The NXE Style Guide

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Posted by Ryan (1263 posts) -

I've been playing with the NXE (I'm really upset about how quickly I slid into using that stupid acronym) for a couple of weeks now, and in general, I'm quite pleased with the changes that have been made. There are a few navigational kinks, such as the less-than-obvious importance of the new quick launch bar, that took some getting used to, but the menus are bigger and bolder, and generally laid out in a way that makes more sense for what the Xbox 360 is, rather than what it was.

Now I hate to nitpick (a shameless lie, I live to nitpick) but there's a tiny, thoroughly petty thing about the NXE that I've allowed to get under my skin. It's something that took me a while to notice, but there are actually quite a few promotional menu items scattered throughout. The mere presence of the mostly appropriate advertising isn't what gets to me. The thing is, all of these units feature some promotional headline and a short blurb. Not to brag about performing repetitive, often tedious tasks for rent, but I've written a fair amount of promotional copy in my day, and the writing in all of these is categorically terrible.

Gearses!
Check out Sgt. Fenix over here. The imagery is certainly effective, but “Highly Anticipated Sequel” and “Includes jaw-dropping visuals?” That's flat, empty nonsense! How about “Is a Game” and “Got pretty colors,” or just a bunch of gibberish? I don't know what it says about me as an anal-retentive word-nerd, but the use of “Includes” bothers me particularly.

Iron Mens!
Iron Man's also pretty awesome. “Legendary Super Hero” and “Industrialist fights evil” almost sound like descriptions of the movie that went through Babelfish and then back into English. I imagine those beat out “Flying Man Robot-Fighter” and “He is the diligent protector of children,” but just barely.

On a certain level, I empathize with whoever has the thankless job of trying to cram something that's both informational and evocative into two 30-character lines. I also realize that this is just about the most absurdly trivial thing to get invested in, but dammit, if you're going to cake your interface with promos, make 'em count! Hopefully they'll either find their pace before the November 19th launch, or I'll learn how to be less of a needlessly obsessive lunatic. For what it's worth, the former is significantly more likely.


Staff
#1 Posted by Ryan (1263 posts) -

I've been playing with the NXE (I'm really upset about how quickly I slid into using that stupid acronym) for a couple of weeks now, and in general, I'm quite pleased with the changes that have been made. There are a few navigational kinks, such as the less-than-obvious importance of the new quick launch bar, that took some getting used to, but the menus are bigger and bolder, and generally laid out in a way that makes more sense for what the Xbox 360 is, rather than what it was.

Now I hate to nitpick (a shameless lie, I live to nitpick) but there's a tiny, thoroughly petty thing about the NXE that I've allowed to get under my skin. It's something that took me a while to notice, but there are actually quite a few promotional menu items scattered throughout. The mere presence of the mostly appropriate advertising isn't what gets to me. The thing is, all of these units feature some promotional headline and a short blurb. Not to brag about performing repetitive, often tedious tasks for rent, but I've written a fair amount of promotional copy in my day, and the writing in all of these is categorically terrible.

Gearses!
Check out Sgt. Fenix over here. The imagery is certainly effective, but “Highly Anticipated Sequel” and “Includes jaw-dropping visuals?” That's flat, empty nonsense! How about “Is a Game” and “Got pretty colors,” or just a bunch of gibberish? I don't know what it says about me as an anal-retentive word-nerd, but the use of “Includes” bothers me particularly.

Iron Mens!
Iron Man's also pretty awesome. “Legendary Super Hero” and “Industrialist fights evil” almost sound like descriptions of the movie that went through Babelfish and then back into English. I imagine those beat out “Flying Man Robot-Fighter” and “He is the diligent protector of children,” but just barely.

On a certain level, I empathize with whoever has the thankless job of trying to cram something that's both informational and evocative into two 30-character lines. I also realize that this is just about the most absurdly trivial thing to get invested in, but dammit, if you're going to cake your interface with promos, make 'em count! Hopefully they'll either find their pace before the November 19th launch, or I'll learn how to be less of a needlessly obsessive lunatic. For what it's worth, the former is significantly more likely.


