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55 Comments

NXE's Thematic Consistency

Don't worry, your Alpha Dog dashboard theme will be just fine.

It's like my Xbox is at the Up In Smoke tour!
Microsoft is making some pretty radical changes to the Xbox 360's interface with all this crazy New Xbox Experience stuff, and a few of the big questions about how the upgrade will effect dashboard themes got answered today thanks to the Gamerscore Blog. Themes aren't disappearing--quite the contrary, as new themes designed specifically for the new dashboard will be more than just flat, 2D images, and will replace polygonal elements of the interface as well. Check out the screenshot to the right to see what the Friends channel looks like with the new Underground theme applied. While the look of this particular example is maybe a little five grand for my tastes, it illustrates the point nicely.

It was also revealed how themes for the current blade-based dashboard will look under the New Xbox Regime, which you can see for yourself on the Gamerscore Blog's Flickr stream. While old themes won't provide as thorough a makeover for your new dashboard as those designed specifically for it, they'll still work, which is good news for folks who put down some hard-earned money for their themes.

I'm liking the new themes implementation, though I also seem to be one of the minority that thinks the whole New Xbox Experience initiative looks pretty solid so far. Like most of you, I could do without the whole avatar thing, but right now I'm considering it a small price to pay for what seems to be significantly improved functionality and usability.
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Posted by Ryan
It's like my Xbox is at the Up In Smoke tour!
Microsoft is making some pretty radical changes to the Xbox 360's interface with all this crazy New Xbox Experience stuff, and a few of the big questions about how the upgrade will effect dashboard themes got answered today thanks to the Gamerscore Blog. Themes aren't disappearing--quite the contrary, as new themes designed specifically for the new dashboard will be more than just flat, 2D images, and will replace polygonal elements of the interface as well. Check out the screenshot to the right to see what the Friends channel looks like with the new Underground theme applied. While the look of this particular example is maybe a little five grand for my tastes, it illustrates the point nicely.

It was also revealed how themes for the current blade-based dashboard will look under the New Xbox Regime, which you can see for yourself on the Gamerscore Blog's Flickr stream. While old themes won't provide as thorough a makeover for your new dashboard as those designed specifically for it, they'll still work, which is good news for folks who put down some hard-earned money for their themes.

I'm liking the new themes implementation, though I also seem to be one of the minority that thinks the whole New Xbox Experience initiative looks pretty solid so far. Like most of you, I could do without the whole avatar thing, but right now I'm considering it a small price to pay for what seems to be significantly improved functionality and usability.
Posted by piecat

I'm still not entirely sold on the NXE, but the new themes definitely seem interesting and a step in the right direction.

Posted by GalvanizedNails

never paid for themes anyway, and there aren't that many great free ones, so I'm kinda what evs

Posted by roofy

i think this new dash looks awesome but the great part of the fall update is what isnt visible, the 8 player private chat

Posted by Lies

Man, I'm really not liking NXE, and the more I see of it, the more sure I am.

Posted by Terrell

Ryan, its nice to know that im not the only one excited about the new dashboard update!

Though I think im the only one who likes the avatars...

Posted by jangofett88

Interesting stuff. Although I'm still not entirely sold on the NXE, I'm not as dismissive as I was when it was announced.

Posted by heavymtlhead
Posted by Anderson

Hopefully Avatars are unobtrusive to the experience - an optional feature that you don't have to interact with unless you want to.  If that's the case, I don't have much of a problem with the rest of the UI.  Seems pretty straight forward in general.

Posted by DrSbaitso

@heavymtlhead

No, the NXE completely replaces the old blades (although they are still there in spirit when you press the guide button now), its not an optional thing (unless you arent hooked up to live that is). I like the new look although im not happy about my old themes being covered half way up by a huge grey blob, how does that make my old themes look better? They better include some kind of transperency option for that psuedo-grey earth

Posted by MrKlorox

What? People seriously now directly relate the incredibly-common-on-the-internet word "avatar" to that god-awful "Avatar: The Last Airbender" show on Nickelodeon? I feel elderly.

Other than that, I am extremely excited about the coming Fall Update. Installable disc games and live parties FTW!

Posted by MrMuise

I hope they still have a wood panel theme.... Giant Bomb should totally release a theme! Wood panel background, the bomb, flea ridden couch and lucha deer, energy drink storage fridge, as polygonal objects. Fuck yeah!

Posted by HatKing

NXE had me from hello pretty much.  I don't see the problem with them trying to make the system look better.  I get a strong anti-new facebook vibe from everybody complaining, there'll be tons of clans related to anti-NXE but all of them will be using NXE.

Posted by Yamato

I honestly don't understand what people are complaining about. Everything about this update looks awesome! Why does everyone seem to hate the avatars so much? They're certainly a lot better than gamerpic, and you still get to keep your gamerpics anyway.

