By ZimpanX 5 Comments
So I've been playing around with the so called New Xbox Experience for a while as I bet many of you have too, for me it's ends up feeling kind of like a mixed bag.
The dashboard now sports a simpler and more cleaner look which is always welcome of course, the only downside to this is that it's looks a lot like say Windows Media Center and the Apple TV interface and doesn't really do much to set it self apart.
At least with the blades the dashboard had a a slight touch of identity and that the blades had different colors was also a nice touch so you could instantly tell where you were on the dasboard.
Also there is this grey area on the lower part of the screen that cuts of your old aka "non premium" themes, and option to remove it would certainly be welcome.
Overall though the actual look of the new dashboard is still an improvement over the last one and probably easier for a lot of people to understand.
With the new dashboard also comes with a few new functions, like the new and improved guide menu, live party and the ability to install your games on to the harddrive.
I'm really fond of the new guide button as it's pretty much a mini version of the old dashboard. Now you can instantly jump to the marketplace, redeem codes, change your systems settings etc. Even in game, though some action will unfortunately force you to quit your gaming session. You can now also finally delete all your arcade trials from your gamercard trough the Achievements section which I know many have been waiting on doing for quite some time. You can't change your theme via the guide button anymore though, hmm.
Live Party is another great addition as it let's your group together with up 7 other people and chat and interact with them and none of you don't even have to be playing the same game. Awesome!
And then there is the option to install games on to your harddrive. You still need the disc to play your game though so many of you may wonder "But hey! then what's the point?". Well you still need the disc of course to prove your ownership otherwise you could just be renting games and install them like a madman.
Anyways the benefit of installing is to cut down load times and make the console itself less noisy when playing.
I recommend you to do some research first though to see what games are actually worth the install.
I installed Ninja Gaiden II and it made wonders for that game. Before it took around 2 minutes to boot the game and load your saved game before you could play, now the same thing doesn't take much longer than 30 seconds, also mid level loads seems to have been completely eliminated.
Keep in mind though each install takes up around 6 Gigabytes of space off your harddrive, so 20gb owners... don't expect to have more than one game installed at a time.
So overall the new functions is probably the best part about the NXE. Hurray!
I don't really know what to say about the avatars, it feels very much like a Mii ripp-off unfortunately just with less facial options but more clothing options, there are even "Wii-like" sound effects in the Avatar Editor. :/
Also there isn't really a proper use for them, I've heard there will be a bunch of so called "Community games" later on that will put them to good use, but why not simply wait with these avatars until these games are actually available?
Also the avatars clutters up your friends list to I tend to use the guide button to more quickly see who is online.
As many times before, with new software updates come new bugs and NXE is unfortunately no exepction. Here's a few bugs I've managed to run into so far
Friendslist is shorter
For some reason the new update deleted some of my friends so it's not me just randomly starting hating everybody, so if you are one of those that used to be friends with me on Live but you suddenly can't find me on your friendslist anymore, just send me a request and I will accept ASAP. Gamertag is Mezziaz.
New game library won't list my full games
Yup, everyone time I go in to my game library I can't find any of my full Xbox 360 games, except the game I have in the tray...I hope they fix this soon.
New friendslist often freezing
This has happened close to 5 times already, I guess another reason to use the other friends list via the guide button instead.
Even with bugs and what not the NXE is still an improvement over the previous dashboard and some features have been worth the wait. It's just that all the changes made are necessarily not for the better as I had hoped. But it's still a thumbs up nontheless.