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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?
Brad Shoemaker on Google+
84 Comments
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Posted by Brad
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?
Staff
Posted by The_Dude

I like the clean look of it.

Posted by lordofultima

Honestly it looks much sleeker and more like the old style, which I would have preferred provided that it ran better than this mess of an nxe.

Edited by jackgordon

It looks alot like the blades but i would have liked this also

Posted by Karmum

I'm really glad that wasn't the final product, it just seems so plain. While I don't really like the layout of what the NXE is now, I would prefer it over that. Simplicity did not work this time around.

Posted by norton123

I'm content with the current Xbox Experience. Looks interesting but I agree with the  funtionality.

Posted by Jayge_

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.

Posted by Sokkratez

18 box images at once looks like lag to me.

Posted by Link06

I would have preferred this a little more. Looks a little cleaner to me. I could be wrong, but this one looks better.

Posted by ReyGitano
"Oh, and play games too"
That just confuses me. I just imagine the NXE as it is now, with the option to start your game buried somewhere in the system settings.
This sketch up seems to resemble the original 360 layout more than the NXE does. I'm happy it didn't go this way. That interface just looks too jumbled and ugly. Although I do like the graphics. Looks less like a "piece of candy" than the current NXE does. But put in some non-solid objects and colors, and everything looks better, isn't that right Vista?
Posted by dezvous

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.

Posted by Death_Burnout

I actually like it more, visually.

Posted by lordofultima

Simple will always be greater, imo.

Posted by dsplayer1010

Glad they didn't use that

Posted by Brackynews

My god.... it's full of gradients!

Posted by Mattalorian

Visually, I like this style much more.
I would have been fine if they decided to go with this one, but that's just because I'm a "visuals over functionality" type of guy.

Posted by theMcNasty

The reason it wasn't used:  NOT ENOUGH ADVERTISING SPACE!

Posted by dtran1212

looks gay, like the current NXE

Posted by Shadow71

a little too white for my liking

Posted by Red

Looks nice and pretty, but it'd be form over function by the looks of it.

Posted by Tru3_Blu3

It looks pretty, but it's too convoluted and glossy. Thank goodness they didn't use this set up.

Posted by JJOR64

Crazy.

Posted by JoelTGM

The current dashboard is much better I think.

Posted by pycnocline

I prefer this over the current NXE, but they would have to put all that advertising in this proto-type and it would probably end up looking much worst.

Posted by zoozilla

Wow, it's...arty.

Conceptually, it's pretty awesome.  Would get tiring after a while, though, as all arty things do.

Posted by AndrewB

It looks cool, but it doesn't look functional in the slightest. And I think the only reason it even looks cool is just because I always love what I can't have.

Posted by HatKing

Like you said, it looks good but not functional.  I'm pretty much used to the NXE now and don't think I could go back...nor would I want to.  I think the NXE is actually really good.

Posted by RHCPfan24

I am glad I didn't have a Mac as my "New Xbox Experience".

Posted by Meteora

I like the visual appeal to it, but then again it won't feel quite as a big upgrade compare to NXE.

Posted by ChrisInCali

Whoa, way too much white.  When I'm gaming at 2:00A.M. in my half-awake daze the last thing I want is my 50" plasma to blind me with a big-ass white screen of light.

Posted by Shadow

Now that I've gotten used to it, I actually like the NXE style...I just wish it were faster to view the details of a download.

Posted by BiggerBomb

Good thing they didn't go with that. It's very bland and far too bright.

Posted by freezerr

I like these prototype pictures. Add a bit more functionality in, and I'd prefer this style.

Posted by ZombiePie

It has a lot of empty space, otherwise it looks cleaner than the current NXE.

Moderator
Posted by daniel_beck_90

The final NXE is way better

Posted by cspiffo

Eww gross, kill it!

Posted by Jedted

I like the current dashboard we have now, it's simple and makes it easy to find what your lookin for.

I'm kinda surprised that some people still aren't used to it by now.  It's actually a pretty slick layout and the avatars look way better than the Miis and they're not as cartoony.

Posted by MisterSpiffy

It's alright, but I'm content with the current one.  I really like that splash page for games, though.

Posted by MmmSkyscraper

Do not want.

Posted by Gorillawhat
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?
Posted by logson

Looks like a true halfway point between the old dashboard and the NXE. That makes sense.

Posted by agentboolen

Its hard to judge these images with out seeing how they would work when in motion.  For some of the images they look like there is a lack of navigation.  Some might complain about what has been given to us but I have gotten a customed to NXE and it just feels like it works. For the blades yea they were good when they came out, a bit simpler and too the point from the new NXE but I'd personally rather have NXE. 

Posted by Beechbone

I like the first screen which is probably the main look, hard to say if it's as functional as final NXE which I enjoy very much.

Posted by cikame

Looks good, but i'm glad they used the final version.

Posted by Will

Kinda like it, looks nice in a few places but then again the current NXE looks good in places like the friends compared to this (if you know what I mean :P)

Posted by hercules_morse

"My god.... it's full of gradients!"

gradients are the new black...didnt you hear?

Posted by MHumphreys89

213 retail games on the HDD wooooooo

Posted by Snail

Lamer than the real NXE.

Posted by MHumphreys89
I am undecided as to whether or not I like this more, they should have had different colour swatches for the NXE that would appease me. Imagine Black and Green to match the elite *drools
Posted by spartan1017

i actually really like that... more so than the current dashboard... i mean, the nxe is alright, but that look real sleek.

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