Posted by Torb

Yea I'm getting tired of everyone insulting it. And as for the avatars, I'm not sold on them either, but here's the deal: just because avatars are a copy doesn't make them inherently evil. You people just need to wait and see how they actually turn out.
As for the rest of the interface, looks slick as a beast.

Posted by HTTenrai

I'm with HatKing on this one. I think the interface looks slick, organized, and fresh. It's a nice change from the all-but-obscured-by-ads nonsense we have to deal with now...I wonder. Has everyone forgotten that their themes are currently nigh invisible behind the walls of EA Sports "X more days ads" and the like?

Posted by Ubergeist

I hate the current dashboard even with a cool theme on it, I can't wait to get rid of it. I'm also excited about the live party system. As for avatars, as long as they have some badass ones like Master Cheif or a COD guy, Ryu, stuff like that, then they will be a lot cooler.

Posted by LCad

Alpha Dog was a great movie, man.

Posted by bizsumpark182

I'm looking forward to the whole thing. Of all the features that are coming I'm looking forward to the Netflix integration the most.

Posted by TomboDemon

i can haz NXEburger on mondae?

Posted by Crono
Posted by mawfu

That is one thing I love about the 360 is the dashboard is always changing and in a good way. It's like a new system every year for FREE.

Posted by Vigorousjammer

I agree with you Mr. Ryan Davis...
the NXE looks fucking awesome, and even the avatars look pretty cool in that pic once you make them look cool

Posted by YoungBuck

It's looking better every time I see it.

Posted by MichaelBach

I agree with Yamato, everything looks great, I even kind of like the Avatars.... why not?... If you don't like them, just don't pay atention to them :)

Posted by Aaron89

I like the entire NXE update, Avatars and all. I guess I'm the extreme minority then ...

Posted by 8

The update is looking pretty schweet. There's nothing wrong with cartoons.

Posted by Coolarman

At first i wasn't to sure about this update but as i read more about this i started getting into it i guess i am in the minority

Posted by Technology

It would of been better if MS created NXE based themes to complement existing blade themes; & then gave the corresponding themes to people who had already purchased the old themes of the same type.  i.e. bought a Halo 3 blade theme -> get a NXE based Halo 3 theme free.

As it is now, it feels like MS is trying to double dip into my pockets.

Posted by MKHavoc

That looks a lot better than I thought it would.

Posted by broqz

hope the update alows you to fastforward and rewind your music.  how hard is that?

Posted by Irishjohn

Home Killer!!!!

Dear God.
Posted by lamegame621

well, i suppose avatars for the xbox 360 community were inevitable eventually. sigh. what ev man, wha ev.

Posted by sp1der1976

I'm just worried how this will all cost memory-wise. The current set-up eats up 13 gig of my 20 gig HD. This looks very very memory heavy which will mean less for Demo's and DLC etc.

Posted by DorianBlack

As long as I can get away with never having to make a avatar I'm good. I really don't want anything to do with those things.

Posted by wrecks

The blades blow, always have... on with the new!

Posted by FuzzYLemoN

Man, this is still fucking terrible. Just let me keep my list of friends, as it should be. If you absolutely have to, just put a little picture of their avatar next to their name, but this system is just fucking atrocious.

Posted by Caddy

I have been coming round to the whole thing. The avatar thing still bums me out, but I am up for some change and look forward to it. I know I won't be using the avatar system though, but the rest of it looks cool.

Posted by Peacemaker

I am excited for NXE.  I feel that the dashboard is now too crowded and slow.  I think it's going to be a nice refresher for the system, it may even make it feel new again.

Posted by bagleyjw

I like the new dashboard, I even think that the avatar thing is a cool idea. It is not forced upon you, and is optional in games (last bit of news I heard on it). I also like the idea of having "wearable achievements" if it turns out that MS will do that.

Posted by SuperSonrics

It is free, you still the complete blades just by pressing the guide, and it will be easier to navigate the dashboard for all the new people that stats jumping in with the 200usd box...

Posted by Trilogy

I think the avatars are fine. Nothing wrong with a little change.

Posted by dEFaNkT

i wants it, i wants it now :)

Posted by Dan_CiTi

Mii City looks nice.

Posted by Player1

Cool, but I hope all the themes aren't in cartoony form. I want real 3-d gears of war themes, not some rounded cartoony Marcus Fenix. 

Posted by Evinco

I personally wont be into avatars much but the rest of the NXE is great.

Posted by darkjester74

Why is it not sinking in to people's brains that avatars are totally optional.  If you dont like them turn them off.  Not that hard people....sheesh!

The single most important feature of NXE for me is the Netflix on demand streaming.  Everything else is fluff to me.

Posted by halfameatball

I can't wait for the new dashboard, Netflix directly through my television (on at least the current "Watch Instantly" titles) is going to make me extremely happy. I actually welcome the new look as well, but I'm excited for the new features we will be getting most.

Posted by Shabran

the dashboard update looks amazing

Posted by Bad_JuJu
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