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A Glimpse Of The NXE That Wasn't

Curious what the New Xbox Experience looked like before it went final? Take a look.

Shacknews dug up a nice little curiosity for you going into the weekend: a set of prototype designs for what eventually became the New Xbox Experience dashboard, posted by Gridplane, the design firm that helped Microsoft concept out the interface early on. Here's some of what they have to say, as well as all the shots.

The time was spent exploring many ways that a new menu system could allow users to browse and navigate game libraries, music, movies and TV shows. Oh, and play games too. In addition to the menu systems, we dreamt up an immersive 3D environment for users to explore the latest games, events and online activity within the XBOX Live community.

I think it's certainly more visually appealing in an abstract sort of way, but it also looks simultaneously less functional than the production NXE, and also a little too much like the old blades in some cases.

Your thoughts?
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Posted by PenguinDust

I don't like it. The current iteration of NXE has some problems, but it's better than what we see above.  It looks too sparse overall, except on the "games" page, which is nightmarish.

The Sony XMB has the best design, although it doesn't have to juggle as much information.  And the PSN store is still a mess (a better organized mess than it used to be, though).

I guess my dream UI would be a hybrid of the two.  The PS3's console XMB with NXE's organizational store & downloadable media center.

Posted by Jayge_
Gorillawhat said:
"Jayge said:
"This looks like it would have been integrated into the Zune-style platform much more than the current NXE, with the "Social" label, font, background, and arrangements. Interesting."
So would you have bitched about this one as much as you did with the present NXE?"
I don't know. It's a prototype. Definitely has more potential than the NXE interface does. The NXE that I was right about, by the way.
Posted by Aaron_G

Looks like a fusion of the NXE and the Old Dashboard.

Posted by Afroman269

Besides the amount of empty space, I think this looks like a perfect blend of new and old.

Posted by FlipperDesert

Way too plain for me, I'm happy with the NXE if I'm honest. Everything works, the only real problem I have is with my account management and finding active downloads.

Posted by Daz0608

It looks alright, but I can't see how it would work and it does look really plain

Edited by MrKlorox

The current NXE (oxymoron?) wouldn't look so bad if the ground/floor reflected the wallpaper/sky instead of requiring the fairly rare NXE themes to get rid of the brightness.

Posted by Civraz
Posted by AgileNate

I like the current NXE. My only problems with it is that the Music options in the guide menu is not on the front page. When playing games, I liked the quick access of the old blade(even though the blade was slow to open), the other problem being that the friends page in the main menu loads info slow. .

Posted by Thecookiejar

im not sure where but i remember reading that in the NXE youd be able to walk about as your avatar and select things by running up to them and jumping into them. for example youd be able to 'jump' into the game marketplace.Cool idea but would take forever to do anything.

Posted by StarFoxA

I like how the first screenshot looks, with Halo 3, but the rest of it looks kind of lame.

Posted by Kash_1095

Meh, the current NXE is fine.

Posted by TwoOneFive

i still think the whole thing was completely unnecessary. 

Posted by Ratfoot

It actually looks pretty sexy but not very functional.

Posted by Seram

I see why the current NXE made it through. The only reason people like those pics a lot is cause its different. If we had one of those, and someone posted a pic of the current NXE as a prototype, people would like that one better. Just how our minds work it seems.

Posted by Cerza

Reminds me a lot of the old dash....what I would give to have the old razor blade set up back...I can't stand the new look

Edited by Smersh

IMO the whole thing looks a little like a 2001 version of sleek, sexy, and inconsistent design. 
Much prefer what we have now over what-could've-been (and that which came before).

Posted by xplodedd

i like it more, but it doesn't look that functional to me.

Posted by Kohe321

Looks a little bland imo.

Posted by chandlerr_360

Looks sweet, would have preferred it honestly.

Posted by WinterSnowblind

I like the idea of keeping it simple, but that definitely looks too plain.  You can see how they developed the ideas in this one into what we have now though.
I'm very content with the current NXE, my only issue with it is still just the fact it automatically boots you to the spotlight tab instead of the my Xbox one.

Posted by DECA555

XMB is simply the best 

Posted by Rotnac

they should of added something like this as an alternative replacement for the blades and nxe, so people could choose between what we have now, and what we see here with the prototypes.

It would of been even nicer if new themes completely changed everything instead of just the friends list backdrops. sorta like if this prototype was a fully selectable theme for this whole nxe.

Posted by Otacon
dezvous said:
"Am I the only one that thinks Microsoft should have stuck with the mysterious (and almost creepy) original XBOX main menu? That 3d menu was freaking sweet, complete with unnerving alien talk in the background. I miss that."
Was a mega awesome menu.
Posted by marcusfriendly

I like the looks of it!

Posted by dagas

I don't really care how it looks, I use my 360 to play games not as a computer...NXE does some things better and some things worse than the old menus, but I actually liked the looks better before. Simple and elegant is my kind of thing not bling and flashy.

Posted by darkjester74

Bleh, I prefer the NXE we got instead.  Looks way too confusing to navigate to me.

Posted by piropeople13

i hate NXE.  Stupid mandatory advertising bullshit, I don't mind ads when they pay for something that I get for free, but the NXE is just for M$ pocket stuffing.

Posted by PLWolf

I'm happy with the NXE the way it is. That prototype would be interesting to try out, but I bet there'd be a whole lot more bitching if that is what they used as the final product.

Posted by Rodiard

I wonder how long this implementation of the game library took to load...

Posted by Media_Master


Posted by Sekoku

I like it a lot more than the current one.

Blades, or preferably them  hawking XMB next go-round, please.
Posted by KyleBaron

I like the current one better.

Posted by Cymatics

Good they ended up with what we have no. Its not that what I see there is bad, its just that the NXE as it is, seems much simpler to use. Like I really like the forth picture, but I do prefer to have it like it is now.