changes and finds out what Xbox fiend MC Narstie thinks of it all…

If you haven’t updated already, it’s a simple, straightforward process.

‘Please wait while the New Xbox Experience update is applied’… and then a few moments later…

‘Welcome to the New Xbox Experience’ is closely followed by a pretty excellent intro. The screen is soon plastered in dynamic HD visuals where pixel-rich cars accelerate over elegant flowers and it culminates in what can only be described as a lava and firework eruption which devours your display. That fun part is momentarily overtaken by the new terms and conditions. These consist of 1000s of paragraphs, 27 actual terms and other bits and pieces that you can and can’t do. We’re almost sure these are double the length of the last set of T&Cs, if you can remember that far back.

After you ignore scrolling down and click accept to the new conditions (it will take THREE hours to read them all) you’re next asked to Choose an Avatar. Much like Nintendo’s Wii’s Mii, you select what your new online entity will consist of. In short; there are 90 different hair styles but only about nine selections of t-shirt and it is very hard not to make your character look like a special guest at a Graham Norton house party. In this sector you can also take a picture of your digital face and save it as your new Gamer pic… nice.

The New Dashboard…
- Welcome

What’s Hot – with videos of what is new (Mirrors Edge, Call of Duty, etc).
Xbox Essentials – stuff you already know like how the pad works etc.
New Xbox Experience – replay the intro video.
Hide Channel – does what it says on the screen. Hides the channels that you don’t use.

- Spotlight
Basically stuff they’re promoting from the Marketplace. The perfect place for Microsoft to get your money points.

- My Xbox

This is much like the old dashboard with your gamer profiles, game stats and system settings.

- Game Marketplace

Here you can play games with your new avatar characters.
A Kingdom for Keflings
– Uno
– Hardwood Hearts

- Video Marketplace
Here you can rent standard and high definition movies from the biggest movie studios…

Magnolia Pictures - Ong Bak and such.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) - Carrie, Species and the immense Rocky.

Paramount Pictures - Iron Man and much more.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment - Interview with a Vampire and the Matrix Triology.

- Friends

This features all your friends in a weird police-like line-up. You can also have a LIVE Party??? (Which is basically a conference call with up to seven Xbox Livers). You can voice chat while you play games, share photos in real time and “entertain friends all over the world.” Nice.

- Inside Xbox
More videos.

What RWD like?
We do like the new use of the Xbox Guide button. This now gives you easy access to EVERYTHING with the touch of a button. Play your games, speak to friends and listen to music effortlessly.

Surprisingly installing games to hard drive is easy and pretty useful. After all the Internet chatter we though we were going to hate this new feature but… it did exactly what it said it would. Quieter play and faster loading times. Gears of War 2 took approximately 10 minutes to upload to the hard drive (taking up 6.7GB of space) so apart from renting movies there is a new reason for that spacious 120GB HDD.

What RWD didn’t like?
Those stuuuuupid avatars. They’ve been rinsed more than Paris Hilton. What’s next Microsoft a Light Gun? A brand mascot that looks like a green hedgehog? Or better still an overweight Italian Plummer? Come on…

Mr Narstie tells RWD his views…

RWD: Hello, MC Narstie, we contacted you cos we know you’re a big Xbox Live gamer…
MC Narstie: Hello, hi… top of the morning to you…
Hello… hi…
Yeah, I’m a massive Call of Duty fan, oh my days… and Fight Night…
Whoever is not on Call of Duty: World at War is a wasteman [laughs].
Wow, it only came out the other day, give people time…
It’s a religion man, it’s like Pro Evolution Soccer… I like to do all my skills on Pro cos I can’t do it in real life.
So what do you think of the New Xbox Experience?
Its ok you know. It’s some big daddy sh*t.
How long did it take to create your avatar? And did you make it exactly like you?
Of course!!! Sexy guy on the web. Definitely, come one man. I wouldn’t want to be a skinny computer guy!!!What are your thoughts on the New Xbox Experience?


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