Staff
#2 Posted by elliooo (293 posts) -

Uh, yeah.. I kind of see where you're going with this...

#3 Posted by oddjob (110 posts) -

Yeah, those are pretty bad, Ryan, now just take a deep breath. Would you like glass of water?

#4 Posted by Pazy (2581 posts) -

I got into the NXE today and my worries are a bit simpler. Frankly it seems like a pointless update, at least for me. The main features seem to be Gloss,  games on HDD, partys and community games. The gloss I dont care about and seems slighty harder to get where I need to be (though I appreciate that the games list loads up faster), I cant load games onto my HDD because out of a 20gb HDD I can use ~13gb and about 10gb of that is filled with FFXI (which I love), I only talk to one person a time on Xbl unless playing a specific game with them. The only cool thing is community games so far but you could get that without all this extra "stuff". Im not impressed so far, pointless update for me.

#5 Posted by joslop500 (203 posts) -

hahaha, ok?

#6 Posted by Kintaro (120 posts) -

Thats pretty funny.

#7 Posted by ep_driver (446 posts) -

At first I thought you were losing it, but then I looked at the screenshots. The one for Journey to the Center of the Earth really bothers me. I don't know if it's just because that movie blows all on its own, or if it's the 2 crap lines they accompany it with. Now that you've pointed this out to me it will drive me mad once I receive the update.

#8 Posted by JoelTGM (5596 posts) -

Wow those are actually pretty stupid.  Damnit, now you've made me aware of it, and now when I get NXE I'll be bothered by it everytime I see it.

#9 Posted by jakob187 (21675 posts) -

You is way too picky, mang!  lol  Really, though, that stuff is pretty poorly written.  I mean, I write better promo copy during my day job than that stuff.

Maybe they need to hire me...  =  D
#10 Posted by Aaron_G (1615 posts) -

I never noticed them before, until now. 

#11 Posted by spiceninja (3062 posts) -

All of those are cringe worthy.

#12 Posted by deadpoool (104 posts) -
#13 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

Meh, not a big problem to me. I lol'd at Ryan's nitpicking.

#14 Posted by StaticFalconar (4849 posts) -

More ads and yet same price?


#15 Posted by MannAlive (155 posts) -

After reading the copy in all of the photos included at the bottom of the piece, I am convinced none of it was originally written in English.  And I suspect even in his own language, the copy editor is considered kind of stupid.

#16 Posted by Milkman (16804 posts) -

You have forced your nitpicking on to everyone else now. Great job, Ryan.

#17 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -

Wow. Those are really corny.

#18 Posted by deadgopher (18 posts) -

Oh my god! It's Engrish without the poor translations!

#19 Posted by deadgopher (18 posts) -

Oh my god! It's Engrish without the poor translations!

#20 Posted by pirate_republic (1117 posts) -

Brutal, but they're not really ads. It just "spotlights" what's new in marketplace. Less of an ad than a useful feature. That companies pay for. For viewers to buy... fine it's an ad. But not the bad kind.

#21 Posted by daniel_beck_90 (3159 posts) -

yeah those may not be awesome but Ryan : chill out man !!!!

#22 Posted by MagusMaleficus (1036 posts) -

You, sir, need to get laid. Fast.

#23 Posted by LCad (269 posts) -

This is hilarious.  Now I actually care about the NXE.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Ryan Davis.

#24 Posted by Irishjohn (581 posts) -

Oh dear.  Those are fairly awful.  I'm with you Ryan.

#25 Posted by zoozilla (979 posts) -

Jesus.

It's like the number 23.  Once you see it, you can't not see it.

#26 Posted by daniel_beck_90 (3159 posts) -
zoozilla said:
"Jesus.

It's like the number 23.  Once you see it, you can't not see it."
I lol'ed
#27 Posted by Impossibilium (684 posts) -

I switched on the 360 this evening and was told and download to Live was available. What do you know it's the NXE. Guess I'm in the second tier of the public beta!

Me likey.

Me not likey how long it takes to rip a game to the drive but it's worth it in the end.

I think they should take those titles to the next level and go for completely absurdity.

#28 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3746 posts) -
StaticFalconar said:
"More ads and yet same price?

