Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The "New Xbox Experience".

This fall Microsoft is bring a huge change to the Xbox 360 they call it the "New Xbox Experience" I think that's lame and I'm calling it Dashboard 2.0. There will be tons of changes and I'll try to cover the basic:

  • First off (as you can see) it has a whole new look to it, MS has gotten rid of the "Blades" and made this new "Channels" interface. If you love the Blade interface don't worry, now when you press the Guide Button it will bring up a Mini Blade interface with a lot more functionality than before when you pushed the Guide Button.

So don't worry if you still want the "blade" interface all you have to do is push the guide button.

  • One of the biggest coups at E3 was Microsoft's announcement that they now have a partnership with Netflix. Starting this fall Xbox Live member's and Netflix subscribers will be able to stream 10,00 movies instantly from Netflix right to their Xbox 360, all for "free". All you do is put the movies you want to watch in your Netflix Instant Queue, and they instantly appear on your Xbox 360.

  • Not too much info is known about all of the channels but Microsoft did announce that users will now be able to copy full retail games to the hard drive. So this is beneficial for two reasons: first is that games will load much, much faster. The second is that even though you will still have the disc in the drive to play (you know to make sure you still own the game) the drive will not be spinning which will cut down tremendously on the noise the 360 puts out.

  • One of the key things that MS is trying to do with Dashboard 2.0 is make content easier to find. As this screen shot shows each game will have it's own unique section in marketplace, giving you descriptions, pictures, and video previews.

  • Community is also getting a big push in Dash 2.0. Microsoft is added Avatar's to the Xbox 360, much like a Nintendo Mii, your avatar will be customizable and be playable in certain games. This new c0mmunity page is now your Friends List, as your friends sign on there avatar will pop up on the screen.

  • Another big change is the "Party System", you will now be able to get into a group of 8 people and travel around from game to game playing with your friends. From Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, GTA 4, or even to a movie. That's right, if everyone has a Netflix account the host can select a movie to watch and everyone can watch the movie "together" all while chatting away.

Another new channel is Xbox Live Primetime, this is going to be full of game-show style games. The kicker is that the games are on a schedule, so you can only play the game in it's time slot. So 1 vs. 100 might be only on at 7pm but there might be 10 different games going.

Look for the new Dashboard 2.0 to be dropping this Fall.

This video should make it easier to understand all of the changes.

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