New Xbox Experience Brief

Before hopping into my car and heading off to work this morning, I powered up my Xbox to chance a brief encounter with the New Xbox Experience, a brand new dashboard for the three-year-old console.  Based on my short time with it, my only complaint is that I wish I had gotten up earlier this morning.  Well, that and I wish I had a bigger hard drive on my Xbox.

Updating to the new dashboard was easy and much faster than I thought it would be.  Upon booting up, my console showed me the normal update blade informing me that I a system update was available, and that I had to install it in order to continue using Xbox Live.  I accepted, the download took only a few seconds, and the Xbox restarted.

When the power came back on, a new update screen awaited, this time telling me that the NXE was downloading, and giving me the option to cancel the update (which I was relieved to see, because at this point, I still wasn’t sure if I’d have time to check it out before leaving for work).  The progress bar began moving, and the onscreen text changed to reflect this – 5 minutes remaining.

I was quite surprised at this.  Not only did I expect the update to be quite large and subsequently take 10-20 minutes to download, but I also assumed the Xbox Live network might be bogged down by all the traffic.  Not so.  Not at six in the morning, anyway.  I hear the Xbox Live Marketplace is having trouble today, however.

I ducked into the bathroom and did my usual morning grooming, and returned with only 2 minutes left for the download.  I watched the progress tick by.  When the NXE was finished, I was treated to a neat intro video featuring the familiar Xbox 360 sphere taking different forms, flying around all sorts of games and media, and finally coming to rest in the corner of the screen where it resides in the new dashboard.  I wasn’t able to hear any of this unfortunately, since I didn’t want to wake up my girlfriend, but I can say that the visuals were neat.

Once the video was over, the NXE prompted me to select a profile, and then to create an avatar for it.  A selection of random avatars rushed onto the screen, and I was given the option to use one as a base for my own or to usher in a new group.  I randomized the group a few times, found one that looked like a good place to start, and began crafting my virtual Xbox self (pictured above).

The avatar editor is easy to use, loads everything relatively fast, and was quick and responsive.  I fiddled around with it for a few minutes, leaving a lot to check out later today when I have more time to play with it.  My avatar actually looks kind of like me, but only when you see him from an angle, since he’s got a pony tail.
I spent the remainder of my time buzzing through the menus just looking at stuff – which was quite confusing.  It’s probably going to take me a while to get used to the new menu hierarchy, but the system seems so much more responsive now, especially in the guide, I think I’ll manage with that just fine.

As I mentioned above, the only thing I really feel like I need to do now is pick up a larger hard drive.  The 20gb hard drive that came with the system has served me well, but with the new NXE option to install games, I’d like a little more space than what I have now.  I can’t see myself installing every game I own, but newer / frequently played games wouldn’t hurt.

Aside from that minor gripe however, the NXE is looking to be a great improvement over the blades of old, and I’ll be using it and writing about it more soon.  Thanks for reading, and hopefully your Xbox update is as enjoyable as mine was, however brief it might be.

9 comments:

  1. Dmaster270 - Over a year ago

    Cool. I wish I had gotten ready faster. But I”m currently having a Blast. Although the servers are going INCREDIBLY SLOW!

  2. FredFredrickson - Over a year ago

    Yeah, I’ve been reading about people complaining about outages with Marketplace all day now. Kind of a shame, since I wanted to look at some of the premium themes available when I get home (the Fable 2 theme looks awesome).

    Maybe I’ll just make an avatar for my girlfriend instead, hehe. She hates video games, so it’ll be even better that way. :D

  3. xygthop3 - Over a year ago

    Yeah I download this aswel seems ok, not quite as childish as the Wii which is a good start. However I decied to do a test on the speed of the DVD vs HDD loadeding times, I used Left 4 Dead as it is the latest released game, it installed the full 6.4Gb’s worth which took about 10mins but the loading time from either DVD or HDD was EXACTLY the same.

    The only diffrence was that it only read from the DVD when the game first loaded and never again while I was playing the game which was nice because I didn’t have to listen to my drive have a heart attack! Other then that I see no real advantage of installing current release games to the HDD tho maybe in the future this may change.

  4. Dmaster270 - Over a year ago

    “premium themes available”
    I bought the Halo Wars, and Castle Crashers one. The Halo Wars was like, 21 megabytes, and took 20 minutes. The Castle Crashers was 2 Megabytes and took 10 minutes. It was worth it though, cause I got to see your avatar right next to a Banshee.

  5. kc lc - Over a year ago

    “The progress bar began moving, and the onscreen text changed to reflect this – 5 minutes remaining.
    […]
    I ducked into the bathroom and did my usual morning grooming, and returned with only 2 minutes left for the download.”
    — Fred

    Am I correctly deducing that your “usual morning grooming” only requires 3 minutes? I know guys don’t like to fuss… but 3 MINUTES?

    I don’t know anything about Xbox, but it sounds like its users may be a bit unkempt. At least the one user I know of.

  6. Yourself - Over a year ago

    “Am I correctly deducing that your “usual morning grooming” only requires 3 minutes? I know guys don’t like to fuss… but 3 MINUTES?”

    How long *should* it take, Miss Fussy?

  7. FredFredrickson - Over a year ago

    Haha, well a quick hair brush, a visual inspection to make sure nothing bad happened to my face overnight, and a tooth brushing or mouth wash usually does the trick. Sometimes I even throw in a little bit of skin cream if my skin looks too dry… surely that redeems me, right KC? ;)

  8. BenRK - Over a year ago

    I’m surprised no one has said Mii yet. Well, I’ll do the honors.

    It’s a Mii clone, but it’s better then Miis!

  9. FredFredrickson - Over a year ago

    That’s why nobody says anything about it Ben!

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