Most of those aren't ads, they're just the description for a game or show you can download or buy.  The NXE dashboard actually has far fewer ads. 

And yes, I agree some of these are pretty bad.  The good thing is they're pretty bad in a way I'm just sick enough to enjoy and laugh at. 
#29 Posted by wrecks (2260 posts) -

Great. Way to ruin it for everyone Ryan. Way to go.

Online
#30 Posted by DMack (70 posts) -

Are they limited to those 16 (or however many) characters for those? That seems like poor planning, but the original dashboard had the same thing.
Who remembers "Incredible Fighting Game"  or "Civl'tn Revl'tn: Turn-based strategy"?

#31 Posted by Lepuke (327 posts) -

Yeah the wording on those extremely brief/simple overviews of the advertised products kinda does bother me now that you mention it.
Maybe viewing Idiocracy recently caused some of it hehe.

#32 Posted by carlthenimrod (1594 posts) -
#33 Posted by Grim_Reaper (15 posts) -

LOL eventually my instincts will block out everything except the title and picture, poor Ryan.

#34 Posted by Nikuls (8 posts) -

Those are shockingly bad.
I'd actually like to see what you'd come up with, either as a witty retort or just a job done better.

GoW2:
Mad Ass-Whopping
chainsaws and shit too!

Portal:
The Cake is a Lie
but you already knew that

Iron Man:
Robert Downey Junior
Complete with bad-ass space suit

#35 Posted by HazBazz (1901 posts) -

Lol at Portal's.
Break The Laws Of Physics
Surmise The Possibilities

What?!

#36 Posted by cikame (1002 posts) -

Its kinda like, you have a friend, then your other friend says how your friend has a funny nose, then all you see is that funny nose..... thanks ryan..... thanks.

#37 Posted by Coldbrand (215 posts) -

"He is the protector of children" needs to be the next Giant Bomb shirt.

#38 Edited by Aaox (1657 posts) -

Seriously, that last one: Fugitives stop running confront enemies- That sounds like a newspaper title. Heck, they all do.

EDIT: Seriously, OZ.
#39 Posted by OZ (26 posts) -

Seriously?

#40 Posted by Death_Burnout (3797 posts) -

dude i feel your pain!

#41 Posted by Rowr (5665 posts) -

DAMMIT RYAN,

now thats going to piss me off as well.

#42 Posted by RHCPfan24 (8609 posts) -

"Fugitives confront enemies" - Terminator Sarah Chronicles

So I am guessing that any mention of a robot in the show is out of consideration?
#43 Posted by dtran1212 (299 posts) -

they my as well just slap the words "BUY ME! BUY ME! BUY ME! on there instead of putting up these cheesy descriptions

#44 Posted by Jimbo_N (1197 posts) -

I dont think I will ever care to be bothered by that =)

#45 Posted by Charleslegrand (186 posts) -

Well, on the bright side, if that's the only thing getting under your skin, Microsoft did a great job overall ^^

#46 Posted by Seram (192 posts) -

Haha well I guess the promos can provide some quick laughs when you need some.

#47 Posted by dsplayer1010 (2227 posts) -

Ads never really bothered me before, but there seems to be a lot in the NXE.

#48 Posted by BiggerBomb (6944 posts) -

Bwahahaha

"Fugitives confront enemies"
"Surmise the possiblities"
"Awe-inspiring sites, grave danger"

In Soviet Russia, video game play you! These sound like an Eastern European tried to directly translate a sentence without knowing that half the meaning would be lost in translation. I actually lol'd at a few of these. I don't think I'll be as pissed as Ryan, if anything I'll be mildly amused, but this is a stark contrast with the industrial and polished look the NXE is going for.

Thanks, Ryan! Great read.

#49 Posted by High (11 posts) -

If it's so poorly written let's hear some new ideas for the two line 30-character promos.

#50 Edited by Cubical (637 posts) -

I have been using the NXE for a while and I hate just about everything on the nxe, the new interface looks horrible bland.

So EVen if you use themes it makes them look ugly with large dead empty space the 3d icon float in.   The only thing I do like about it is 100% the programming job that makes it run faster and has new hardware features that is it.

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